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Opportunity Knocks 

Calls To Artists Emphasize Connection To The City

Every time the county engineer's office opens the lower level of the Detroit Superior Bridge to walking tours, conversation ripples through the strolling crowd about how cool it would be if someone could think of something to do with that below-deck thoroughfare. (Until 1950, streetcars dove beneath the surface where Detroit Road widens near West 28th Street and came back up on the downtown side at West 9th.) When Cleveland Public Art was planning the bike-pedestrian lane that crosses the bridge, people noted that the subway would also offer a fine venue for public art. Bridges in Europe lined with small shops provide another inspiration.

Next year, the Ingenuity Festival is certain to stir the pot again when a portion of the arts-and-tech fest will be presented there. James Levin recently announced that Ingenuity 2009 will take place in two installments: the first on July 10-12 at PlayhouseSquare; the second, more than two months later, on the below-deck walkway of the Detroit-Superior bridge on September 26.

The announcement also comes with a call to artists. Those who like the idea of performing or exhibiting in a shadowy venue that simultaneously runs beneath the traffic and soars above the Cuyahoga are encouraged to submit proposals. A curatorial committee will select the artists, who must prominently feature technology in their projects. They will be eligible for funding from $1,000 to $20,000 to cover production costs and artists' fees. For information or an application, e-mail james@ingenuitycleveland.org.

Arts organizations often receive recognition for good works, but the Cleveland Orchestra knows that sometimes it's better to give. The orchestra is seeking nominations for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, in cooperation with the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the City of Cleveland. The award aims to recognize an adult, youth, business or organization that has impacted Cleveland in the spirit of Dr. King. It will be presented at the orchestra's annual MLK concert on January 18, 2009. In every category, the criteria include "involvement with music and the arts to promote greater understanding and acceptance." But that's in the context of much broader considerations, like "leadership in community-building, advocacy for educational excellence, accomplishments in furthering economic opportunity, promotion of social justice and achievements in organizational diversity and inclusion."

For a nomination form and other information, go to clevelandorchestra.com or call the orchestra's Department of Education and Community Programs at 216.231.7355. The deadline is Friday, December 19.

Since 1991, the Sculpture Center has annually chosen four to six Ohio sculptors for one-person exhibits in its Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist Series. The professional development opportunity offers not just gallery space for the show, but support too: The staff of the Sculpture Center works with artists on presentation and promotion, including a full-color brochure and artist's statement. Applications for the 2010 series are being accepted now through January 19, 2009. It's targeted at art-school graduates who are no more than 10 years into their careers and have some connection to Ohio. For guidelines or an application form, go to sculpturecenter.org.

mgill@clevescene.com

More by Michael Gill

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