About Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare


The Idea Center® at PlayhouseSquare is the result of a model partnership between ideastream and PlayhouseSquare. It is located at 1375 Euclid Avenue, in the heart of Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare District, between the Allen Theatre and the United Way building.

The headquarters for ideastream and the home for PlayhouseSquare’s arts education programs, the Idea Center is much more than a building.  It is a place for creativity and education.  It is a place for the arts and technology to come together in new ways.  It is a place for learning, rehearsing, performing and broadcasting.

Photo Tour

Take a look inside the Idea Center by visiting the First Floor, the Second Floor, and the Lower Level photo galleries.

Design Narrative

Breakthrough Collaboration and a New Model for Urban Reinvestment

Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland, Ohio is a breakthrough, interactive center for the arts, technology, education and ideas, and a 21st century success model for urban reinvestment through public - private partnership. The collaborative design vision for Idea Center leverages its highly visible, street front location on Euclid Avenue, the main corridor of Cleveland’s commercial, retail, and entertainment district, to inject a new, dynamic vitality to the city’s urban core.

In a partnership that is the first of its kind in the nation, ideastream and the Playhouse Square Foundation have renovated the National Register landmark building at 1375 Euclid Avenue in the heart of Cleveland’s PlayhouseSquare district as Idea Center. The 1912 historic structure is transformed into a radically new kind of environment and a technology-based hub. It encompasses the 90,000 square foot Idea Center suite - an innovative, collaborative facility for ideastream and Playhouse Square Foundation’s arts education programs, integrating digital multiple media and public broadcast communication with performing arts and arts education—and 124,000 square feet of leased office space for tenants with affinities to design, high-tech, education, and media uses.

The development of Idea Center marks the continued growth and evolution of PlayhouseSquare, one of the country’s most highly successful cultural districts—the largest complex of restored landmark theatres in America and the country’s second largest performing arts center—nationally recognized for public and private investment in downtown revitalization with demonstrated economic impact.

Download the Idea Center design narrative (PDF).


About ideastream

ideastream® is an innovative multiple media, public service organization that was formed by the merger of public broadcasting stations WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN in July of 2001. Through its broadcast channels and websites, ideastream presents award-winning news and information programming, produces in-depth multiple media explorations of the community’s most pressing issues, and guides community dialogue on-air and off. In any given week, more than 1.35 million people in 18 northeast Ohio counties tune-in to ideastream broadcast signals. ideastream educational services programs serve schools with nearly one half million students. The organization also manages the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau and Ohio Government Telecommunications, both located in Columbus. ideastream is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) company.

About PlayhouseSquare

PlayhouseSquare is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit, which restored and operates PlayhouseSquare and related properties in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. PlayhouseSquare is the nation’s largest performing arts complex outside of New York City and represents the largest theater restoration in the world. Its eight performance spaces seat over 10,000 and entertain nearly 1.4 million people annually. PlayhouseSquare’s mission is to present and produce a wide variety of quality performing arts, advance arts education and create a destination that is a superior location for entertainment, business and housing, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region. For more information, visit http://www.playhousesquare.org.

History of the Campaign for Idea Center

ideastream and PlayhouseSquare were pleased to announce the successful completion of the Campaign for Idea Center in September, 2006, with pledges totaling $29,345,513, surpassing the campaign’s $27.4 million goal.

“We thank the community for embracing and believing in the partnership between ideastream and PlayhouseSquare,” Jerry Wareham, president and CEO of ideastream said, “and we thank all of the volunteers and staff connected to the partner organizations who worked diligently toward the successful completion of the campaign.”

The Idea Center has become a vibrant center of activity including the broadcast operations and education services of ideastream and PlayhouseSquare arts education programs. The facility is a model of creative connectivity where digital media (radio, television and the internet) is used to create and distribute content, including news, information, educational services, and arts and cultural programming.

“Through classes, workshops, professional development, distance learning, broadcast media and performances, we are providing new opportunities for learning and enrichment through the arts and technology,” explained Art J. Falco, president and CEO of PlayhouseSquare.

The budget for the Idea Center at PlayhouseSquare was $42 million, with $32 million allocated to construction, furnishings, fixtures and equipment and $10 million for programs and program-enabling technology. The Campaign for Idea Center goal was set at $27.4 million. Funds pledged in excess of the campaign goal will enable ideastream and PlayhouseSquare to develop joint programmatic initiatives.

More information about the campaign can be found at the following links.

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