“Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!” – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene V
A public library has many roles and one of them has been described as being an incubator for the arts. This is the time of year when many of the arts are promoted. March 19 was National Quilting Day. April is National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month, and April 21 is National Poem in Your Pocket Day!
Traditionally, the Arts are divided into architecture, sculpture, painting, music, poetry, dance and theater/cinema, but have more broadly included textile arts, photography, graphic arts, crafts, etc. Shaker Library promotes all of the arts through its many art-related exhibits and programs. The Cavani String Quartet performance at Main Library in late January and the African-American Quilt exhibit in February are just two recent examples.
Perhaps the premiere Shaker Library art event is the Barbara Luton Art Competition, now in its 17th year. Submissions are juried and the best pieces receive awards with the Best of Show being purchased by the library and displayed for the community to enjoy for years to come. The 2016 gallery-opening reception and awards ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at Main Library. This year’s exhibit of local art will be available for viewing on the Main Library second floor through May 1.
The library’s art programs are not limited to adults either. For youth ages 8 to 11, we will offer 2D Video Game Design Classes from 4:15-6:15 p.m. every Wednesday, April 6 through May 11 and 3D Video Game Design classes for youth ages 12 – 15 in the Main Library’s second floor Training Lab from 4- 6 p.m. every Thursday, April 7 through May 12. Participants will be taught skills by experts from Funutation Tech Camps so that they can create their own 3D video games. The Teen Center will sponsor “5-Minute Poetry for Teens!” this month. This drop-in program will take place from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, through Thursday, April 28, and will include a unique experience each day.
Saturday afternoon, April 9 we will collaborate with Literary Cleveland when to offer Vital Signs, a poetry workshop with Susan Grimm. Friday, April 29, school-aged prize winners will be announced at the Poster and PoeTree Contest Awards Ceremony, co-sponsored with the City’s Advisory Board, at 4 p.m. at Main Library. And early next month, at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, May 6, Shaker Library will host Art Exposed VII with the Shaker Heights High School Art Department.
Of course, we also offer our ongoing Knit Night and Knit Morning programs, the new Coloring Club for Adults, and Poetry in the Woods,the longest running public library series of its type in Ohio! Even the Library Board is getting into one of the arts—architecture—as it continues working with HBM Architects to refine the renovation possibilities for both the Main Library and Bertram Woods Branch.
Check the Shaker Library website regularly for the dates and times of all our programs and events. While you are there, check out Billy the Bard on the Shakespeare Cam as he promotes the upcoming First Folio exhibit in June and July at Cleveland Public Library.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director