Media Center

Category Archives: Press

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.”

Read More ›

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning announces grand opening of its creative arts center in Glenville

Event serves as kickoff to new afterschool art clubs

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) will host a grand opening celebration at its new creative arts center for children and teens on Sunday, October 21, 2018 from 1 to 5pm. The public event invites community members to explore the organization’s second programming space, located at 1470 E. 105th Street in Cleveland, formerly the FRONT Porch.

Beginning with a ribbon cutting at 1:30pm, the free event will feature a student art gallery, drumming workshops, hands-on arts activities, and refreshments. Throughout the afternoon, there will be performances by Kevin Conwell & the Footprints, Ray McNiece, Jewel Jackson and African Soul International, and Mama Fasi of the Fasi Cultural Experience. CAL will also unveil an interactive mural created by 3rd and 4th grade students from Patrick Henry Elementary School in Glenville. Using touch activated circuits, attendees will be able to learn about the community through the students’ own words. Additionally, members of the community will be invited to vote to help determine the new name for the community programming space.

“Over the years, we have witnessed not just the positive impact the arts have on children’s educational success, but also how valuable it is to children’s personal growth – helping cultivate critical thinkers, confident collaborators, and dedicated citizens,” said CAL Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski. “This was a key motivator for us to open a community arts space in the Glenville neighborhood and expand the arts programming we are able to offer children and teens in our community.”

The event will serve as a kickoff to CAL’s new Makers and Mentors Art Clubs which begin the following day. The free afterschool clubs are open to students in grades 3-12 and run Tuesdays from 3 to 5pm for elementary students, Mondays-Thursday from 3 to 5pm for middle school students, and Thursdays from 4 to 6pm for high school students. A main goal of this kickoff is to give potential art club members (Makers) and their families the opportunity to interact with the club teaching artists (Mentors) who will be on hand at the event. Students will experience the types of art they would create as art club members and will be able register for the clubs on site.

“Our afterschool clubs were designed to support and mentor students through the arts,” continues Dobrzynski. “We look forward to engaging with families at the kickoff event so they can be confident that our clubs provide their children a safe place to create and express themselves, have fun, and just be kids!”

To learn about programming on E. 105th Street or to enroll in a club, visit

For complete event details visit

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning announces the launch of STEAM Saturdays

FREE technology, engineering, and media arts workshops in University Circle.

(Cleveland, OH—September 25, 2017) Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) announces STEAM Saturdays—FREE hands-on STEAM workshops for middle and high school students. The pilot program will be the first on-site programming offered in its new headquarters in University Circle. The 3-hour workshops were designed to emphasize the arts and individualized creative thinking within traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) subject matter, helping participants gain experience through active participation while building on skills learned the previous week. Read More ›


City of Cleveland will come together to read and celebrate Station Eleven

(Cleveland, OH—August 23, 2017) Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL) will launch its NEA Big Read program celebrating Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel with a public kick-off on September 23, 2017 from 10am – 12pm at the Cleveland Public Library’s Carnegie West Branch. The NEA Big Read in Cleveland is presented in partnership with Cleveland Public Library, Great Lakes Theater, Lake Erie Ink, and Literary Cleveland.

Highlights of the kick-off event include live music performed by In2ative, an overview of public programming, and a reading from the novel. Attendees of the event will also have a chance to explore CAL’s interpretation of the book’s Museum of Civilization.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to once again partner with the NEA to bring the Big Read to Cleveland and help highlight the importance of literacy in our city,” said CAL Executive Director Marsha Dobrzynski. “Set in the Great Lakes region and filled with artistic themes – theater, classical music, and a graphic novel that gives the book its name – Station Eleven aligns well with CAL’s mission to ignite student learning, creativity, and success through the arts, making it the perfect choice for our read. We look forward to sharing this book and our programming with the entire community.”

