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Cleveland is in the news.

I grew up in Akron, Ohio and Cleveland has changed a lot since I was a kid.

A world-class arts and culture scene

Today, visitors to Cleveland will find a vibrant culture scene in opulent vaudeville-style theaters and former industrial factories as well as in off-the-beaten path colorful neighborhoods.

Cleveland Museum of Art Digital Collection Wall (c) Cody York for

The city boasts one of the nation’s most concentrated square miles of arts and culture, just four miles from the heart of Downtown Cleveland. Outside of that, unique venues offer visitors cultural experiences that often don’t cost a thing.

Here are just a few of the venues and experiences that make Cleveland’s art and culture scene accessible and worth exploring:

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art

  • is one of the only nationally recognized art museums to offer free admission to its permanent collection, which features more than 45,000 pieces of art from artists like Dali, Monet and Warhol.
Cleveland-Museum-of-Art. Photo by Larry E Highbaugh Jr.

Cleveland-Museum-of-Art. Photo by Larry E Highbaugh Jr.

  • In 2012, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

    opened a new, $27 million facility containing an ever-changing collection of modern art exhibits. The latest exhibit “Myopia” by Mark Mothersbaugh encompasses a unique combination of cultural criticism and personal expression through drawings, films, paintings, sculpture and music.

    Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art-. Photo credit:

    Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art-. Photo credit:


  • Cleveland’s art scene does not stop at museums. Independent artists showcase their work at venues like the historic Transformer Station in Hingetown, which is located in a 1924 railroad substation. Inside the 3,500 square foot gallery space you’ll find contemporary photography exhibitions, media installations and risk-taking abstract exhibits, like color plates featuring painted cartoon characters and installations investigating the subconscious – all free of charge.
  • The Cleveland Orchestra

    In addition to its standard repertoire,  the orchestra incorporates innovative, unusual programming, like hosting happy hour-style concerts on select Fridays, playing movie scores in conjunction with a live film, performing mini residencies within Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods and partnering with ballets, operas and other national artists.

    Broadway shows, concerts, ballets and comedy events.

    At the Playhouse Squarethe country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City, encompassing ten performance venues in a one-block radius. It is the world’s largest theater renovation project and features 1,000 performances annually.