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The Listening Project

Summer 2013 - Arts

Since The Listening Project began a dozen years ago, you’ve told us that Arts and Culture is the region’s top asset. However, it has been a couple years since The Listening Project focused on the subject in a survey. Since WCLV 104.9 formally joined the ideastream family, it seemed opportune to focus on it now, and provide the opportunity to share your thoughts on the subject.

One hundred and ninety two of you responded to this Listening Project about Arts and Culture – the survey began with questions about assets and challenges. Here are some of the highlights.

Question 1: What are the most pressing local challenges or problems for Northeast Ohio? Provide as many examples as you like.

“Education, housing and jobs.”

“Economy, widening income gap, racism, harsh judgments made about people different from oneself, insular thinking and living, lack of genuine cooperation.”

“Keeping the Arts and Culture alive in a stagnant economy; Keeping the arts pertinent in public schooling.”

“Economic inequalities and the associated lack of education and opportunities for those of low income.”

“We have the reputation of ‘the rust belt’ to overcome.”

“We need to protect our Lake and the rest of the Great Lakes from the depredations of commercial misuse.”

“The crummy weather has a lot to be desired here in Cleveland - winter lasts way too long and a recent report has shown that we experience more cloudy days than even those who live in Seattle.”

“Lack of faith, poor socio-economic conditions resulting from political corruption at all levels, which results in less funding for arts programs and less income to attend orchestra concerts.”

“Poverty and unemployment in the city of Cleveland, primarily, a weak educational experience for many Cleveland kids. Bringing people back to the city - for restaurants, entertainment, to live, to work.”

“The ‘Image’ problem of the Cleveland area (lack of pride in Cleveland and all it has to offer). The decline in home values.  Poor public schools in Cleveland, high drop-out rates.”

“Selfishness and a lack of compassion for others too often lead to disrespect and suspicion - this is true nationwide, not just here in NEO. This is one of the root causes for the socio-economic disparity between the haves and the have-nots. If a person feels the world is against them, they might lash out, or they might fall into despair and stop trying for a better life. This schema underlies many of the other problems that are more visible on the surface, including unemployment and crime.”

“Fresh water, Energy, Fracking, Environmental, Recreational opportunities, retaining youth as adults, infrastructure, airport (United Airlines), Cleveland viability as a prosperous community, manufacturing (what is left of it!), education.”

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”

Question 2: What are the best things about living in Northeast Ohio? Provide as many examples as you like.

“Great parks, great cultural art scene, low cost of living, minimal traffic jams, excellent restaurants, lots to do.”

“Variety of classical music (Cleveland Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, etc.).”

“Excellent arts and culture scene all around the area, multiple farmer’s markets, West Side Market, the Cleveland Orchestra, all our museums, Lake Erie, Ashtabula wine country, all the colleges and universities, great restaurants, the county metro parks, community festivals, and PlayhouseSquare.”

“The Cleveland Art Museum; the Cleveland Orchestra; Blossom Music Center; Playhouse Square; The Natural History Museum; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; our ethnic diversity represented by our churches and our restaurants; the many colleges and universities in the area; the Cleveland Clinic; University Hospitals; The Cleveland Library; Cuyahoga County Library system; Metroparks in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties; Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

“1. The rich and varied cultural and artistic life of the region. 2. Ease if access to cultural activities.  3. Excellent medical facilities.  4. Beautiful and generally safe suburbs - and some areas in the city.”

“Cost, access to culture and arts, convenience, beauty (both natural and man-made), location.”

“The weather, believe it or not, the breadth of artistic offerings, Orchestra to amateur ensembles, PlayhouseSquare, high school sports.”

“Where to start? WCLV, WVIZ, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Art Museum, the Natural History Museum, the fabulous food scene, the revitalization of downtown.”

“I love the library system, the metro parks, some of the free events available, and the Cleveland hiking club where I learn about the natural beauty of Northeast Ohio and the different neighborhoods.”

“The lake, the cost of living, the can-do spirit and toughness of the people, the fact that most people here are really nice.”