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. One of 75 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read this year, Cleveland will host its celebration of Station Eleven from September 23 – November 16, 2017. The full calendar of events includes book discussions, creative writing workshops, and graphic novel workshops – for both adults and teens – hosted by Lake Erie Ink and Literary Cleveland at local Cleveland Public Library branches, plus several other locations including Loganberry Books and Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern.

In addition to the public programming, CAL’s NEA Big Read grant also supports in-school programming, through which Great Lakes Theater will engage over 400 high school students in week-long Shakespeare residencies at Facing History New Tech High School and Garrett Morgan School of Science High School. Both schools will hold in-school kick-off events for their students. Facing History’s in-school kick-off is scheduled for August 30.

Details about the kick-off or other Big Read events can be found on our Big Read event page or by contacting CAL’s Special Projects Manager Megan Thompson at

For more information, please see the full announcement in the press release.


Teen arts-based jobs training program has hired over 1,000 students for unique, inspiring experience

Free performance & CELEBRATION

Tuesday, AUG 4, 6pm at TRI-C METRO CAMPUS

Main Stage Theater, 2900 Community College Ave, CLE, OH 44115

Cleveland, OH (July 31, 2015)—Center for Arts-Inspired Learning’s student apprenticeship program uses the arts to prepare students for 21st-century success.

On their first day of work as ArtWorks apprentices, new students enter a room filled with strangers, artists, and goals—learn to work with other students from across Northeast Ohio to create new art. On the last day they leave inspired to pursue bold ambitions.

ArtWorks has employed 1,313 high school students from 69 Northeast Ohio schools in paid, arts-based apprenticeships that develop artistic expertise and cultivate core competences. By equipping students from diverse backgrounds with skills that are vital to educational and professional success—ingenuity, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, responsibility, project planning and management, communication, collaboration, and leadership—the program prepares for success in the 21st-century classroom and beyond.

Now in its 10th year, ArtWorks has grown in response to demand. Started by Marsha Dobrzynski and Deborah Ratner in 2005, the program began as a two-week pilot serving 50 teens under a tent in Shaker Square. It has expanded into a year-round program that engages a dozen partners in serving over 200 youth each year. Recent co-op offerings include dance, fashion design, recording arts, digital game design, photography, performance poetry, animation, and film.

Apprentices develop self-confidence through a variety of challenges, completing service-based projects, and hosting performances. Students participate in workshops with community partners focusing on financial literacy, resume writing, interviewing skills, and college admissions and financial aid processes. Presentations by guest speakers increase awareness of career opportunities and ways in which skills developed through arts education are valuable in a variety of professional settings. Apprentices leave the program with portfolios to use when applying for educational and employment opportunities—and ready to see a future of opportunity.

About the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education.  Organized in 1953, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is the only multi-arts resource for schools and communities in the region  whose primary purpose is to make learning through the arts an essential part of young people’s education. Programs take place in public, private, and parochial schools as well as libraries, hospitals and other civic spaces, reaching nearly 220,000 young people each year. For more information visit


Actor Matthew Lillard, Director Stephen Belber in Cleveland for Film Screening of MATCH—to Benefit Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

Film’s actor and writer/director will join producer Matt Ratner for a Q+A following screening on January 31

Cleveland, OH (January 13, 2015)—Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) welcomes a special screening of Match, a new film based on the Tony-nominated play of the same name, on Saturday, January 31 at 4pm at Cleveland’s Cedar Lee Theatre. An in-person Q+A will immediately follow the screening with actor Matthew Lillard, writer/director Stephen Belber, and producer and Shaker Heights native Matt Ratner. Proceeds from this screening will benefit Center for Arts-Inspired Learning’s mission to integrate arts into the education of Northeast Ohio students.   

