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Milestone Year for Parade the Circle

Like La Prensa, Cleveland’s signature cultural event of the year celebrates its 20 year


Expressions of art, dance and culture will be plentiful at Cleveland’s University Circle on Saturday, June 13, 2009, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. when the 20th annual Parade the Circle takes place. Presented by The Cleveland Museum of Art, Parade the Circle offers a welcoming atmosphere and place for all to express their love of the arts.


With no price for admission and appropriate for all ages, the public can visit and appreciate the vibrant culture that continues to thrive in Cleveland. At Noon, the parade will commence at the Cleveland Museum of Art and proceed in a counter-clockwise circle along Wade Oval Drive and East Boulevard. Visitors are also welcome to participate in many hands-on activities sponsored by University Circle organizations in University Circle Inc.’s Circle Village.


This year’s theme is Chiaroscuro: Beguiling the Penumbra. Chiaroscuro illuminates the myriad ways artists render contrasts of light and shadow in a creative work. Whether exploring light and shadow, the interplay of dissimilar elements or what exists in partial shadow, within chiaroscuro lies the penumbra, the area between light and shadow.


The penumbra also refers to that which cannot be defined as either real or fantasy; it is the area where dreams, daydreams, our muses and inspirations reside. One of the most difficult challenges an artist faces is to draw out the essence of an inspiration and develop it into a sculpture, painting, poem, dance, or parade ensemble. Each creative individual must "beguile the penumbra" in their own unique way.


As the Cleveland Museum of Art prepares to open its new East Wing galleries on June 27, the chiaroscuro of the East Wing's exterior, its dark and light stripes, can lead us to the penumbra within, and help us mine the artistic treasures within for inspiration.


A highlight of this year’s Parade the Circle is the return of several memorable pieces from years past. Returning works include: The Rhino (1990), Romare Bearden puppet (1996), Faith Ringgold puppet (1996), Spiral Man and Windmill puppet ensemble (1996), The Firebird costume (1997), Diva puppets (2000), Knight puppet (2004), and Quixotic Quiddity – The Quiddities (2007).


Guest artists from across the United States and Canada will be in attendance. Several guest artists from Trinidad and Tobago, including Veanne Bonas, Kelvin Keli Cadiz, Nkhruma Potts and Rudolph “Murphy” Winters join the U.S.-American artists in sharing their exquisite work and enviable talents with Parade participants and visitors.


Parade the Circle features a dazzling procession of entries and musical ensembles by international and local artists as well as local schools, community groups, families, and individual participants.  Parade focuses on artistic expression and creativity, featuring handmade masks, costumes, giant puppets and floats enlivened by dancers, stilt dancers and a variety of performers.  The entries do not include written words, logos, motorized vehicles or live animals, and may not propagandize political or religious view points. 


From its humble beginnings with only 125 participants and approximately 1,000 spectators in 1990, the annual Parade the Circle celebration has grown into an area-wide cultural event drawing tens of thousands of spectators and 2,000 parade participants.


Despite the increased interest over the years, the event has remained true to its original purpose of drawing on festival traditions from throughout the world to help people of all ages and backgrounds create unique costumes and floats side by side with professional artists.


For information on participating in the parade, contact the CMA Community Arts Department at 216-707-2483 or E-mail your inquiry to [email protected]


Parade the Circle is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and is presented through the support of the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Circle Village is organized by University Circle Inc. The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.


For more information on the museum, its holdings, programs, and events, call 1-888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.






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