“Small city ease of living with big city events, arts, ideas, educational opportunities, medical access, entertainment and restaurants. Cleveland also provides a direct path to nature with the metro parks access to the lake and proximity to local agriculture. And of course there’s other stuff, too.”

“The quality of what is here - our legacy - is astonishing.  We could not re-create today all the wonderful cultural institutions we have.  There are spectacular older homes, where they have been maintained. The cost of living is quite low, compared to the other coasts.”

“Short commutes, good housing, nice inner ring suburban areas, great access to arts/culture, parks and good eating.”

“Diversity of people and the arts, Lake Erie, food/restaurants.”

“Weather is generally pleasant but changeable, not boring. We are close to great things the lake Cleveland, music, drama, great food, lots of green space. Why go anywhere else?”

Question 3: How do you integrate arts and culture into your daily life?

“As much as possible. I listen to music every day.”

“Listening to WCLV/WCPN/WKSU.  Watching WVIZ/PBS and ch45/49/PBS. Listening to classical and other music during the day.  Playing music.  Social activities, especially weekends, such as attending festivals/Blossom/Severance Hall concerts.”

“Summer Blossom concerts, attending a Church with very good music integration with worship service, WCLV - don’t change a note of it! We also seek out live events like Apollo’s Fire or good local Jazz.”

“My wife and I go to a lot of theater and to the museums regularly. We also use the parks and enjoy the lake frequently. We attend some occasional music performances and professional sports games.”

“Listening to WCLV! (for many, many years; still a vital part of my life).  Subscribing to The Cleveland Orchestra, both Blossom and Severance, and bringing guests; donating to the Orchestra to keep it strong.”

“Buying recordings of local musicians, and spreading the word.  Sharing music recommendations with friends and colleagues. Attending plays and ballets, and visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art as often as possible.  Developing skill in various art media, as an amateur.  Attending gallery shows and other art events, including those at the Chagrin Valley art center. Encouraging friends, and spouses of friends, who are professional artists, and supporting them financially when I’m able by purchasing their works. Reading books (library and purchased, all formats) and blogs by authors and artists. And dozens more ways too, but this is enough!”
“I rehearse and perform with two amateur ensembles, listen to WCLV, WCPN, various free recital performances at churches and schools.”

“The radio is on to WCLV a good part of the day.”

“I wake up to WCPN every morning to learn what is happening in my city and in the world. My wife and I have a subscription to the Cleveland Playhouse. We visit our world-class museums.”

“Stay connected to organizations, stay informed, use the radio, use Internet, use the parks, share info.”

“Encourage myself to do arts project at home.”

“I perform! I play drums and sing and act in community and professional theater. I do home recordings as well.”

“My husband and I are both public school music teachers, so music is every day, all day.  When I am not at school, I have the iPod going.  We attend concerts and our son plays in a rock band in town, so we are even at neat little bars listening to him.”

“Remain aware.  There is art all around.  The challenge and the reward both come from being open to art and culture as they happen in everyday life.”

“Attend arts performances; support arts institutions financially.”

Question 4: Should the community investment in arts and culture be...

The majority of people (83.1%) said the community investment in arts and culture should increase.

Question 4

“Funding in the arts is not just inherently beneficial, but has been proven to be a good investment for a community; typically, it brings back in much more than initially invested. I’d say increased substantially, but there are too many other needs in the community, including some that are very pressing.”

“I’d like to say increased substantially, but I know that is unrealistic in the current economy.”

“Maintaining what we have is good.  New projects are most successful when they spring from an individual’s fanaticism.  Then we have a higher maintenance level.”

“1. I believe that our city has many more pressing needs than supporting the arts. 2. I also believe that cultural activities nurture the soul and should be fostered. 3. It seems that individual organizations (e.g, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square) do an excellent job of outreach and education at the k-12 level.  4. I think that individuals and organizations for whom/which the arts are important have some responsibility to support areas of interest on a private basis.”

