Join Us at the Intersection of Arts and Water
A wide variety of Cuyahoga50 arts events, exhibits, and performances are taking place throughout 2019. Events will continue to be added in the coming months. Please fill out this form if you’d like your arts event or exhibit included.
The Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion: Waterways to Waterways Edition is bringing together a group of six international and six local artists to focus on projects that connect the Cuyahoga’s regeneration to global waterways. This initiative incorporates works that artists are doing around the world that will inspire continued progress in Cleveland, and vice versa.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
CLE is partnering with Sustainable Cleveland 2019 and Cuyahoga50 on a series of exhibits, including a Youth Art Contest called Celebrating Clean Water, Igniting the Future.
October 19, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Alexis Rockman, an acclaimed painter and environmental activist, celebrates the natural majesty and global importance of the Great Lakes while exploring how they are threatened by climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture, and urban sprawl.
February 2, 2019
Calling all soul sisters and brothers, soldiers and squares! Pull on those funky threads and tear it up at the year’s most out-of-sight gig. Explore protest, revolution, and change through the sounds, grooves, duds, suds, and moves of this pivotal year in which the river burned and the eagle landed.
February 9, 2019 at 8pm
The Akron Symphony presents Debussy's La Mer in concert, in partnership with the Great Lakes Science Center. Echoing the mysteries of the sea, Debussy summons the emotional power and psychological depths of wind and waves. Composer Stella Sung’s seascape introduces a watery dialogue between marine and human life. And Moby Dick rises again in the haunting music of Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite composer.
February 14 – March 2, 2019
Fire on the Water, the acclaimed multimedia theatrical event, returns to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River in an all-new version. Fire on the Water is a fast-paced series of short plays inspired by this pivotal moment in Cleveland's history. Created by a team of playwrights, directors, and actors, the production features original work woven into a powerful production exploring how the environment shapes identity, while celebrating the remarkable recovery of Cleveland's waterways.
February 27, 2019
Join the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cleveland Public Theatre at Happy Days Lodge to witness selections from Fire on the Water, the acclaimed multimedia theatrical event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. Fire on the Water is a fast-paced series of short plays inspired by this pivotal moment in Cleveland’s history. Created by a team of playwrights, directors, and actors, the production features original work woven into a powerful production exploring how the environment shapes identity, while celebrating the remarkable recovery of Cleveland’s waterways.
March 7-21, 2019
An exhibition of student work from the School of Visual Communication Design's sections of Intro to Typography Spring 2019 classes. This show is a result of the collaboration between the School of Visual Communication Design, Wick Poetry Center and the Office of Sustainability. It is a celebration of Earth Month at Kent State and aims to promote awareness of the 50th anniversary of the burning of the Cuyahoga River. Opening Reception March 7 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at Taylor Hall VCD Gallery. Exhibition on display from March 7 - 21 during Taylor Hall VCD Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Discover what Cleveland was like in 1969 and experience how the community has evolved over the past 50 years. Through immersive exhibits and programming guests can explore change, learn about our city’s vibrant history, and aspire to continue to affect change.
1969 is revealed in the following exhibits: Cleveland Starts Here; Carl & Louis Stokes Making History; Rev. E. Theophilus Caviness: Church, Community, Cleveland; Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel; Crawford Auto Aviation Museum; and Mad for Plaid.
March 13-May 11, 2019 (9 workshops at various locations)
Join us at 9 workshops across the city as we create a city wide banner project. By dyeing squares of cotton in Indigo, you will learn a new art process, take a piece home, and a piece will be sewn into a banner with hundreds of others. The banners will hang from the Detroit Superior Bridge in downtown Cleveland on June 22.
March 15-April 22, 2019
The Cleveland Institute of Art is showcasing student work from across 15 majors focused on the role of artists and designers in protecting water and the environment.
March 16-17, 2019 (7:00pm start)
More than 15 local poets have written about the Cuyahoga River Fire from different perspectives: personal, environmental, and political. Their amazing words will be performed by three professional actors under the direction of Chennelle Bryant-Harris. The event is free, with a reception afterwards with the poets, performers and director.
March 22, 2019 (5:30-8:30 pm)
Consider how geography and natural landscape continues to shape our diversity. Enjoy food, crooked river brews, special libations, and live music! This event is part of the 2019 Cleveland Humanities Festival that is exploring the theme of "Nature" from a variety of humanistic perspectives.
