Join Us at an Event!
There are a wide variety of Cuyahoga50 community events, exhibits, performances, and conferences taking place throughout 2019. Events will continue to be added in the coming months, including anniversary week (June 19-23, 2019).
If you’re interested in including your event as part of Cuyahoga50, please fill out this form.
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.
January 18, 2019
Denis Hayes, organizer of the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, examines its history, the role Cleveland played, the environmental, social, and economic innovations that resulted from these efforts, and how the lessons learned can help us address emerging threats to our environment.
Leading up to the 50th anniversary of the fire, the City Club will be hosting Igniting the Future, a series of conversations on how the Cuyahoga River fire and its aftermath set the stage for the modern environmental movement.
January 27-30, 2019
This annual event will attract nearly 800 biologists, students, and scientists from local, state and provincial, federal, and tribal natural resources agencies, universities, and private companies across the 12 Midwestern states and provinces. The theme of the meeting is "Communicating Science to Fan the Flames of Conservation."
February 1, 2019
Brown bag lunch lecture featuring landscape architect Halina Steiner and Jane Goodman, Director of Cuyahoga River Restoration, discussing opportunities for expanding fish habitat in the Cuyahoga ship channel in ways that also enhance the riverfront landscape for people.
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.
February 28, 2019
A narrative history by Professor David Bernatowicz of how Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River helped spark an environmental revolution in America.
March 1, 2019 (7:00-9:00pm)
How was the Cuyahoga River transformed from a health hazard to the centerpiece of a national park? A panel of experts piece together the 100-year story within Cuyahoga Valley using historic photos, archival documents, and personal memories. Come join the discussion. Moderated by the League of Women Voters Akron Area. Supported by West Creek Conservancy, Xtinguish Celebration, Ohio Humanities and Cleveland Humanities Festival.
March 15, 2019 (8:30-10:00am)
WATER is this month’s CreativeMornings theme, and Cleveland's Chapter of the Global Breakfast Lecture Series is ready with a great talk. Through the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, Lukas Kronawitter is collaborating with The Cleveland Institute of Art Biomimicry professor Doug Paige to advance the concept of “Green Bulkheads”. These allow for healthy living ecosystems to exist in waterways used for industrial transport.
March 16, 2019 (10:00am-4:00pm)
Join us as we put our heads together to solve some of Lake Erie's greatest problems through innovation and technology. Erie Hack teams come together to recruit new team members, get advice from experts, and hone their pitches in prep for Erie Hack, our 100k pitch competition.
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.
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 20-21, 2019
The Environmental Science and Design Symposium is a multidisciplinary forum that promotes the exchange of ideas related to the resiliency of natural and built systems. This year’s theme, “Complexity of Environmental Legacies”, reflects the challenges of developing sustainable systems in landscapes transformed by decades of modification and contamination. Speakers from a wide range of disciplines (fashion, geology, geography, architecture, and ecology) will address topics related to urban, sustainability, restoration, and the integration of design with biological systems.
March 22, 2019 (12:00-1:30pm)
While two African-American men (Mayor Carl Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes) played a role in the advent of the modern environmental movement, since that time, communities of color have received little visibility in the mainstream movement's progression while being disproportionately affected by environmental risks including soil and water contamination, pollution, and lead poisoning.
How did we get here? What's being done to make environmental policies become more inclusive? How can the environmental movement become reflective of the people its fighting for?
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 23, 2019 (12:00-4:00pm)
We are "Leaving No One Behind" as we travel the blue planet in this annual family-friendly fest. Grab your passport and explore why our human right to clean water matters worldwide. Try traditional crafts, listen to folk music, and enjoy ethnic food tastings. Free wagon rides and parking shuttle provided. In partnership with Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and West Creek Conservancy.
March 27-April 7, 2019
April 2, 2019 (9-11am)
Drinking and waste water agencies experience two trends: retirement of managers from the “baby boomer” generation; and “smart” technology innovation that is changing operations. What are the strategies in place to manage “smart” water systems in a “smart” way to ensure best management practices? Regional experts explore these issues.
April 2, 2019 (5:00-7:30pm)
Author of the acclaimed The Soil Will Save Us, Kristin combines culinary and science in a tale of farmers and foodies who heal our soil and save our water. Includes riveting short films about family farmers, vintners and ranchers as part of Carbon Nation, the award-winning series by director and University of Arizona professor Peter Byck.