“There is need for more economic aid to arts and culture in this area so the arts and culture can continue to grow.”

“Arts & culture breathe the divine spark of life, beauty, and a higher power into the body of a community. Music transforms the mind, heart, soul.”

“I’m biased toward the arts but I have seen the positive effects of the arts on communities and cities of all sizes. It strengthens community bonds and provides economic benefits that radiate into all aspects of the city, even in subtle ways that are difficult to quantify.”

“I love it as it is.”

“Cultural experiences make us better people. We need rich and diverse arts events and opportunities throughout NEO. There needs to be more outreach to school children, especially those who don’t have art/creative writing/music/dance/acting classes. Nonprofits like Lake Erie Ink and places like the Beck Center are so important.”

“Art improves the quality of everyone’s life!””

Question 5: Have you recently heard about an event(s) on WCLV, WCPN, or WVIZ - through a performance, an interview, the arts calendar, or an underwriting announcement - that prompted you to attend? If so, please identify the event(s) and how often this happens.

“We’ve gone to several Cleveland Orchestra concerts, a classical guitar concert at CIM, and some other community events after hearing about them on WCPN. There have also been several musicians that I’ve heard on WCPN’s shows that I wanted to hear when they were in town but didn’t or couldn’t get to their concerts.”

“Just WCLV, for example, Blossom, Apollo’s Fire, a couple of concerts in churches.”

“Often Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Blossom or Severance Hall (Joffrey Ballet, Porgy and Bess, etc).  Sometimes other cultural activities or Arts activities heard about on WCPN or WVIZ.  This happens maybe 5-7 times a year.”

“Yes, frequently, especially Dee Perry on WCPN. I liked when Around Noon was on at Noon. Now that the Sound of Applause was moved to 2 pm I can rarely listen.”

“There are too many of these to count, over the years. Often, I can’t attend the events they announce on the arts calendar, because I’m already booked for something else that I also heard about on the arts calendar!  I have attended ballets, movies (at the CMA, Cedar-Lee, and Cleveland Film Festival), exhibits at the Cleveland and Akron art museums, plays at the Playhouse and Great Lakes Theater Festival, recitals and master classes of all kinds at various colleges and music schools, lectures at the Cleveland Public Library (wish they had more guests like Harlan Ellison!), period instrument concerts by Apollo’s Fire and CWRU’s Chapel, Court & Countryside series (Amsterdam Loeki Stardust!) ... the list goes on.”

“Not WCPN or WVIZ.  I’m very tuned in to the dance community, and I read Cool Cleveland.  But from arts calendar announcements on WCLV, I’m starting to learn about things.  The community performance of Handel’s Messiah by Credo at Christmastime.  Classical guitar events. ChamberFest---which is only in its second year.  So on and so forth.  You’re opening up a new world for me.”

“Yes… Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Playhouse Square.”

“Yes, attending CityMusic, Apollo’s Fire, Downton Abbey premier night.”

“I try to stay engaged in the arts scene through my memberships, e-newsletters and WCPN. I can’t recall if I went to an event because I learned about it from ideastream, but the arts programs and interviews always help me learn more about the performances.”

“Interview prompted us to get tickets to a spring Cleveland Playhouse performance.  This happens often… even though we don’t always attend, we like knowing we could have done so!”

“WCLV is my nearly constant radio station and often choose events to attend based on their arts calendar. I will be attending the Cleveland Orchestra/Joffrey ballet performance of Rite of Spring on Sunday.”

Question 6: How important is ideastream (WCLV, WCPN, WVIZ, in introducing you to new forms of art, and in particular, new music and musicians? Provide examples please.

About half of the participants rated ideastream as very important to introducing them to new forms or art, particularly music.

Question 6

“I’ve heard a number of musicians for the first time on WCPN that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I also really enjoyed the piece on country music that was on a week or two ago, looking at some less traditional, edgier artists. I don’t like most of the country music that I’ve heard on the radio, but the music that was played on this show was great (and I got to learn who ‘The Civil Wars’ are).”