March 27-April 7, 2019
April 26-28, 2019
The Xtinguish Celebration is a series of events to help commemorate the progress made since the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River Fire. The incorporation of this project expands the conversations around the Cuyahoga River into the film community. All of the films for this special competition must take place in, on, or somehow feature the Cuyahoga River! Will your voice be heard? This competition will take place on the weekend of April 26th-28th with a very special screening showcase of the films on May 31st at moCa Cleveland.
May 19, 2019 (4-7pm)
Join the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park when they host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour at Happy Days Lodge. Wild & Scenic focuses on films which speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet.
May 25 - September 22, 2019
Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning features three monumental gunpowder works by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (born 1957), known for his explosion events, gunpowder-ignited paintings, and installations, all using environmentally friendly material. While Cuyahoga River Lightning: Drawing for the Cleveland Museum of Art (2018) was created especially for the exhibition, the other two exhibited works in monochrome and polychrome gunpowder illustrate the artist’s reflections on the state of our planet, wildlife, and the world’s diminishing natural reserves of fresh water. The Cleveland Museum of Art is pleased to present this exhibition as part of Cuyahoga50, a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and celebration of the progress made toward clean water for all.
June 4 and August 6 at 11:00 am; July 10 and September 4 at 6:00 pm
Clarissa von Spee leads a tour of this exhibition featuring three monumental ignited-gunpowder paintings that reflect the artist’s thoughts on the state of our planet, wildlife, and the world’s diminishing natural reserves of fresh water. Free; no registration required.
June 7, 2019 (4pm and 7pm)
At 4pm at the Wick Poetry Center, enjoy poetry readings from Ohio poets, including Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas, and poems from local school students. Then, beginning at 7pm at the School of Architecture and Design, Jim White (former Exec. Dir. of Cuyahoga River RAP) will present the gains made since 1969 and the aims needed to delist the Cuyahoga River as an Area of Concern (AOC).
June 8 - September 22, 2019
As part of Cuyahoga50, a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire and celebration of the progress made since toward clean water for all, the Cleveland Museum of Art will present two exhibitions that highlight the impact of human behavior on the environment. Featuring the work of renowned contemporary artist Edward Burtynsky (Canadian, born 1955), Water: Edward Burtynsky draws attention to current threats to clean, sustainable water and encourages visitors to reflect on individual actions that can impact the future of our planet.
June 8, 2019 (10am-4pm)
For 30 years, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been bringing this FREE signature summer event to Greater Cleveland. University Circle comes alive with color, music, and art for all ages. International and national guest artists join Greater Cleveland artists, families, schools, and community groups in a spectacular display of bright costumes, giant puppets, stilt dancers, handmade masks, and colorful floats.
This year’s theme is Mythology of Illusion. A city or a region establishes its own mythology. The burning of the Cuyahoga River is part of Cleveland’s.
June 19-22, 2019
A 100-mile passing of the torch along the Cuyahoga River, beginning at the Headwaters (June 19) with a Native American water blessing and culminating in Cleveland (June 22) at Rivergate Park. Along the way enjoy arts/culture/music fests in Kent, Cuyahoga Falls, Akron, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
June 20, 2019 (7:30pm)
An evening of Neo Soul and Jazz on the river with Grammy Award nominee Eric Roberson, featuring percussionist Elec Simon and friends. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Cuyahoga River Burning presented by The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
June 21-30, 2019
Cleveland’s history is America’s history. Predicted for greatness by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. A city founded on the shores of Lake Erie. Shaped by a crooked Cuyahoga River that defined its identity and grew its wealth. A wealth fueled by the many immigrant groups that settled here. It is a city that emerged from the Gilded Age as a leader in policy and programs, building not only a great city but a greater civilization. This same river would catch fire on a hot summer day in June of 1969. It became a poster child of a national movement to save the environment. Today, industrial freighters share a clean Cuyahoga River with wildlife and recreational watercraft. Cleveland is writing a new chapter in its comeback story.
Cleveland History Days kicks off on Friday, June 21st with a short opening ceremony at Burning River Fest and concludes, followed by a wide variety of events.
June 21, 2019 (5:00-9:00pm)
Ethiopian photographer and photojournalist Micheal Tsegaye is the Cleveland Print Room’s Creative Fusion International Artist-In-Residence for this project. Tsegaye will transform the Cleveland Print Room Gallery into the Cuyahoga River and its crooked bends from aerial photos and images from the riverbed.