A performance by Cleveland Public Theater’s Student Theater Enrichment Program kicks off this year’s Arts in August festival, a month-long celebration of the arts.
Tremont’s Arts in August festival was born from humble beginnings. After holding its inaugural festival 20 years ago, which consisted of a single outdoor performance by the Ohio Ballet, the Arts in August festival has grown into a month-long, community-wide arts event. This year’s celebration is no different, as artists are eager to get back on stage after spending last summer in hibernation due to COVID-19.
This year’s festival in Lincoln Park begins Aug. 6 with a performance of the Cleveland Public Theater’s Student Theater Enrichment Program, a work program for students interested in theater. The group’s annual performance usually has about 50 students.
“They come to work at the Cleveland Public Theater every day and learn about the work of theater,” says Michelle Davis, arts coordinator in August. “They learn acting and plays, then they write their own play which they perform in different parts of the city.”
Next weekend will focus primarily on dance, with performances coming from the Verb Ballets on August 13 and the Inlet Dance Theater on August 14.
“We’ve been performing at Tremont for Arts in August for at least 15 years, so for us this is kind of a must-see appearance,” says Margaret Carlson, Artistic Director Producer of Verb Ballets. “It’s a very diverse neighborhood and we love going there every year.”
The final weekend kicks off August 27 with the Erie Heights Brass Band Ensemble, followed by local salsa band Papo Ruiz Y La Dulzura De La Salsa on August 28 and the Arts Renaissance Tremont: Cavani String Quartet on August 29.
Although there are no food options at the festival, patrons are encouraged to pack a picnic or source food from a nearby restaurant.
“At every performance, you watch people walk into the park and kiss like they haven’t seen each other in a while, but they’re all there to enjoy these artistic performances,” Davis says. “I just find it to be as accessible an experience as any in the city.”