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Archives by Year: 2019

Fall 2019 Updates at CAL

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) has had a busy and rewarding fall season! Since August, CAL has offered over 1,200 performances, workshops, and residencies in schools across Northeast Ohio. Over 100 of those programs were Pre-K workshops designed by CAL teaching artists and CAL’s pre-kindergarten program CAL Sprouts, which now features four art forms for educational partners to choose from: Digital, Musical, Dancing, and the newest addition Illustrative. CAL resident teaching artists and roster teaching artists have also provided in-school arts-integrated programming to youth across all grade bands. CAL introduced a new program entitled Blowing Off STEAM, a six-week visual and digital arts residency, that began with an interactive performance. Showcasing real and fictional emotional situations through the eyes of the artists, the performance allowed students to see the impact of such situations and have the opportunity to reflect and ask questions. Students worked with teaching artists in weekly workshops on recording arts and podcasting to expand upon the ideas of managing conflict and self-regulation through the creation of digital arts projects.

In addition to in-school programs, CAL has offered a variety of out-of-school time programs. Twice a week 30 students from Mary Bethune School and Stonebrook Montessori participate in visual and performing arts programming at Studio 105 @ the Glenville Arts Campus. CAL’s STEAM Saturdays: She Creates program, for middle school girls to learn about STEM subjects through the arts, featured filmmaking. By taking ownership of their learning through script writing, lighting, on- and off-camera interviewing, participants in the fall session had fun and gained experience to be able to pursue careers in the creative technology field. CAL also received a competitive grant award from the American Express STEM + Arts Integration Initiative for Level Up! Intended for middle-school youth, this year-round afterschool program empowers youth to understand and to take charge of their world. A professional game designer leads 25 students from Mary Bethune and Citizens Leadership Academy twice a week through activities about interactive media, game design principles, and active play to teach students how to become creators of video games.

CAL has also launched music lessons spurred by the generous donations of musical instruments from across Northeast Ohio. Play It Forward, a program in partnership with other Cleveland organizations, including Arts Cleveland, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the City of Cleveland has allowed CAL to offer free music lessons to youth who have minimal music instruction in their schools. Youth take lessons in guitar and trombone at the Cudell and Glenville Recreation Centers twice a week.

In order to provide more in-depth learning to ArtWorks apprentices, the ArtWorks job training program is now offered in one yearlong afterschool session for 40 students that takes place through the Fall and Spring. Students in Visual Arts, Spoken Word/Poetry, Hip Hop/Krump, and Fashion Design co-ops, or groups, are all learning or improving techniques in the arts while also learning job skills such as interviewing, resume-building, and time management. To stay appraised of the latest in ArtWorks, check out the blog.

CAL has also had some exciting updates within the organization. Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski was recognized as a 2019 Woman of Note by Crain’s Cleveland and the 2019 Women Living STEM Award from STEM Ecosystems and TIES. We are also pleased to announce the addition of 3 new members to the Board of Directors: Jamil Sanders of Sequoia Financial Group, Jennifer Goings Smith of Eaton, and Ciera Parish of Jones Day. Plus, CAL is now a proud partner with OAC, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, OhioDance, and VSA Ohio for the development of the Ohio Teaching Artist Roster. Learn more about this exciting initiative here.

We wish all of our friends, supporters, and partners a happy and healthy holiday season!

CAL partners to develop and launch Ohio Teaching Artist Roster

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) and its arts and education partners across the state have developed and launched the Ohio Teaching Artist Roster with a new online search tool to help connect communities with well-qualified teaching artists across the state of Ohio. Available on the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) website, the Ohio Teaching Artist Roster is designed for use by the public, particularly educators, to assist in identifying teaching artists who can lead high-quality, arts-integrated creative opportunities that are aligned with academic content standards. Teaching artists are professional artists who are also trained in improving student outcomes through arts education.

CAL has partnered with the OAC, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, OhioDance, and VSA Ohio to develop the Ohio Teaching Artist Roster. These partner organizations share administrative maintenance responsibilities and manage the roster and related professional development opportunities.

“We are grateful to have worked with our fellow arts and education organizations on this unique partnership,”
said Marsha Dobrzynski, CAL’s Executive Director. “Being able to maximize our collective expertise throughout this collaboration has allowed us to define the role of teaching artist at the state level. These newly established guidelines and qualifications help ensure access to high quality arts education to children across Ohio.”

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NEA Big Read Cleveland announces public programming

The county-wide celebration of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine kicks off 1/23

(Cleveland, OH—January 16, 2019) The NEA Big Read Cleveland announced today its public programming around its celebration of Citizen: An American Lyric, beginning with a free public keynote event featuring the book’s author, Claudia Rankine, on Wednesday, January 23 from 7-8:30pm at Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Parma Snow Branch (2121 Snow Rd, Parma, OH 44134). Managed in Cleveland by the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL), the NEA Big Read is a nation-wide community reading program that broadens our understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves through sharing a good book.

One of 75 communities nationwide participating in the 2019 NEA Big Read, Cleveland‘s celebration of Citizen includes 50+ events hosted by more than 30 partners throughout Cuyahoga County between January 23 and March 2019.

Attendees of January 23 kickoff will be treated to a conversation between Rankine and Ohio Poet Laureate Dave Lucas, an original poem by CAL resident teaching artist, Kalim Hill, and a book signing. Attendees can reserve a seat to the kickoff here. Several area libraries will livestream the event, including Lakewood Library Main Branch and Heights Library Lee Road Branch.

In addition to the kickoff, the community can participate in Big Read through book discussions, writing and poetry workshops, film screenings, performances, and more. Find the full calendar of events at and check back frequently, as more events are still being added.

“We are thrilled that Claudia Rankine will be here to discuss her book as our programming gets underway,” said CAL Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski. “We can’t think of a better way to set the tone for the rest of our read, which aims to break down negative stereotypes while providing opportunities for meaningful self-reflection and productive discussion about the impact of racism and intolerance on our community.

“It is with great excitement that CAL has been able to partner with so many community organizations throughout Cuyahoga County to help our 2019 programming reach a much wider audience – in Cleveland and beyond.”

Though public programming continues through the end of March, a county-wide poetry slam on Saturday, March 9 will serve as the official culminating event. Presented by Lake Erie Ink and the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), the poetry slam will be held at 2:30pm in the CMA Auditorium. Open to Cuyahoga County youth in grades 7-12, up to 20 teens will compete during the three-round slam. Presented poems must be original works and inspired by Citizen.

In addition to public programming, CAL’s 2019 NEA Big Read grant award also supports in-school programming. Students from 24 participating schools will engage with Citizen through poetry or visual art workshops presented by CAL teaching artists that have been customized to complement the classroom work surrounding the reading of the book. Schools are also invited to attend the in-school kick-off – a second, school-only author event to be held on Thursday, January 24 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center.

Rankine’s participation during the 2019 NEA Big Read in Cleveland is supported by Ohio Humanities, Cuyahoga County Public Library, and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University.


For media inquiries, contact CAL Marketing Manager, Katie McCullough at For a calendar of events for the NEA Big Read in Cleveland visit

Community members can also participate in Cleveland’s NEA Big Read via social media by following #BigReadCLE or #CitizenCLE and by joining the conversation @CenterforArtsInspiredLearning on Facebook and @artsinspiredCAL on Twitter.

For more information about this announcement, please read the press release.