“WCLV is constantly introducing me to new music, such as Duke Ellington’s classical side via a recent choice CD of the day, among others.  WVIZ and other HD stations (WVIZ/PBS Create Channel) provide a lot of culture (Cooking Shows, This Old House, Rick Steves and other travel shows).  WCPN is primarily a source for news and other thought-provoking content rather than arts and culture per se.”

“By listening throughout the day to WCLV I am introduced to music that I would not have heard in other media. I have watched concerts and programs on WVIZ and then obtained the music myself.”

“Sometimes a classic will sound new and fresh; i.e., I really love Midori’s interpretation of Bach. I also listen to Concierto to discover Hispanic music, Performance Today (I particularly enjoy ‘Piano Puzzler’), A. Grace Lee Mims African-American music, With Heart & Voice, Musica Sacre for sacred and renaissance music, Dennis Lewin, Footlight Parade, and Weekend Radio.”

“Most of what I hear is music from composers long dead but often I hear music I’m not familiar with on WCLV. I think the programming is very good. I don’t listen to Public Radio because I don’t like a lot of talking.”
“ideastream is my main pipeline to all arts in Cleveland.  Just went to the Anateus dance group performance at ideastream auditorium.”

“ideastream is a great resource for me for learning about new music and musicians.  I am usually already in the know about theatre and museum events.”

“I often here new kinds of music being played on my favorite programs.  Some are so different and good, I end up buying the music.  Some, unfortunately, I cannot find anywhere to purchase.”

“I heard an interview with Kishi Bashi on Around Noon, right after watching a Tiny Desk Concert on  I went to see him live because of your coverage.  I wouldn’t have known such an interesting artist was playing in Ohio!”

“Like the move & re-naming of Dee Perry’s show.  Good deal!”

“WCLV is the leader in the area for me, WVIZ is second with its cultural programs but WCPN is fallen behind because of its shift from a news and jazz station to a primarily news and current affairs station with too much duplication of programing and too similar programing. The ethnic programing does not help either. My amount of time listening has declined as a result and I have been listening to jazz on internet radio.”

Question 7: Which ideastream programs do you use regularly? Check all that apply.

Question 7

“I am an NPR junky and I listen to LOTS of programs you do not have listed.”

“Innovations on WCLV, WVIZ regularly scheduled programs.”

“I like to hear the first program and drive time and the seven P.M concerts.”

“Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nation, Sound of Ideas, Saturday and Sunday programs.”

“9 A.M. Mon-Fri program WCPN; City Club Forum.”

“WCLV - almost exclusively (From the Top, Met & Lyric opera of Chicago, live from the KeyBank studio programs (provide a serious platform for less known local artists, CIM broadcasts, learn from the various live interviews with Jackie G. and Bill O.) WVIZ - look for programs of classical music, jazz, ballet, Masterpiece Mystery (British programs especially), Tavis Smiley, Bill Moyers and love Charlie Rose.”

“Dennis Lewin.”

“Saturday Broadway piece.”

“ATC, ME, Fresh Air, Diane Rehm, This American Life.”

“Footlight Parade, From the Top, Antiques Roadshow, Downton Abbey.”

Question 8: How/when do you use WCLV? Check all that apply.

Question 8

“We wake up to it. I have it on in the car always.”

“I listen almost constantly - whenever possible.”

“Drive time (morning & afternoon)!”

“I don’t listen at work, disrespectful to the music to not give it better attention.  Do listen at home while cooking and doing other chores.  In the car when I drive.”

“It heals, and my pets like it-especially the cat, Piano.”

“As I get ready to go to work in the morning and in the car on way to work.  Weekends it’s usually always on.”

“It calms me while driving.”

“I switch back and forth between WCPN and WCLV depending on my mood and interest in what is being broadcast.”

“I listen to it in my car if I don’t go too far east. Always 6 to 10 AM Sunday morning.”

