Cleveland, Ohio – Beethoven, Brahmns, Monet, Warhol, Rembrandt. The names are synonymous with masters of their craft and staples of history books around the globe. And, visitors to Cleveland Plus have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the masterpieces created by these artistic legends. With nationally-recognized museums, music and theater organizations the arts and culture scene in Cleveland is not only one of the best in the country, but also affordable and accessible.
Centrally located in the Midwest, the Cleveland Plus region is accessible within 500 miles of 43 percent of the country. And, without lacking in amenities or attractions, a trip to Cleveland can cost roughly 30-40 percent less than cities like New York or Chicago.
So whether it’s gazing upon a Starry Night, tapping toes along to Broadway’s biggest hits, or getting lost in one of Stravinsky’s symphonies, visitors to Cleveland have the opportunity discover the classics in Cleveland without breaking the bank.
CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART
Visitors can’t get much closer to the classics created by legends by the name of Monet, Renoir and Dali all housed in the massive permanent collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Established in 1913, the Cleveland Museum of Art is not only one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the city, it is also one of the United States’ top five comprehensive art museums and the only major museum in the country to still offer free admission to its permanent collection.
Opening February 19 is the highly anticipated Rembrandt in America exhibit. This exhibition, being shown in only two other cities (Minneapolis and Raleigh), brings together the largest number of authentic Rembrandt paintings from American collections ever assembled. With approximately fifty works, 30 of which are autograph paintings by the Dutch master himself, the exhibit explores the long career of the painter and his broad networks of followers and copyists. Rembrandt in America offers a rare opportunity to examine artwork once thought to be produced by the artist but whose authenticity can no longer be maintained, examining the question “What Makes a Rembrandt a Rembrandt?”
This is an exciting time for the Cleveland Museum of Art as they approach final stages of a multi-million-dollar renovation that expands and re-imagines the entire museum campus and brings the total building size to almost 600,000 square feet. In addition to the renovation of the stunning 1916 Beaux-Arts south building and the 1971 north building by architect Marcel Breuer, the project features the addition of the east and west wings and an atrium. The renovation and expansion is the largest cultural project in Ohio’s history and one of the most comprehensive projects at a museum anywhere in the nation with a total cost of $350 million.
Get a preview of the Cleveland Museum of Art with Positively Cleveland’s YouTube video here.
AREA ART MUSEUMS
While days could be filled with all the art in the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Plus region also is home to a slew of art museums that bring to life classical works and highlight contemporary masterpieces.
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA)
MOCA recently broke ground on a new $26.3 million home at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in the brand new Uptown District of the University Circle neighborhood. The unique, new 34,000-square-foot, four-story building is scheduled to open to the public in the fall of 2012. It will provide MOCA with street presence for the first time in its 40-year history. As Cleveland's forum for interpreting culture through contemporary visual art, MOCA’s new presence will help it to connect visitors to the dynamic art and ideas of our times. As a gathering place for experiencing contemporary art and culture, the new location will push the boundaries of innovation, creativity and expression.
Akron Art Museum
The acclaimed new facility showcases regional, national and international art created since 1850. The collection ranges from American Impressionism to contemporary art. Special exhibitions present celebrated artists including upcoming shows Ray Turner: Population, and Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster. See behind the scenes at the Akron Art Museum with Positively Cleveland’s YouTube video here.
Canton Museum of Art
In addition to the permanent collection with a stunning focus on the American Watercolors of the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary ceramic, the Canton Museum of Art has been a staple of the arts and cultural community in Canton for more than 75 years. The current exhibit, Focus Fiber 2011, on display through March 4 features 50 works by 39 artists from eight states. The show displays the best of contemporary textile and fiber work that truly pushes the boundaries of the medium.
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
In the tenth year of The Cleveland Orchestra’s partnership with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the Orchestra consistently ranks within the top 10 orchestras in the world. The Cleveland Orchestra has earned unprecedented residences in the United States and in Europe, including one at the Musikverein in Vienna. Whether on tour abroad or nationally, or at home in Severance Hall or the summer Blossom Festival, The Cleveland Orchestra aims to set standards of artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement.
Founded in 1918 by a group of local musicians in the Cleveland area and considered a member of the “big five” The Cleveland Orchestra has consistently set the bar for musical quality and performance brilliance.
In the 2011-2012 season the Orchestra will feature opera-in-concert performances of Stauss’s Salome and a three-week festival of Brahms masterworks such as Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 and the Violin Concerto. Throughout the season, a variety of guest conductors and artists return to the Cleveland Orchestra stage such as former principal conductor Pierre Boulez, guitarist John Pizzarelli and violinist Arabella Steinbacher.
The classics truly come alive in University Circle, the nation’s most concentrated square mile of arts and culture in the nation with more than 20 venues. Alongside the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, visitors can come face-to-tooth with a T. Rex at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, explore more than 350 species of exotic plants and 50 species of live butterflies, insects and amphibians in the Cleveland Botanical Garden glasshouse or listen to a performance of tomorrow’s musical stars at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Located just four miles east of downtown Cleveland, University Circle is where Cleveland’s arts and cultural scene truly draws a crowd. In fact, more than 2.5 million visitors visit each year.
