Parade the Circle Kicks Off Summer as CMA Celebrates 100 Years

click to enlarge Parade the Circle 2015. Image by David Brichford, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Parade the Circle 2015. Image by David Brichford, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Ahead of today’s Public Birthday Celebration at the Cleveland Museum of Art, officially celebrating its 100th birthday, the museum announced extended hours for this week, as well as the launch of its new ArtLens 2.0 app. While the CMA Centennial celebration will last all year, the fun continues this weekend with the 27th annual Parade the Circle.

One of the signature events of the summer in Northeast Ohio, Parade the Circle includes floats, dancers, live music, stilt-walkers, giant puppets, colorful costumes, vibrant characters, handmade masks and much more. For more than a quarter of a century, Parade the Circle has signaled the arrival of summer in downtown Cleveland. With the Cleveland Museum of Art celebrating its centennial anniversary, this year’s Parade the Circle promises to be the biggest and best yet.

“Every year the question I’m most frequently asked is if this year’s parade will be the biggest and best ever,” Parade director Robin VanLear says. “While each year has its own unique challenges and rewards, I always find it hard to choose. But for me, the workshop tent this year is one of the most inspiring. When you walk through the tent, you move from one cultural expression to another, from Africa through India through South America and on to Cleveland. The breadth of creativity and individual expression is mesmerizing.”

VanLear has been the event’s artistic director throughout its 26-year history, and originally designed the event in 1990 in anticipation of the CMA’s 75th anniversary. Her impressive body of work has been recognized with Creative Workforce Fellowships in 2010 and 2014, the first Joseph Piggott award in 2002, the Ronald P. Bergman award from the Cleveland Arts Prize in 2001 and more. VanLear received her MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara. She works as a sculptor and performance artist with her own company, Art Acts, which she founded in 1978, before joining the CMA’s education department in 1989.

This year’s theme is “Temenos,” a term dating back to the Mycenaean Civilization. Greek scholars created the first temenos as a sacred place set aside for worshipping of the gods. Later, the term expanded to refer to any space set aside from ordinary use, available to anyone and designed to heighten personal reflection and enrich creative pursuits, like the Cleveland Museum of Art, of course.

Parade the Circle begins at noon this Saturday, June 11, but guests are invited to participate in interactive hands-on activities offered by local organizations in Circle Village, located in the field inside Wade Oval, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Circle Village offers tents filled with activities, entertainment, food, giveaways and more. Stop by to learn more about a wide variety of area nonprofits and community organizations, many of which are participating in the parade.

Additionally, the Cleveland Museum of Art announced that they will have extended hours this week, beginning with Tuesday’s Centennial Public Birthday Celebration. From today through Saturday, June 11, the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., as well as 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 12. The museum’s permanent collection galleries, Gallery One, café, restaurant and special exhibition, Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt will also remain open during these hours.

Today, Pharaoh is free to the public in honor of the museum’s birthday celebration (tickets are required). On all other days, tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and students (with ID), $9 for children ages 6 to 17 and free for children 5 and under. Museum members are free, and member guests are $9. Due to high popularity, this special exhibition may sell out, the CMA recommends purchasing tickets in advance through or 216-421-7340.

And speaking of CMA announcements, the museum has launched an enhanced version of its award-winning ArtLens app. ArtLens 2.0 offers more tools to enhance guests’ visits. Combining cutting-edge technology and innovative design with the CMA’s curatorial and interpretation teams’ wealth of scholarly content, the new and improved app offers the option for visitors to design individual tours, as well as tools to help better understand and appreciate the artwork with interactive, real-time maps. The new application allows the CMA to update information in real-time, allowing guests to access the most accurate, up to date information.

“The Cleveland Museum of Art has focused on enhancing the visitor experience through the development of cutting-edge technologies and on-site interpretive materials,” says CMA director William M. Griswold. “This latest development of ArtLens 2.0 helps our museum remain a global leader in delivering interpretive content and we will continue to generate new content, further enriching the visitor’s experience.”

For ArtLens 2.0, the CMA used feedback from its users to ensure enhanced usability, making it faster and more intuitive. The app’s download time has been reduced to just 30 seconds, and its file size has also been reduced, saving users both phone memory and data charges. The improved app now utilizes Bluetooth to seamlessly connect with Gallery One’s Collection Wall.

“ArtLens 2.0 is the backbone of the CMA’s digital strategy at the museum,” explains Jane Alexander, Chief Information Officer for the Cleveland Museum of Art. “It is focused on the visitor experience. It is adaptable to the different browsing styles of our visitors and effortlessly provides the information our visitors need. ArtLens was an amazing app and we have made it better utilizing the latest technology.”
ArtLens 2.0 may be used in the museum or from anywhere in the world.

“ArtLens 2.0 includes a reconceived map with galleries now grouped and color-coded by theme and a new layer of content at the gallery level that offers an overview for each space,” says Lori Wienke, Associate Director of Interpretation for the Cleveland Museum of Art. “These enhancements will allow visitors to more easily navigate the museum and to locate artworks that meet their particular interests, providing a more satisfying experience for both on-site and virtual visitors.”

ArtLens 2.0 is available now for free download on iPhones and iPads with iOS9 or higher or Android Devices (4.4+) from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

(Cleveland Museum of Art) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7340,

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