By Kevin Goodman
The region in many ways is celebrating more of a maturation and coming of age than it is a renaissance. Much of this is due to the DNA that formed our region and grows deeper as a result of our part in the industrial age and U.S. immigration story. That is why many of us remain optimistic and committed to serving our community and helping making Cleveland a better place. Despite any evidence to the contrary, we know better and can do better. We are a people with a collective resilient DNA.
This past year alone the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Cultural Gardens, and Cleveland Playhouse celebrate their centennials
CMA was founded in 1913 “for the benefit of all the people forever.” The museum has helped the broadest possible audience understand and engage with the world’s great art while honoring the highest aesthetic, intellectual, and professional standards. It is one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums and one of northeastern Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions.
CMA opened on June 6, 1916, after many years of planning. Its creation was made possible by Cleveland industrialists Hinman B. Hurlbut, John Huntington, and Horace Kelley, all of whom bequeathed money specifically for an art museum, as well as by Jeptha H. Wade II, whose Wade Park property was donated for the site. The endowments established by these founders continue to support the museum. The original neoclassic building of white Georgian marble was designed by the Cleveland firm of Hubbell & Benes and was constructed at a cost of $1.25 million. Located north of the Wade Lagoon, it forms the focus of the city’s Fine Arts Garden.
The Playhouse is the country’s first professional regional theatre and is celebrating its 100th season after recently winning the coveted Regional Theatre Tony Award.
The company I work at, BlueBridge Networks, sponsors the CPH Student Matinee: A Field Trip Program, in which more than 5,000 young people attend a student matinee at CPH each season. Students attend a pre-show workshop designed to help connect the themes of the play to their own lives, participate in a question and answer session with the artists following the performance and bring home a student guide that provides academic and real world connections to the production.
The Gardens is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. This string of 29 growing and unique nationality gardens on more than 200 acres along MLK Boulevard is dedicated to peace and understanding through each nationality sharing its achievements and contributions to the betterment of society. Within the gardens are numerous depictions of significant personalities in the pursuit of peace (Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Confucius), music (Liszt, Beethoven), literature (William Shakespeare, James Joyce, Mark Twain), and sciences (Nikola Tesla, Leonardo DaVinci, Madame Currie ). It is through this recognition of each culture’s contributions that the true understanding among people can take place.
Aug. 28 is the 71st annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. The event is presented by Councilman Kevin Conwell and County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell, in partnership with University Circle Inc. It runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Recently other organizations and philanthropic institutions celebrated milestones highlighting the richness and maturation of our region. Included are Cleveland State University (50 years), NASA Glenn (75), and The Cleveland Foundation, which celebrated its centennial in 2014.
Our legacy as a city for those who care to admit it is that many of our citizens who came here did so because it was not going well where they had come from — thanks to famine, persecution or limited economic opportunity elsewhere. I suspect it is a prime reason we are one of the highest charitable giving cities per capita. Our United Way is one of the most efficient and prolific in the country and the world, as are our dioceses and Jewish Community Federation. The doors of our city remain open, and we remain a city that welcomes all. Advocates and civic leaders make it possible for legal immigration to remain a part of the American dream and way by lifting one another up and recreating a spirit of continuing reciprocity and continuity.
Kevin Goodman is the managing director, partner with BlueBridge Networks, a downtown Cleveland-headquartered data-center and cloud computing business. He can be reached at (216) 621-2583 and firstname.lastname@example.org.