Inside opulent vaudeville-style theaters, nestled within former industrial factories and tucked away in colorful neighborhoods, Cleveland’s world-class arts and culture scene emerges before visitors’ eyes. Whether admiring a modern masterpiece or tapping their toes to the beat, visitors will encounter boundless creativity and talent throughout their Cleveland experience.
State of the Art
Cleveland Museum of Art. Art aficionados can admire the nearly 45,000 items on display at the world-renowned and always free Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum brings classics to life with cutting-edge interactive technology that helps patrons engage with the expansive collection. A three-story-high atrium provides visitors with a space to reflect on their art immersion or enjoy a snack or meal from the museum’s locally curated café and restaurant, Provenance.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa). moCa showcases an ever-changing and free-to-all collection of exhibits, ranging from photos and sculpture to audio works and video productions. Designed by renowned British architect Farshid Moussavi, the four-story building rises 60 feet from a hexagonal base to a square top and is clad primarily in mirror-finish black stainless steel – reflecting its urban surroundings and changing in appearance with differences in light and weather.
Cleveland Institute of Art. Residing at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cinematheque is recognized as one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters, showing independent and foreign films as well as revived classics.
Indie Art. Independent artists showcase their work at venues like 78th Street Studios, SPACES gallery and the historic Transformer Station, which is located in a 1924 railroad substation. The Collinwood community’s Waterloo Arts District offers a half-mile stretch of indie music venues, art galleries and studios, including Azure Stained Glass Studio, BRICK Ceramics + Design Studio, Space: ROCK and show-stopping metal sculptures at Waterloo 7 Studio/Gallery.
Hitting the Right Note
Cleveland Orchestra. Under the direction of Franz Wesler-Möst, the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra offers pitch-perfect programs that hit the right note with visitors. The ensemble delights audiences at Severance Music Center, as well as across a variety of platforms through Adella, the Orchestra’s streaming service.
Severance Music Center. Severance has been home of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1931 and is known as one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world. The elegant Georgian exterior harmonizes with a combination of interior styles, including Art Deco, Egyptian Revival, Classicism and Modernism. The building received the Honor Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Cleveland POPS Orchestra. Founded in 1996, The Cleveland POPS Orchestra performs in different venues throughout Cleveland, taking on a variety of beloved composers and pop culture music icons, including John Williams, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin.
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra has been getting toes tapping in Northeast Ohio since 1984. The Orchestra promotes jazz in its historical and contemporary forms through concerts with gifted musicians, arrangers and composers.
Record Stores. Music connoisseurs can also peruse Cleveland’s wide variety of independent record stores. Visitors can sift through records spanning from new and old LPs at Hausfrau Record Shop, punk, metal and rock releases at My Mind’s Eye, heavy metal at Black Market Records, hip-hop, reggae and soul at Brittany's Record Shop and genres ranging from jazz to country and classic rock at Blue Arrow Records.
Taking Center Stage
Cleveland Play House. The Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House hails as America's first professional regional theater company and produces more than 500 performances each year.
Playhouse Square. Playhouse Square is the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City, encompassing ten stages in a one-block radius. It hosts more than 1,000 performances annually including Broadway shows, concerts, ballets and comedy events. The opulent theater district includes five historic venues restored to their grand 1920s splendor and a massive outdoor chandelier to guide visitors to the next performance.
Great Lakes Theater. Boasting alums like Tom Hanks and Arthur Lithgow, Great Lakes Theater is Cleveland’s classic theater company residing in Playhouse Square’s renovated Hanna Theatre.
Karamu House. Located on Cleveland’s east side, the Karamu House is the oldest African American producing theater in the nation with a rich history and distinguished alumni, including one-time Cleveland resident Langston Hughes.
Cleveland Public Theater. Cleveland Public Theatre in the Gordon Square Arts District is a local hub for progressive theater, modern dance and edgy opera submitted by both regional and national artists.