Following Kristin’s talk, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Peter Bode from the West Creek Conservancy. The panelists include: Justin Husher (Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District), Steven Larson (Urban Farmer), Nathan Lutz (Rust Belt Riders).
April 6, 2019 (1:00-5:00pm)
Come hear local innovators pitch their ideas to solve Lake Erie's most pressing problems! Cleveland Erie Hack teams will compete for a chance to advance in the competition to win a portion of 100k during the Cuyahoga50 celebration week.
April 10, 2019 (5:30-8:00pm)
Join Sustainable Cleveland 2019 for its Spring Meetup at the Great Lakes Brewing Company's Tasting Room! This will be a great opportunity to network with other sustainability leaders, support the culmination of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, and connect with Cuyahoga50 to mark the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire.
This event is FREE and open to anyone interested in sustainability in Cleveland. There will be a cash bar and complimentary light snacks.
April 17, 2019 (12:00-2:30pm)
Cleveland’s environmental history is a story worth telling, for while it’s had trials, the community has triumphed over environmental injustices. The Cuyahoga River is much healthier than fifty years ago. Parks have reclaimed abandoned, polluted land. But there’s still a lot of work for the community to do to revitalize the city. This event will help law students and attorneys engage with issues of environmental injustice throughout Cleveland and beyond.
April 20, 2019 (10:00am-5:00pm)
Don’t miss Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s exciting Earth Day event, Party for the Planet! Visit Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Saturday, April 20 beginning at 10 a.m. for a daylong conservation celebration. Meet animal keepers, view animal enrichment demonstrations, check out the vendor village and electric vehicle display, enjoy a dance party and experience hands-on activities to help connect with the natural world.
April 23, 2019 (2-4pm)
Think the 1969 fire was the only one? With the Crooked River Contrasts exhibit as a backdrop, learn the fascinating history of fifteen major fires along the Cuyahoga River, and the battles to extinguish the misconceptions about the river. You’ll also learn more about the wonderful new Fire Museum, all from Paul Nelson, Western Reserve Fire Museum Historian.
This event is sponsored by Xtinguish Celebration, West Creek Conservancy and Ohio Humanities.
On and Around April 26, 2019
A number of partners are hosting Arbor Day events on and around April 26th, from sapling giveaways and tree plantings to info sessions and a Toast to Trees. Join us as we celebrate trees and their vital role in cleaning our water.
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.
April 29 - May 10
The Yellow Creek Foundation’s mission is to advocate, to protect and to restore water quality, habitats and the beauty of the Yellow Creek Watershed. They are partnering on a series of events, including a Pest to Pesto at D'Agnese's on White Pond (begins April 29), a presentation at the Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability to mark the 50th (May 8), and a benefit concert at Musica in Akron (May 10).
May 2, 2019 (6:00-8:00pm)
An event showcasing work submitted by Tri-C students in recognition of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire. Student submissions will interpret a sustainability-related change (or metamorphosis) meaningful to them — something environmental, social and/or economic. Submissions may call attention to positive or negative changes.
May 6-8, 2019
The Council of the Great Lakes Region’s (CGLR) fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum brings together hundreds of leading industry executives, senior government officials and policy experts, academics, and change agents from the nonprofit sector who have a stake in growing the economy of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region, safely and sustainably, and improving the well-being of the Region’s citizens.
May 7, 2019 (4pm)
The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting is “An Environment for Success,” representing the collective effort by the foundation and its many committed donors and partners to set the stage for success and opportunity in the arts, our economy, through our schools, in our neighborhoods and in the physical environment we call home. The meeting will feature a keynote lecture by Bill Nye. Perhaps best known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, he is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society and help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.
May 11, 2019 (10:00am-4:00pm)
Take a free, guided tour of a water treatment plant and enjoy family-friendly activities at Cleveland Water's annual open house in celebration of Drinking Water Week. This event is a fun and educational opportunity to learn how water gets from Lake Erie to your home.
May 11, 2019
Join us for Northeast Ohio's largest "done in a day" clean-up of the Cuyahoga River corridor. We clean up to help bring awareness to areas that will one day become a future trail and/or park. There are 10 clean-up sites so you can decide on the most convenient location. Gloves, bags and a signature frog art RiverSweep tee will be provided. Stay after the clean-up for the free celebratory luncheon at Hart Crane Park.