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'Third Friday' art open house weathers pandemic at Cleveland's 78th Street Studios

On the third Friday of every month, an old factory building on the Near West Side of Cleveland comes to life thanks to the artistic tenants of 78th Street Studios.

The former American Greetings building is home to 60 arts-based businesses, including art galleries, commercial galleries and about 30 artist studios.

78th Street Studios current space located inside the former American Greetings building. [American Greetings Publishers / Michael Schwartz Library Special Collections, CSU]

Dan Bush, the owner and operator of 78th Street Studios, said the game changer for the space was the "Third Friday" event that he began in 2008.

Visitors wander past ARTneo space inside 78th Street Studios during a recent "Third Friday" open house event. [Natalia Garcia / Ideastream Public Media]

"We threw a big party and we decided to make it quarterly. The first third Friday was a spring event. I catered it, bought beer and wine. We had about 250 people here," he said. "It's grown since then. [Prior to] the unfortunate pandemic, we were seeing traffic of roughly 2,000 to 3,000 people through the course of a four-hour event every month on 'Third Friday.'"

According to Bush, the largest attendance since reopening its doors after a brief pandemic closure was 1,300. Last month 800 patrons showed up.

The February edition of "Third Friday" at 78th Street Studios is Friday, Feb. 18, 5-9 p.m.


Dave DeOreo is coordinating producer for Ideastream Public Media’s arts and culture team.