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Call for Artists: Joy Mural



The Lau family of Cleveland Heights is looking for an artist to provide a face lift for the Joy mural at the corner of Silsby and Lee Roads (shown here in black and white).  This mural has been a fixture at this location since the early 1970s.  The mural was initially installed as part of a design competition held by the Citizens for Cedar Lee.  They would love to see it refreshed and shared with the community for years to come.


The southeast corner of Silsby and Lee roads in Cleveland Heights.


The Lau family is hoping to have the project completed in the summer of 2016, to coincide with the streetscape improvements currently underway in the Cedar/Lee business district.

About the Mural Designer

Betty Lau was a lifelong resident of Cleveland Heights and the Cedar/Lee area specifically.  Her passion for art influenced and guided her throughout life.  From classes at CIA and CMA to her most recent involvement with Plein air painting was always present and persistent.

Contact Michael Lau if you have an interest.  Call 216-401-4671, or email mmblau@outlook.com.

Actor, Critic, Playwright, Poet: Cleveland Heights’ Next Poet Laureate

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Kathleen Cerveny, Heights Writes Committee

Christine Howey poet laureate“No matter where you go in Cleveland Heights you see people you know or want to know.” So says Christine Howey, the incoming (2016-18) poet laureate of Cleveland Heights. I met with Christine at Stone Oven – one of those places in the city where everyone meets everyone else, to get her perspective on the unique office she was about to occupy. Amid comments extolling the virtues of the Heights, including its diversity, Christine noted that very few cities have their own poet laureate; “How cool is that!”

Christine grew up and has lived most of her life in Cleveland Heights. She was a director and stage actor at Dobama Theatre for many years, and is the theater critic for Scene Magazine. She was named Best Critic in Ohio by the Cleveland Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. Christine is a playwright and her one-woman play, Exact Change, is a poetry-rich narrative which received its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theater in 2014 and which she performed last year at Playhouse Square, the New York Fringe Festival, in Provincetown and other places in the Northeast Ohio region.

In addition to her performance resume, Christine’s poetry has been widely published by Pudding House and Kattywompus Press and in numerous anthologies. She has written articles for The Daily Beast, Northern Ohio Live, The Plain Dealer and other publications.

Christine identifies herself as a performance poet. Not a ‘slam’ poet, although she has performed successfully in that genre, but one who actively pursues the drama and uses dramatic devices in reading her work. As an actor, she is very interested in how speaking poetry “creates a new way to access the words and helps people think in a different way.” In fact, her project as poet laureate will be to offer workshops to help people learn and practice speaking their work. She will welcome writers of all levels of accomplishment and is particularly interested in creating intergenerational workshops where youth and older citizens can learn and share together.

As she begins her term of office this April (National Poetry Month), Christine will be directing two one act plays she imported from the New York Fringe Festival, at Blank Canvas Theater, in the 78th Street Studios building on Cleveland’s west side. She will be formally introduced to the Cleveland Heights community at the City Council meeting, 7:00 PM April 18.


Kathleen Cerveny was the 2013-14 Cleveland Heights poet laureate. She is recently retired from the Cleveland Foundation where she was the Director of Arts Initiatives for 25 years. She lives in the “Royal Heights” neighborhood of Cleveland Heights.

Appreciating Tommy

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Greg Donley, Heights Arts Board President

Tommy Fello, annual pancake breakfastFor 14 years starting in 2001, Tommy’s Restaurant on Coventry Road hosted a New Year’s Day pancake breakfast as a fundraiser for Heights Arts. Owner Tommy Fello donated all the ingredients as well as his own time, and a core of his restaurant staff would come in and provide a foundation of competence around which an army of enthusiastic but not necessarily experienced volunteers would chaotically swirl. This year Tommy and his crew will get to spend New Year’s Day at home with their families, as Heights Arts and Fello quietly decided last year that the 2015 breakfast would be the final edition.

With great fondness and appreciation for Tommy and his extraordinary contribution to our little organization, the staff and board of Heights Arts wishes everyone who ever attended a Tommy’s New Year’s Pancake Breakfast a happy, prosperous, and creative new year. And to Tommy Fello and the terrific staff of Tommy’s Restaurant, a heartfelt thank-you!