CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Museum of Art is known for its beautiful building amid "museum row" on Cleveland's east side. While beautiful, it could arguably be hard to access for some who live out west. The museum's brand new Community Art Center, now open in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, is not only a solution to this problem, but a treasure trove of art memories in Cleveland.
The center holds its grand opening Saturday, June 12, also the same weekend as the annual Parade the Circle celebration every year. But like most things, COVID-19 forced museum staff to re-think their celebration. One way to still get the feel of the parade is by visiting the Community Art Center on opening day.
It's home to former Parade the Circle floats, displays and art that have since been in temporary storage. As you walk into the space, each piece catches your eye and causes you to walk three spaces further to explore more. The idea to house the items here is just one way to bring the museum further into the community.
"We know that not everyone may be comfortable coming to the museum in University Circle, so this is an opportunity for us to meet people where they are," says Jenn DePrizio, interim director of education and academic affairs at the museum. "The building that we're in, the Pivot Center, has a number of other arts and we're excited to apart of that community."
The Art Center is also focusing on community by hosting art classes in its three workshop spaces that bring in the community and local artists to have fun and collaborate. It will also play host to the following events:
- Daily studio and gallery experiences for schools and community groups, with tours and activities led by local artists
- Daily public hours with studio and gallery experiences
- Drop-in activities for all ages
- Guest artist workspaces
- Conservation projects
- After-school arts experiences and summer camps
- Activities and workspaces for community members participating in Parade the Circle, Chalk Festival and the Lantern Festival
The space is easily accessible for all, even down to the English and Spanish translations on all its signage, to pay homage to the location of the center.
"A lot of what you see in the exhibitions is 500 hours and hours of tying knots onto a wire frame," says Community Art Director Stefanie Taub. "This is volunteers, community members, community groups, artists, kids, everybody is participating in these things. So I am continually inspired walking through here and the possibility of what we're going to do here."
Opening day for the center is June 12, from 10 to 5. Weekly, it will be open Wednesday to Friday, 2-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the 12th, the center is also one of the stops in the COVID-19 version of Parade the Circle, now known as Parade the City, as several art pieces are being done around Cleveland for the public to view that day.
Parade the City features eight installations created by the artists with the help of eight community groups including Cleveland School of the Arts, Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center, Esperanza, Karamu House, Extended Family, LGBT Community Center, Cleveland Public Library’s South Branch and PIVOT Center for Arts, Dance and Expression. Find route maps and more information for each mural, here.
The Community Art Center is located at 2937 W 25th St. in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.