“I listen to Jacqueline Gerber on the morning drive time.  During that stretch I get arts calendar news, etc.  Sometimes I will learn of a specific program I want to listen to and then listen to it.  I don’t listen later in the day unless it’s for a specific choice - too boring.  Way too much Cleveland Orchestra and wayyyyy too much Dvorak.”

“Only occasionally when I want to mellow out with classical music.”

“On car radio… ‘cause that picks it up best.”

“It’s my sleepless-night companion.”

Question 9: What kind of context/information about the music do you want the announcers to share on WCLV? Please choose one.

Question 9

A substantial majority of respondents wants to hear stories about the composer or other aspects of the piece.

“Sometimes I like to hear stories, and sometimes I like to just hear the basics. A mix of both is best.”

“A playlist would be great.  I was listening to Symphony at 7:00 last night and got a phone call when the piece was announced at the end. I’d love to know what I heard and could not find it listed.”

“I miss the stories they used to tell (like how Rachmaninoff called his Prelude in C# minor “It"). Sprinkling in a few anecdotes for color, and other times just telling me what I need to buy the recording, would be the perfect balance. Don’t shut up!’”

“Am torn between shut up and play the music, because I often learn some interesting tidbit from what the announcers say. Also like to know if there’s a local connection to the composer/performer, etc.”

“I mostly just want the basics but the occasional short anecdote about the composer or piece is nice.”

“I like hearing why the selector likes the piece so much.”

“Why not bundle the back stories, and play several pieces uninterrupted.”

“I like occasionally to hear brief analysis or stories about composer, etc. but not always. Mostly just the basics.”

Question 10: Which live concerts recently presented on WCLV have you found most meaningful or memorable, and why?

“Cleveland International Piano Competition, for the amazing artistry.”

“Joffrey Ballet at Blossom, both for the rare chance to see ballet and also introducing me to music that I enjoyed though don’t listen too much on my own (John Adams).  As far as concerts on the radio, I like catching recent Cleveland Orchestra concerts on the weekends that I missed attending in person.”

“I love the Cleveland Orchestra.”

“Cleveland piano competition - heard new compositions.”

“National broadcasts from New York Phil/Chicago and our own Orchestra.  Wish I had more time to listen.”

“Bach Festival from B-W because I was sick & not able to attend or sing with the B-W Bach Chorus when invited.”

“I frequently hear the CSO shows and NY Phil. w/Alex Baldwin. I also enjoy OffBeat.”

“Metropolitan Opera.  I remember the days when the Met came to Cleveland - I love opera.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra concert from St. Coleman’s Church. The music and the setting were just perfect.”

Question 11: Many classical musicians today are exploring the boundaries between classical music and other genres such as world music, pop/rock, and jazz. Is this something you’re interested in hearing more of on WCLV?

“Sort of. I don’t want to lose the connection with the masters.”


“No. There is enough of that on other stations. Classical music only please!”

“Unfortunately, I am fairly conservative and am not particularly interested in other music genres… with the exception of Happy Dog - That bar intrigues me and it appears to be getting a lot of buzz lately - And although I don’t drink… I would still like to pay them a visit sometime soon.”

“No more than 1 hour per week - there are plenty of other broadcast venues for non-classical music; however, a targeted 1-hour program might be a way to draw audience from those other outlets into listening to WCLV.”

“Yes indeed. After all Jean Pierre Rampal became involved with jazz and I’m sure other musicians do the same so why not give voice to their reasons, I’d like to know what motivates them to do that.”

“No, not really. I like classical music to remain “classical” in the true sense of the word.”

“It depends which boundary.  There’s a lot of pop music available out there, but only during Millennium does WCLV explore the boundary that really interest me of the very beginnings of the development of classical music.”

“Pink Martini was fantastic at Severance, Latin American music, Yo Yo Ma Silk Road, push the envelope and help us grow in our appreciation, I would like more previews of Orchestra concerts which deal with contemporary music - how to listen and appreciate it.”

“Not particularly.”


“Not all the time, but occasionally sprinkled into regular programming. I don’t want to have to remember to listen at 4:00 on Saturday or something like that for a specific program.”

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