University Circle: Creating a Sense of Place
University Circle: Creating a Sense of Place
A legacy film on the history, public art and architecture of University Circle with 80 community participants.
A legacy film on the history, public art and architecture of University Circle with 80 community participants. Read more
About this project
Cleveland Ohio is moving forward!
Its cultural resources are unparalleled anywhere based on its magnificent cultural resources developed by visionary industrialists over the last 150 years.
And now it is your opportunity to get involved in helping us to reach our goal of completing our project, Creating A Sense of Place: University Circle – Where the Arts Have created a Life-Enhancing Environment.
The project began three years ago and will be completed by the end of this year. It is a legacy film on the history, public art and architecture of University Circle. University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio is the core of Cleveland’s powerful history and embodies the civic dream of Cleveland’s industrialists who lived there and envisioned and endowed its institutions. One could say that Cleveland’s wealth created the community that created the arts that contributed to a life-enhancing environment. The individual institutions are well known and include the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Individually they have impressive programs. The one-mile radius includes Case Western Reserve University and Wade Park Oval.
This project captures what has never been organized and put in a form that could be used and would be attractive and useful to the natural audiences: 13,000 High School and college students who study in the area, 37,000 institutional employees and 3,000,000 visitors annually. Nowhere can they learn who owned the land, designed the landscape, set the cultural scale and scope, commissioned the architecture or created the public artwork. There are, in addition to dozens of buildings designed by iconic architects and more than 50 works of public art.
Project Director and Executive Producer Nina Freedlander Gibans and Videographer and Director Jesse Epstein have involved some 80 participants in telling the stories pertinent to understanding this unique area: Hunter Morrison, former planning director for the City of Cleveland, now Executive Director, North East Ohio Sustainable Communities Coalition, helped from the beginning to craft the narrative, and implement the idea. He and Dee Perry, Senior Host/Producer WCPN/WVIZ ideastream have narrated the 80 minute film.
The importance of the project is that there were no single sources that had pulled this information together before. In another generation much of the information would have scattered or disappeared. Primary voices including naturalists, historians, writers/authors, architects, original families, long-time residents from Judson and Magnolia Dr, grandchildren, philanthropists, staff, faculties and finally High School and University students have all become part of the project to date.
In the researching of this project we used every city and institutional library and are honored to be able to share that history with the public. When finished, The Dept of Public History and Digital Humanities at Cleveland State University will archive the entire work for the community. The complete work will be 18 hours in length and can be accessed by Internet to a link to Cleveland State University. There they will be able to choose the portions they wish to hear or download.
As we began this project almost no one knew a lot of the history we are exploring. There has been an incredible amount of community and public/private support to date including in-kind contributions. The completed project will include: links to institutions and pertinent Internet information, a bibliography and teachable moments for classrooms. It will be available in a digital format for downloads and DVD’s of the full film will be available for purchase in University Circle organizations and at local bookstores.
The total project budget is $67,000 and we have already secured half of the necessary funds to complete the project. We are now asking YOU to join in this community project by helping us raise the $35,000 to complete the funding for the project.
The budget is bare bones. Films of this nature and breadth usually cost at least twice this amount. We will have three half-hour segments for television, and all 18 hours in archival form for public access. We have tracked all of the photographs, organized the material for the video, 2 walking tours with architects and a special 7-10 minute version for uses at University Circle Inc. Editing is the main cost—time and expertise and final preparation in all of these forms and uses. Any additional revenue will be used to create the guidebook based on this work that is of interest to two presses.
If you have questions about tax deductions please contact the project creator directly via the "send" button next to the creator's name at the top of the project page.
It is possible to make a tax deductible pledge, but you must contact the project creator directly via the "send" button next to the creator's name at the top of the project page.
Yes. Draft sections were shown at the Baker Nord Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in April of this year. Those sections, plus a discussion with Nina, Jesse, and Chris Ronayne of University Circle Incorporated can be seen at
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