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CIA kicks off its 72nd annual Student Independent Exhibition

Today marks the start of the Cleveland Institute of Art’s 72nd Student Independent Exhibition (SIE). Through March 18, this annual exhibition will be presenting over 100 works of art—from paintings to drawing to ceramics to video—at the Reinberger Gallery. Gallery director Nikki Woods says the exhibition is designed to "remind us of the importance of playful experimentation and the need to take chances, and to question the status quo."  

The jurors for this student-organized exhibition include Chicago artist Claire Ashley, Cincinnati artist and "Shark Girl" creator Casey Riordan Millard, and Athens-based printmaker Art Werger.

The exhibition kicks off tonight with an opening night reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Reinberger Gallery (11610 Euclid Ave.). For more information, click here.


Cleveland named a top city for startup growth by Robert Half Technology

The label “startup hub” is no longer reserved for a few select cities across the nation, and Cleveland is being dubbed a haven for innovation as more entrepreneurs set their sights on our city to put down roots. Robert Half’s list of “Top 10 U.S. Cities Where Startups Are Growing” ranks Cleveland at number eight based off its survey of 2,600 CIOs in 26 metropolitan areas around the country—citing access to skilled technology talent and an attractive quality of life. Other cities on the list include Charlotte, Atlanta, San Diego, Phoenix, and Seattle. Click here to see who else made the list.

Redfin names Shaker Heights and University Circle among "Neighborhoods That Have It All"

Redfin recently dropped their list of “25 Neighborhoods That Have it All,” and this year, two Cleveland neighborhoods have made the cut. In a ranking dominated by the Chicago metropolitan area, Shaker Heights and University Circle throw spotlight on Cleveland, weighing in at numbers 16 and 20, respectively.

The online real estate database combed through 80 major U.S. housing markets—ranking neighborhoods based on affordability, home-selling speed, highly rated schools, transit, and low crime rates. While there continues to be a shortage of homes for sale, home prices in the most sought-after markets have skyrocketed. This dilemma has created a surge in movement from pricey, coastal cities to more affordable destinations, putting Shaker Heights and University Circle on the map.

Redfin predicts that this trend will continue throughout 2018, affording all newcomers the chance to see that Cleveland neighborhoods really do have it all.

Volunteers needed to help make AIDS Quilt panels at MetroHealth this Saturday 11/18

Looking for something meaningful to do this holiday season? On Saturday, Nov. 18, MetroHealth is hosting a free panel-making workshop for those who want to contribute to the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Founded in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world—consisting of 48,000 panels (and growing). Friends, family, and significant others of those who have passed from AIDS-related illnesses are welcome to create a panel in honor of their lost loved one.

The workshop goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will provide artistic guidance, professional sewing instruction, and materials. Parking validation and food will be provided. To learn more or to register, click here.

Residents of Lee Harvard invited to share their stories for posterity

Cleveland's Lee Harvard neighborhood has a rich heritage, and the Cleveland Restoration Society's "Shining a Spotlight on Lee Harvard: Telling Our Story" event will give it a resounding voice. Set for this Sunday, October 29, the event will feature residents and former residents sharing their experiences of living and growing up in the Ward 1 area—specifically the historic Arthur Bussey neighborhood off Lee Road (where a number of houses are still inhabited by their original owners).

This live storytelling event coincides with CRS' effort to nominate the Arthur Bussey neighborhood for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
 Residents will be led in telling their stories by Dr. Todd M. Michney, Ph.D., whose book Surrogate Suburbs: Black Upward Mobility and Neighborhood Change in Cleveland 1900-1980 explores the ways that African Americans built strong neighborhoods in the face of discrimination. Stories shared will be archived as part of the Cleveland Memory Project and the Cleveland Public Library Digital Collection.

The event takes place this Sunday from 3-4:30 p.m. at Lee Road Baptist Church. Register for this unique gathering here, or call Stephanie Allen at 216-426-3106 for more information. 

Tittle & Perlmuter offering free rides over Halloween weekend

Thanks to Tittle & Perlmuter, trick-or-treat doesn't have to involve the driver's seat. This weekend, the local law firm is offering free rides with the aim of cutting down on drinking and driving activity.

