Cleveland may be infamous for the polluted Cuyahoga River catching fire back in 1969 (which wasn’t the first time), but from an inglorious past comes creative rejuvenation, especially now that the Great Recession is in the rearview mirror. During your next trip to Cleveland, explore these highlights of world-class arts and culture:
Start your day at the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, which (in their wise words) is more than Sally Ride and Amelia Earhart. Their collection includes photography, artifacts, and memorabilia from ladies like the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine, who was integral in the birth of aviation. The museum also honors the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female pilots established in 1929. Admission is free.
Right next door, the building that houses The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was originally designed by I.M. Pei and has recently undergone a multi-million dollar redesign. Along with that excitement comes a $26 admission fee, and although the Rock Hall is historically a boys club, wouldn’t it be cool to see Janis Joplin’s psychedelic 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet? Or Pepa’s super fabulous jacket from Salt-n-Pepa’s 1988 “Push It” video?
The Cleveland Museum of Art was a cultural landmark before the economy tanked and it’s still one of Cleveland’s must-sees. Their collection of over 30 Rodin sculptures is well worth seeking and they have a beautiful wing of American landscape paintings from the Hudson River School. If you’ve had enough of the traditional museum experience for one day, dig into the permanent collection via interactive technology at the new Gallery One. Admission is free.
The immensely talented Cleveland Orchestra has long been one of the country’s “big five” orchestras, right up there in virtuosity with the New York Philharmonic. Go see an evening performance at Severance Hall, which opened in 1931, or with the winter holidays coming up, get tickets to the Vienna Boys Choir or the Nutcracker.
What’s your favorite artistic attraction in Cleveland?