To get some insider tips on visiting University Circle, check out Positively Cleveland’s YouTube video here.
Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens is a combination of indoor exhibits housed in a magnificent glasshouse and ten acres of diverse outdoor gardens. The spectacular Glasshouse includes two major exhibits, the Costa Rica Rainforest and the Madagascar Spiny Desert. There are also nine beautiful outdoor gardens for exploration. Each spring the garden features a stunning OrchidMania program with hundreds of bold blooming orchids on display throughout the Garden.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
From dinosaurs to diamonds, the Museum is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries that show kids of all ages how history and art connect with the natural world. Visitors can’t miss the recently reopened planetarium where a new digital projection system was installed featuring images in full motion and 3-D texturing as they move to the forefront. Also, guests can explore the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center + Woods Garden where an eclectic mixture of creatures, such as bald eagles, owls, foxes, bobcats and more inhabit a 2.2-acre outdoor gallery.
Western Reserve Historical Society
Visitors can learn about the history of this region through exhibitions, The Chisholm Halle Costume Wing and rare artifacts. The Chisholm Halle Costume Collection is one of the top-ranked costume collections in the nation, showcasing more than 40,000 garments from the late 1700s to the present. The museum also houses the nation’s largest Shaker collections, military collections and extensive archives of influential cultures in Cleveland’s history.
Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA)
The work of some of the nation’s most talented “soon to be discovered” artists can be found in CIA’s Reinberger Galleries, open to the public at no charge, six days a week. Also, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque is one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters constantly showing art, independent, and foreign films as well as revived classics. Established in 1882, the Cleveland Institute of Arts has earned a reputation for being among the top ten professional colleges of art and design in the country. 216.421.7000, www.cia.edu
Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM)
Free concerts are offered throughout the year by students of the Cleveland Institute of Music, a leading international conservatory. Many of CIM’s graduates go on to perform with the world’s most acclaimed musical organizations, including numerous members of The Cleveland Orchestra. CIM recently opened Mixon Hall, which is receiving rave reviews from famous artists who have performed at the venue. There is no other facility like it – a musical venue with a wall of glass and unbelievable acoustics.
Each year more than 1 million guests visit the opulent theaters at PlayhouseSquare for more than 1,000 annual events including Broadway’s best shows, international and national performing acts and musicians. The eight theaters, five of which have been beautifully restored to their splendor of the early 1920s, make PlayhouseSquare the largest performing arts center in the nation outside of New York City. (216.771.4444, www.playhousesquare.org)
Cleveland’s oldest theater, the Cleveland Play House, moved into the recently renovated Allen Theater at PlayhouseSquare last September. The $32 million renovation reconfigures the 2,500-seat theater into two separate spaces with capacities of 550 and 300. Changes include a third 175-seat black box theater constructed next door to the Allen, a new pedestrian walkway from the parking garage, new entrances and wiring for modern technology and multimedia. The Cleveland Play House 2011-2012 season concludes with Stephen Adly Guirgis’s In Arabia We’d All Be Kings about the bar clientele in New York City and Shakespeare’s A Winter Tale.
The historic Hanna Theatre sparkles once again thanks to Great Lakes Theater’s (GLT) $19.2 million state-of-the-art restoration. Bringing a new wave of fresh and innovative theater tactics, Great Lakes Theater has transformed the once “cookie cutter” approach of presenting live performances into an interactive and out-of-the-box scenario. The new Hanna Theatre design infuses the historic 1920s theater with a bold contemporary sensibility and inventive new theater concepts such as a hydraulic thrust stage while retaining the space’s classic architectural elements. Visitors can enjoy classics in the 2011-2012 season such as Romeo and Juliet, the Taming of the Shrew and A Christmas Carol as well as new contemporary performances of The Moustrap, Cabaret and Sondhiem on Sondhiem. (216.241.6000, www.greatlakestheater.org)
Any visitor will have to pace themselves through the arts and culture scene as Cleveland Plus boasts an abundance of theater outlets for any audience and every genre. The community with deep roots in the performance arts brings a variety of topics and styles center stage at some of the region’s most prominent theater venues.
Beck Center for the Arts
The Beck Center for the Arts is a comprehensive nonprofit arts organization offering professional theater productions, gallery exhibits featuring local and regional artists, as well as arts education classes. This spring visitors to the west side suburb of Lakewood can follow a group of teenagers on their journey of self-discovery and rock and roll in the professional theater performance of Spring Awakening.
EJ Thomas Hall
The University of Akron’s EJ Thomas Hall features a variety of Broadway series, concerts and dance performances to Akron-area visitors. The massive auditorium features “the Flying Balcony,” a 44-ton ceiling that can close off the Grand Tier, creating a smaller auditorium and more intimate performance setting. Headliners of the Broadway series this year include the Blue Man Group and theatrical performances of The Fiddler on the Roof and The Color Purple.
Visitors can experience creativity and innovation at the nation’s oldest African American cultural arts institution, Karamu House located on Cleveland’s east side. This season features the moving story by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, about the heartbreaking life of a young African American girl in 1940 and the crippling effects of racism. Karamu House also will present the ever-popular God’s Trombones, as well as various other productions for adults and children.