Between 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Sunday, Clevelanders who are 21 and over can get a free one-way ride via cab, Uber, or Lyft to any destination within the Cleveland and Elyria metro areas. Participants can be reimbursed for up to $30 by sending in a copy of the receipt, a picture of a valid driver's license, and a PayPal email address, and there is a limit of one reimbursement per household. For further details, click here.

Cleveland's first Latino Restaurant Week kicks off

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Cleveland is celebrating its first-ever Latino Restaurant Week (October 8-15) with five Latino-owned restaurants on board. Participating eateries include Sangria, Barroco Arrepa Bar, El Torito Taqueria Bar & Grille, Luchita's, and Campus Grille, with menu selections spanning from Portuguese to Mexican to Spanish to Colombian cuisine and beyond. Lunch offerings are $15, while three-course meals are $30—not including beverage, taxes, or tips. See all the delicious details and plan your food fiesta here.

Transformer Station gets the NYT treatment

Ever dream of helming a museum? You're not alone. This New York Times article puts the spotlight on collectors who've been there and done that, including Cleveland's very own Fred and Laura Bidwell. In the story, Bidwell details the process behind mounting Transformer Station and the deal they struck with the Cleveland Museum of Art to keep their legacy alive long after their tenure:

After Fred Bidwell sold his advertising firm to WPP in 2010, he began to think seriously about opening a contemporary art museum for the collection that he and his wife, Laura, had amassed. As a result, the Bidwells bought a 1920s power plant on Cleveland’s West Side, renovating and expanding the property to create Transformer Station.

Mr. Bidwell, 65, said the initial cost in 2013 was $2.5 million to $3 million — not including what the couple paid for the artwork — and that annual expenses were about $250,000. He said he knew that running the building and managing the museum and its exhibitions would be challenging, so he struck a deal with the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he is a trustee. The Bidwells makes their exhibition space available to the museum for half of the year.

“We were a little naïve about how much work this would be,” Mr. Bidwell said. “When we lend our galleries to the Cleveland Museum of Art, we challenge them to do exhibitions that are more daring than they normally would.”

Read the full text here.

Crafting the vision for a greener future at Sustainable Cleveland Summit

More than 500 eco-minded enthusiasts will converge on the Cleveland Public Auditorium this Wednesday 9/27 and Thursday 9/28 for the ninth annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit (presented by the Cleveland Foundation). A keynote by The Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek will put an exciting cap on what’s been dubbed "The Year of Vibrant Green Space,” while the conference will also position 2018 as “The Year of Vibrant Neighborhoods.”

Trending topics at the summit will include implantation of the Cleveland Tree Plan, green jobs, sustainable neighborhood projects, and climate change (and how to combat it via the Cleveland Climate Action Plan). The Cleveland Metroparks will also be providing whirlwind water taxi tours of Cleveland, while the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will show attendees the green infrastructure in place at Public Square. At the end of each day, a post-Summit reception will offer up ample networking and noshing opportunities. Click here to register or get more 411 on this zero-waste event.

Say cheese: Melt's Matt Fish appears on "Pickler & Ben"

Melt Bar & Grilled seems to be on a much-deserved roll. Not only has the restaurant recently been named to the Inc. 5000 list and opened its 10th location, but chef Matt Fish also made an appearance today on the new daytime talk show "Pickler & Ben" (which airs locally on WEWS, as well as CMT). Fish showed former "American Idol" contestant Kellie Pickler and media personality Ben Aaron how to make Melt's patented Cleveland Cheesesteak in all its gooey glory. See the cheesy goodness here.

Join Mace for a free self-defense event in Public Square

Tomorrow Public Square will be the safest place in town, thanks to a free self-defense event being sponsored by Mace (which is headquartered in Cleveland).

Safety Town CLE will offer hands-on training and product demos, along with tips and talks by safety and security professionals—including a former Secret Service agent and a Cleveland woman who was inspired to start her own self-defense practice after being shot. Food trucks and music will also be part of the event, as well as free product giveaways. The Safety Town CLE event takes place from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Public Square. More details can be found here.


