Cleveland Plus is home to some pretty artsy community festivals. SparxCity Hop, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cain Park Arts Festival, Ingenuity and Parade the Circle are among them. But an edgy new addition is entering the scene this year . . . the Weapons of Mass Creation arts, film and music fest is slated to debut May 22 + 23 at Parish Hall in the Gordon Square Arts District. The brainchild of Jeff Finley, co-owner of Go Media, the two-day event features a pretty impressive array of designers, illustrators, entrepreneurs, musicians and filmmakers showcasing their talents and participating in roundtable discussions and workshops. Excited to see a new event on the artistic horizon, we gave Finley a call to explore his vision for Weapons of Mass Creation. Here’s a little of what he had to say:
SF: What got you started on this idea?
JF: I’d been going to events like Gainesville’s The Fest and Berea Fest and thinking they were inspiring. I even did a poster for the DIT Fest in Kent. I liked the bands at these festivals, but even more I liked initiative people were taking to organize these events. It was really positive. I decided I wanted to have a little artistic control and curate my own event. I just felt compelled . . . like someone needs to do this so it’s gonna be me. And I was pretty passionate about having arts and film incorporated in to whatever I was creating.
SF: How would you sum up this festival?
The Cleveland Institute of Art was originally founded in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women. It wasn’t until 1949 that the school would officially become known as The Cleveland Institute of Art and in 1956 would find a new home at its present location in University Circle amongst the cultural gems of Cleveland. As part of one of the most densely packed square mile of arts and culture in the country, CIA fits right in offering top-notch education to aspiring artists. From somewhat humble beginnings, the Instute’s reputation has grown and it is now among the top professional art and design schools in the country.
Public programming at CIA includes a lengthy list of national and international exhibitions, visiting lecturers, faculty and student artwork, a film series and continuing education programs for people of all ages and abilities. Here are some ways you can take advantage of all the Cleveland Institute of Art has to offer:
Gallery Exhibitions Wander into CIA’s Reinberger Galleries located in the Gund Building at 11141 East Boulevard. These free galleries serve CIA art students, faculty and the community as an educational resource. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-9pm and Saturday 10am-5pm.
CIA Cinematheque The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque presents movies in the 616-seat Russell B. Aitken Auditorium located in the Gund Building at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road in University Circle. CIA shows more than 250 films each year including indie films and classics you probably won’t see elsewhere. Admission is $8 and concessions won’t break the bank. Park for free in the adjacent CIA lot. Click here for this week’s film schedule and here for an extended schedule.
Lecture Series The Visiting Artist Program invites artists of regional, national and international renown to CIA to foster the exchange of ideas and methods and to enhance education.
Check CIA’s website for evening lectures and don’t miss Lunchtime Lectures each Friday from 12-1pm when a visiting artist discusses their work and takes questions. Lectures showcase a wide variety of presenters who are active in fine arts and design. Lunchtime lectures are free and open to the public.
For more information visit www.cia.edu. –Submitted by CA
As if the Great Lakes Science Center‘s already spectacular offerings weren’t enough, the six-story Omnimax dome theater is among the first in the nation showing the new IMAX movie Hubble – and it is nothing short of an absolutely jaw-dropping wonder.
I took my 12-year-old daughter and we both could easily run out of superlatives trying to convey just how amazing this movie is. In just 45 minutes, you’ll not only relive the story of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment and the NASA missions over the years that kept this wondrous eye on the cosmos working, but through the telescope’s galaxy-spanning images, you’ll also take a stunning journey across space and into the heart of the Orion Nebula.
And, because the movie unfolds on the enormous curved screen, you can look around and feel like you’re there . . . impossibly suspended in a vast “star nursery” where suns and planets are born, drifting in zero-gravity with the crew in the cabin of Atlantis or standing in an open space shuttle cargo bay, the Earth shining overhead.
You’ll also get a great sense of the astronauts themselves, including Cleveland-area native Michael Good, who’s featured prominently as a member of the crew sent up in 2009 to carry out the final – and one of the most challening – missions to Hubble.