Rabbit Run Theater
Rabbit Run Theater, located in the east side suburb of Madison, is one of the few barn theaters still in operation. For more than 30 years, this community arts association has enriched arts opportunities and offered a variety of live theater performances throughout the summer months. This year they will feature a variety of shows written by classic master himself, Charles Dickens.
Stocker Arts Center
Presenting a combination of professional music, dance and theater performances for all ages, the Stocker Arts Center is one of the top performing and visual arts venues in Ohio. Located on the Lorain Community College campus, the center features a almost 1,000 main theater, 200+ lecture and cinema hall, studios and the Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery.
Cleveland is also home to a variety of theaters who present innovative and contemporary performances. Theatrical organizations such as Cleveland Public Theatre and Dobama Theatre present an array of adventurous, versatile and socially conscious work that nurtures and develops the community theater landscape.
Let’s face it, no one wants to be sitting in a performance of a lifetime or gazing at a century-old masterpiece and get distracted with a grumble from their stomach. Visitors to Cleveland Plus can take a proactive approach to hunger pains with some of the area’s most palette pleasing menus at restaurants just around the corner for the region’s arts and cultural institutions.
Cowell & Hubbard - NEW!
Located in the heart of the PlayhouseSquare district is a perfect example of Clevelandars breathing new life into classic architecture. Chef Zack Bruell has opened his fifth Cleveland restaurant in the historic Cowell & Hubbard building, an iconic jewelry story that opened in 1920. To compliment Bruell’s menu featuring plays on contemporary Parisian cuisine are stunning 18-foot ceilings, massive floor-to-ceiling windows and 6,500-square-feet of beautiful restaurant space.
Late-night kitchen hours (open until midnight or later throughout the week) at Bricco’s two locations in the theater district of downtown Cleveland and in the heart of downtown Akron, make scrumptious Italian food available at any hour of the evening. An assortment of pasta variations are just a small portion of this hearty menu.
330.475.1600 (Akron), 216.862.2889 (Cleveland), www.briccodowntown.com
Established in 1918, Guarino’s Restaurant is Cleveland’s oldest restaurant located right in Little Italy. After a day at the museums in University Circle or before a show at Severance Hall, the family-friend atmosphere and charming Victorian parlors make an old-world Italian meal at Guarino's complements a culture-filled day.
Chef Zack Bruell studied restaurants and bistros in France in order to prepare and accurately open his third restaurant venture in Cleveland in the artisan-rich area around University Circle. L’Albatros Basserie and Bar is revitalizing timeless dishes and serving them in a style that appeals to culinary critics and everyday museum-goers alike.
Located just around the corner from University Circle is one of Little Italy’s finest bistros specializing in Northern Italian cuisine. The menu features delicious frog legs, pastas, seafood and, of course, tiramisu in an upscale casual environment. And, with early and late happy hour specials, including half-off any pizza, discounted calamari and drinks, visitors can enjoy Maxi’s bistro on a budget.
Sergio’s in University Circle
Much like the eclectic gathering of cultural institutions surrounding University Circle, Sergio’s pulls inspiration from Italy, Brazil, Asia and around the world. In a prime location for either lunch or dinner, Sergio’s delightful world cuisine served in a smart, intimate and stylish atmosphere is the perfect complement to an afternoon at the theaters or museums.
STAR at PlayhouseSquare
Featuring cabaret-style dining, contemporary American cuisine such as pan seared lamb chops or ancho-glazed pork tenderloin and an extensive wine list, STAR is the perfect location for dinner before OR after major theater events. Located at PlayhouseSquare, the dining experience is just steps away from the best shows in town.
The Glidden house is an impressive French gothic mansion built in 1910 by the son of the founder of Glidden Paint and Varnish Company. In the late 1980s the mansion was converted into Cleveland’s only full-service boutique hotel. Located in University Circle, the 60-room hotel features legendary charm combined with urban design and all of the modern conveniences travelers have come to expect.
The Tudor Arms
The Tudor Arms hotel, an 11-story hotel located on the east side has been renovated into a luxurious DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton. Built in 1929 the property was originally known as the Cleveland Club Building, where it served as a lavish private men’s club. After a $22 million investment the Tudor Arms Hotel’s gothic brick and limestone exterior has been revitalized, as well as the spacious two-story ballroom. The result of these efforts is a stunning 157-room hotel with the character of the early 1900’s and the amenities of a luxury hotel in the heart of Cleveland’s arts and cultural district, University Circle.
InterContinental Suites Hotel Cleveland
InterContinental Suites Hotel Cleveland, the region’s only "wellness focused" all-suite hotel, is conveniently located right on the Cleveland Clinic campus. An oasis for guests to relax, rejuvenate and improve their overall mental and physical well-being, this hotel is close to the city's most prominent attractions.
Visitors can explore discount rates and packages at a variety of accommodation options at
For more information on travel and tourism in Cleveland Plus, contact Lexi Hotchkiss, Communications Manager, at 216.875.6628 or email@example.com or April Ingle, Communications Assistant, at 216.875.6625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.