The film, which debuted this spring at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, stars Lillard, Patrick Stewart, and Carla Gugino. Stewart plays Tobi Powell, a beloved and aging Juilliard dance professor now leading a semi-hermitic life. As he is interviewed by a woman and her husband (Gugino and Lillard) for a dissertation on the history of dance in 1960s New York, it becomes increasingly clear that there are ulterior motives to the couple’s visit. Tribeca said “director Stephen Belber weaves effortlessly between riotous wit and delicate poignancy, unraveling the story of three people forced to confront ideas of responsibility, artistic commitment, and love.” The film will be released nationally on January 14, 2015.

Tickets for this benefit screening are $20 and are available online at

Produced by David Permut, Matt Ratner, and Rick Rosenthal

Written by Stephen Belber

Starring Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, and Matthew Lillard

Cinematography Luke Geissbuhler; Edited by Madeleine Gavin

Production by Permut Presentations, Sentinel Pictures, Tilted Windmill Productions, and Whitewater Films

Distributed by IFC Films

About Writer/Director Stephen Belber

Stephen Belber is an American playwright, screenwriter, and film director. He was born in Washington, D.C., attended Trinity College in Connecticut and the playwriting program at The Julliard School. Amongst his award-winning theater credits, Belber also wrote the screenplay for the 2001 film adaptation of his play, Tape, directed by Richard Linklater. Belber made his Broadway debut in 2004 with his play Match. He also directed the feature film, Management (2008), starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn.

About Actor Matthew Lillard

Matthew Lillard is an American actor, film director, and producer. He was born in Lansing, MI and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is known for roles in the films Serial Mom, Hackers, Scream, She’s All That, The Descendants, and Trouble with the Curve. Lilliard has also founded various theater groups.

About Producer Matt Ratner

Shaker Heights native Matt Ratner is an American producer. His other Producer credits include War Story (2014) with Catherine Keener and Ben Kingsley, and the 2015 releases Still Punching the Clown with Henry Phillips and J.K. Simmons and Band of Robbers with Kyle Gallner and Hannibal Buress, and Executive Producer of Manson Family Vacation (2015) starring Jay Duplass.

About the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio) enriches the lives of children and promotes creative learning by uniting arts and education. Organized in 1953, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning is the only multi-arts resource for schools and communities in the region  whose primary purpose is to make learning through the arts an essential part of young people’s education. Programs take place in public, private and parochial schools as well as libraries, hospitals and other civic spaces, reaching nearly 220,000 young people each year. For more information visit  ###

High School Students Design and Merchandise Original Fashions

Owner of Shaker Square’s Cosmic Bobbins mentors 10 ArtWorks Apprentices

Cleveland, OH (February 24, 2014)—10 students have created one-of-a-kind totes worthy of Manhattan’s boutique shops. They’ve learned the fundamentals of hand-sewing, reverse applique, and machine applique. They’ve analyzed market trends and spearheaded their own merchandising strategies. And did we mention that they’re all in high-school? Read More ›

Basheer Jones to Inspire Cleveland High School Students

Motivational Speaker, Writer and Community Activist to Encourage Creative ArtWorks Teens

Jennifer Abelson
Director of Marketing
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
(216) 561-5005

Basheer Jones to Inspire Cleveland High School Students
Motivational Speaker, Writer and Community Activist to Encourage Creative ArtWorks Teens

WHO: Basheer Jones, one of the region’s most powerful and engaging voices in media and entertainment, and 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Cleveland students

WHAT: Basheer Jones will speak to 40 ArtWorks apprentices, encouraging them to take an active leadership role in their communities

WHEN: February 12, 2014 from 4:30-7 PM

WHERE: Halle Building (1228 Euclid Ave) Read More ›

Leading Arts Education Organization Changes Its Name to Reflect Six Decades of Evolution.

Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio is now the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning; Mission Continues to Enrich the Lives of Children and Promote Creative Learning by Uniting Arts and Education

logoCleveland, OH (September 30, 2013)—In reaching its 60th year of service to the region, Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio announces a change to its identity, renaming the organization the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning to better reflect its mission, its programs today, and the services that it will provide to the region in the future. Read More ›