Hubble‘s rated G and I can’t imagine anyone who’s ever run around with a toy rocket, imagined flying to the stars or even just looked up at the sky for a few quiet moments could help but fall in love with it. Even if you’re not a space nerd like I am, the engrossing story and vivid photography will draw you in and take you on an unforgettable journey.
There’s never been an eye on the universe quite like Hubble, so it’s only fitting that there’s never been a movie quite like this, either.
Hubble runs three to four times daily – check the GLAC site for details here. And, although you can buy a ticket just to catch an Omnimax show, there are bargains to be had in purchasing combined tickets which include admission to the Center or the neighboring Steamship William G. Mather Museum. –Submitted by John Booth (read more from Cleveland Plus writer and guest blogger, John, here on his site.)
The 34th Cleveland International Film Fest is quickly approaching (March 18-28 at Tower City Cinemas), so make sure you’re ready. Tickets go on sale to CIFF Members February 26 at 11am and to the general public on March 5 at 11am.Here are some tips to help you make the most of one of Cleveland’s most popular events of the year:
1) Buy your tickets in advance. Movies that have a buzz fill up fast and standby is not a guarantee.
2) Pick up the daily guides. They keep you in the loop about schedule changes, director sightings and more.
3) Use your discounts. CIFF ticket buyers and passholders are entitled to discounts at restaurants, pubs, stores and theaters in Cleveland. You’re going to need to get out of the dark eventually, why not save 15% or get a free appetizer while you’re at it?
4) If you get popcorn, go big. While it’s $10.50 for a large pop (yep, we say pop in Cleveland . . . get over it) and a popcorn, it’s refillable. If you’re in it for the long haul, chances are, you’ll go through a couple of buckets in a day.
5) Download the CIFF iPhone app on February 15 for easy access to 2010 film details, images, trailers and up-to-the-minute screening information in real-time along with theater contact information and maps.
Some other film festival resources you may find helpful:
- To read more about what to expect click here and read about a Cleveland moviegoer’s experience at last year’s festival.
- Continue checking the Cleveland Film Society’s website and follow @CIFF on Twitter for daily updates.
- If you’re traveling to Cleveland for the film fest visit www.positivelycleveland.com for all your planning needs and information about other things going on in Cleveland Plus that week.
- Have questions about accommodations, dining or entertainment in Cleveland? Contact the Cleveland Plus Visitors Center at 216.875.6680 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get them answered.
–Submitted by CA
Open since 1928, the Sandusky State Theatre is an area landmark and popular entertainment venue in Erie County. Nestled at the edge of Lake Erie in family-friendly Sandusky, or “Vacationland USA,” the theatre shares a city with other popular attractions including Cedar Point Amusement Park, Kalahari Resort, Great Wolf Lodge, Ghostly Manor and Castaway Bay.
The historic establishment wears many hats serving as a vaudeville theatre of sorts, movie palace and a performing arts center. Guests enjoy waterfront views and professional performances as well as gourmet dinner with full-service bar before most shows.
Christmas is an important holiday at the State which is evidenced by Christmas in the City, its year-round Christmas gift shop. Preparation for the State’s annual holiday celebration begins well in advance, taking about a year to coordinate. Upon completion, the theatre houses the world’s largest Santa collection, dozens of decorated trees and wreaths and 12 fully-animated windows depicting Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Popular ways to enjoy the Festival of Trees include dessert at The State and/or high tea and lunch or dinner in The State Room. This year’s holiday shows include “Christmas in Vienna” with the Vienna Boy’s Choir (December 2), “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” (December 5-6), Moscow Ballet’s “The Great Russian Nutcracker” (December 9) and “Holiday Hop” (December 18).
Coming this spring to The Sandusky State Theatre are “Finnegan’s Farewell”, an interactive musical comedy dinner show, and “The Awesome ’80s Prom.”
The Sandusky State Theatre is located at 107 Columbus Avenue. Call 877.626.1950 or visit www.sanduskystate.com for more information or to purchase tickets.
Take a photo tour of The Sandusky State Theatre here. –Submitted by CA
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on Sandusky, visit Lake Erie Shores & Islands cvb’s website.
