Ingenuity transitions into new era with annual festival at Voinovich Park

For the past 10 years, IngenuityFest has been known as a three-day celebration where art and technology come together in somewhat unknown places, like the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge or Docks 30 and 32.

This year, Ingenuity Cleveland decided to highlight its evolution from just the festival to a full-blown organization by moving IngenuityFest 2015 outdoors to Voinovich Park in North Coast Harbor Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4. “Everyone remembers the bridge,” says Emily Appelbaum, director of programming. “This year we’re building it from the ground up."

This year’s theme, “transitions,” celebrates not only Ingenuity’s transition into an organization with year-round programming, but Cleveland’s transitions into a modern, thriving city. “We’ve always been in underutilized spaces,” says Appelbaum. “Instead, this year we’re looking at all the great development that’s taken place over the last couple of years – looking at what’s happened."

In keeping with its campaign “what’s your transition,” Ingenuity has partnered with organizations like SE Blueprint and Agnes Studio to help with a wayfinding campaign. “Ingenuity has always been a good place to come out and see objects, but we’re really excited this year about the feeling of moving through place,” says Appelbaum. “There will be some iconic large-scale wayfinding elements.”

There is no typical schedule, but instead a scavenger hunt for visitors to make their way to events. Challenges include making something with your hands or staying in touch with an artist after the event to find your way to the next attraction.

Four artists, including Stephen Manka and Brad Civic, have designed fire pits that will be located throughout the venue. Other artists featured include Leila Khoury’s sculpture, “Dirges.”  Tesla Orchestra will produce its piece, “Big Tippy,” which mimics the classic arcade claw game.

Organizers are also having some fun with words this year, with areas dubbed IngenuiTEAtime, IndusTREE Alley, and Archi-TECH-tonica featuring installations, discussions, performances, workshops and other interactive activities. There will be four stages at the event for bands that have not yet been announced.

“We want it to feel like you are walking into the living room of your best friend,” explains Appelbaum. “It should feel like a place where you feel at home and are able to let your guard down, strike up a conversation and dream a little bit.”

A Very Ingenious Person Salon (VIP) experience is open to the general public for $20 and includes access to IngenuiTEAtimes, Friday and Saturday, 6-9 p.m. and Sunday, 12-2 p.m., with civic thought leaders and Ingenuity partners. VIP tickets also include music by Ernie Krivda and social dance lessons from Viva Dance Studio, drink tickets and discounts free parking.
General admission is free. VIP tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, Sept. 30. IngenuityFest runs from 5 pm to 1 am Friday, 12 pm to 1 am Saturday and 12 pm to 5 pm Sunday.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.
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