IngenuityFest Once Again Brings Community, Kindness, Innovation, and Fun to Cleveland

One of a kind local festival draws on traditions of World's Fair and international expos

click to enlarge IngenuityFest Once Again Brings Community, Kindness, Innovation, and Fun to Cleveland
Emanuel Wallace / Scene

This weekend, IngenuityFest welcomed Clevelanders and tourists of all ages to explore its expo at Hamilton Collaborative in East Cleveland. Guests experienced four floors and an outdoor area  full of activities, music, artists, food, community resources and more.

“Drawing on the best traditions of World’s Fairs and (Inter)National Exhibitions, including the ability to highlight those scientific, technological, and social innovations that have driven progress, Expo: Ingenuity (ignites) the creative spark by tracing a history of imagination through time and place, bringing people together to uplift achievement and human ingenuity” IngenuityFest Cleveland wrote in its event description.

(Here's all the action our photographer, Manny Wallace, caught at IngenuityFest.)

Festival goers were greeted with positivity and kindness from all artists, entrepreneurs, and participants, creating a warm, welcoming environment where everyone could be themselves and have a wonderful time.

"The Cleveland art scene has some of the most welcoming and lovely people," Cleveland resident Jake Sudnick shared. "Not only did I feel inspired by the work they created but by the words I shared with them. Having conversations with so many people and hearing about their passions and efforts was amazing! In the world today, so many have lost space for community, but at IngenuityFest it was absolutely thriving and that’s pretty beautiful."

Artists and participants that were featured in this year's IngenuityFest included: handmade body products by Dark Raven Products, organic ceramics by Cold Eyed Creeps, handmade jewelry by KNRD, graphic designer Lacy Talley, poetry and digital art by Miltonimo, painter and artist TessaLeBaronArt, who was live painting at the festival, and more.

Musical performances representing varying genres accompanied the festival from start to finish. Six intimate, small stages produced raw and personal shows for everyone involved. The solo, vulnerable performance from The Katy, for instance, brought emotion and soul to all its listeners.

Creative interactive art installations were also featured within the festival, including a rock climbing wall and giant swings. Go carts, roller skating, and ring toss were just some of the additional fun activities available.

Aside from all the fun, festival goers were able to find important resources that are located within the Cleveland area, with organizations promoting services ranging from mental health to food insecurity. The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Cleveland Department of Public Health, Recess Cleveland, Food Strong, among others, were on hand.

Some artists used IngenuityFest as an opportunity to bring awareness to important issues within the Cleveland area and beyond. Paintings by artists associated with VoicesofCLE, which seeks to “challenge the systems that produce inequity,” were found upon entering the festival.

Ingenuity was founded in 2004 by James Levin and Thomas Mulready with the goal of showcasing "the wide range of cultural strengths in the Northeast Ohio region, while cultivating a new intersection between the arts and technology.” In 2013, Ingenuity became a year-round organization, providing important services, creativity, community, education, and economic development to the Cleveland area.

“Ingenuity is something unique to Cleveland that I always look forward to," said Makayla Brown, a Cleveland resident. "From the crafty interactive art installations, to the intimate local performers, it brings a sense of wonder and discovery for both adults and children. I’m already looking forward to exploring it again next year.”

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