Well, no, not really – but after seeing a preview of U2 3D in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum‘s recently-turned-up-to-eleven Foster Theater, my 12-year-old daughter and I left the place feeling like we had actually seen the band in person.
I’ve never seen U2 live, and I didn’t get a chance to see this movie during its limited 2007 theatrical run, so during the opening moments after we’d put on our viewing glasses, I felt that pre-show excitement in my gut.
And when the first notes of the opening number roared through the speakers, I got a genuine goosebump rush–which would happen again at least a half-dozen times during the 85-minute movie.
The depth and natural effectiveness of the 3-D projection is absolutely fantastic. We said afterward that during some of the wide-angle shots, it seemed as though we were watching the foreground projected on a scrim while the stadium was an actual physical backdrop on the stage behind the screen.
At the same time, the audio was loud enough to engulf us without being distorted or hurting our hears, and sounded rich with directional layering and detail. There were a few moments when I really couldn’t tell if a fan’s cheer was a concert-goer captured live or someone in the theater next to me.
It’s Sunday . . . my one opportunity all week to snooze. But, I was up with the birds this week because I needed to get to Tower City a little before 9am for the first showing of films in the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). It was my only chance to see It’s Not Me, I Swear!, a Canadian picture about a chronically unhappy young boy in 1968 who lies to pretty much everyone about pretty much everything even before his mother abandons the family for the life of an artist in Greece. It was worth the effort of dragging myself out of bed.
Today I saw three films total–all foreign. In addition to the aforementioned comedy/drama of childhood angst (which is actually C’est pas moi, je le jure!), I went to Dunya & Desie (two very different 18 year-old friends battle help each other through life-changing decisions involving motherhood and arranged marriage) and Tokyo! (three very different stories set in Tokyo and directed by three different directors including a personal fav of mine, Michel Gondry).
So, the Rock Hall inductions are coming to Cleveland for the first time since 1997. This year’s inductees are Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Metallica, Run-DMC, Bobby Womack, Wanda Jackson Bill Black, DJ Fontana and Spooner Oldham. While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has been in CLE for years, the inductions are generally held in New York City.
The 2009 CLE induction has a host of festivities surrounding it. It’s a week-long celebration of music that includes, among other things, a kickoff party, free public concerts, the Moondog Coronation Ball,a free Rock Hall admission day, a Bruce Springsteen exhibit and contests.
The Ohio Film Commission is sponsoring a contest that launched February 18. It is a 3-week competition that invites filmmakers to team up with musical acts and educational groups to create a “pro-Ohio” video. Videos must include AT LEAST one of the following:
- a location identified by a historical marker,
- a sign that displays the word “Ohio” in a positive way,
- apparel containing Ohio-based team logos,
- or college and university logos
It’s that time of year again. A Christmas Story fever is taking hold. The slice-of-Americana, cult classic holiday film that runs over and over again every year is popping up all over the place. Little Orphan Annie decoder rings, Life Bouy soap and “major awards” of all sizes (leg lamp nightlights, leg lamp decorative light strings, leg lamp desk lamps, leg lamp ornaments) abound–especially in Cleveland. You see, much of that lovable little flick was filmed here in Cleveland. Remember Black Bart sneaking off through the Ralphie’s yard or the “glow of sex” in the window of that unassuming little Parker house on Cleveland street? Well, that stuff was all shot here.
My office is on the first floor of the Higbee Building, a former downtown Cleveland department store where, in the movie, Ralphie visited Santa to make his big plea for a much-coveted Red Ryder BB gun with the compass in the stock and this “thing” that tells time. One of my coworkers, Mark, remembers being a young extra in the Santa scene. His father was a higher up for the department store at the time and he has treasured snapshots of him in period attire. This year, Positively Cleveland (the area’s convention and visitors bureau) commemorated the building’s role in the Christmas movie with a pretty elaborate display in the front corner window on Public Square. And, we’re working with the Plain Dealer to give away “A Christmas Story” prizes to the winners of a 400-word “What I want for Christmas” essay contest. We have a couple hundred entries to-date and are hoping for some really original stuff.