Read all about it: Cleveland Book Week is in full swing

Paging all local book lovers—it's time for #CBW2017. A lively array of literary happenings forms the itinerary for the annual Cleveland Book Week, sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation and Partners.

Among the highlights: author talks by Peter Ho Davies (The Fortunes), Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits), and Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures); an art book and zine fair at MOCA; a poetry, art, and music event at Karamu House; and the 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards at the State Theatre. This Saturday, the Cleveland Flea will also host a "#CBW2017 Edition" featuring a pop-up bookshop with rare books and first editions, plus a literary cafe where visitors can mingle with local authors.

In addition, those who use public transportation will be treated to some bookish fun on their commute this week. During the morning and evening rush periods, local artists performing poetry and spoken word pieces at RTA stations around town. (Locations include Airport, Cedar, E. 55th St., Little Italy, Shaker Square, Tower City, W. 25th St., W. 98th St. and Windermere.)

To learn more about the awesome literary lineup, click here.

Same-day grocery delivery service Instacart hits the 216

While we could all use a transformative trip to the Heinen's Rotunda every now and then, most grocery shopping trips aren't always the ideal use of one's time. Enter Instacart, a popular same-day grocery delivery service that is set to expand to Cleveland in early September. More than 764,000 households in 71 local zip codes will have access to the service, which allows reluctant grocery shoppers to place orders online or via mobile app from Heinen's, Costco, CVS, and more for delivery. The expansion will also create 100 new jobs for Instacart shoppers, who fulfill and deliver the orders.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen incredible demand in the Cleveland area,” explains Andrew Nodes, Instacart's Vice President of Retail Accounts. “We work with a variety of local retailers to provide the freshest, highest quality groceries to our customers. Expansion into Cleveland gives us an opportunity to expand service in the Ohio market. We’re also excited to build a world-class shopper community, where we can offer fun and flexible income earning opportunities for our shoppers, who ultimately deliver this amazing service to the community.”

First-time users can enter the code HICLEVELAND at checkout until 11/1 to get $25 off orders of $35 or more, plus a free first-time delivery.

Public meeting gives Clevelanders a chance to preview the new Irishtown Bend

A new 17-acre green space is coming around the proverbial bend, and the Plain Dealer says it has the potential to take Irishtown Bend from "weed-infested wasteland" to "one of the most spectacular urban parks in the Great Lakes." After much anticipation, finalized plans for the Irishtown Bend project are being unveiled this week—a joint effort of LAND Studio, the Port of Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, and Ohio City Inc. Key proposed components range from a treetop canopy walk to the Ohio City Farm to a maritime promenade, as well as a "history and ecology zone."

Join designers Michael Baker International and CMG this Thursday 8/31 for a public meeting during which attendees can view and provide feedback on the plans. The meeting will be held at 5:30 pm in the St. Ignatius Breen Center in Ohio City (2008 W 30th St, Cleveland, OH 44113). Admission is free and all are welcome. For more information, please contact Carrie Miller at cmiller@ohiocity.org.


RTA debuts new "Museum Stops" in University Circle

Raise your hand if you've ever gotten lost driving around University Circle. (Us, too.) If that isn't reason alone to consider taking the RTA's HealthLine on your next trip to Cleveland's cultural epicenter, consider this: the RTA has recently reinvigorated the HealthLine stations in University Circle by adding colorful artwork and depictions of local museums—all in hopes of helping riders more easily find nearby HealthLine stops. The two new "Museum Stops" are located on Euclid Avenue at Stearns Road and Stokes Boulevard, and the HealthLine runs 24/7, seven days a week.

The new developments continue the momentum for the HealthLine, which has seen an annual ridership increase of about 60 percent since its debut in 2008 (as well as a nod as "Best Bus Rapid Transit in North America" from the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy). According to RTA CEO and General Manager Joe Calabrese, "the HealthLine delivered more than $6.3 billion in economic development along Euclid Avenue since it began operation." And now that progress will be just a little bit prettier.
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