MidTown hosts the POW! WOW! Cleveland International Mural Program Sept. 21-26

Eleven local artists. Ten national and international artists. 10,000 cans of spray paint. They’re all descending on the MidTown neighborhood Sept. 21-26 for the POW! WOW! Cleveland International Mural Program.

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Recognized as one of the most important and well-curated mural festivals in the world, POW! WOW! Worldwide has helped transform the physical spaces of 17 communities around the globe. This fall, they are working with Northeast Ohio artists, MidTown Cleveland and LAND studio to make over about 20 facades of buildings in MidTown and its surrounding neighborhood in a celebration of art, culture and community.

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The week-long program includes free family-friendly activities, virtual performances and workshops, in addition to the 20 public murals that will be created during the event.

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The Mission

POW! WOW! Cleveland seeks to physically transform the MidTown neighborhood through vibrant art and programming while creating opportunities for local artists and elevating their work.

The program is presented by the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation and with generous support from Dealer Tire.

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The Name

The name, POW! WOW!, was developed by POW! WOW! Worldwide founder Jasper Wong and is inspired by the color-filled pages of comic books. “POW” represents the impact that art has on a person, and “WOW!” captures the reaction that art draws from a viewer. Together, they form POW! WOW!, a Native American term that describes a gathering celebrating culture, music, and art.

In awareness of Northeast Ohio’s long and complex relationship with native peoples, POW! WOW! Cleveland is inviting national indigenous artists to create art on Euclid Avenue, a historic native trading route.

About the location in MidTown

Nestled in between downtown and University Circle, MidTown Cleveland is a neighborhood that values the arts and diversity. Community-minded programming has become a part of the organization’s evolving identity, so hosting a public arts program that transforms the space physically—while also bringing together a diversity of perspectives—fits MidTown’s mojo.

The program will also spotlight Midtown’s unique spaces for living and working, as well as its cultural destinations and its burgeoning food scene—from the cuisines of AsiaTown to Goldhorn’s brews to Dave’s Market & Eatery to Gallucci’s lasagna.

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POW! WOW! Cleveland invites the greater Cleveland community to look at art, community and the MidTown neighborhood differently.

“Bringing POW! WOW! to Cleveland, and specifically to MidTown, is an incredible opportunity to show off the culture and identity of our neighborhood, build community, and add world-class public art as an asset for all to enjoy.”

Jeff Epstein, MidTown Cleveland executive director

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“This program will elevate the Cleveland art scene, giving local artists an international platform to share their work.”

Greg Peckham, LAND studio executive director

A Mural Program Amidst a Global Pandemic

MidTown Cleveland is committed to keeping POW! WOW! Cleveland as safe as possible for program attendees, artists, neighborhood residents and partners. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will require strict physical distancing and will follow all state mandates and CDC recommendations. The event will seek to minimize the risks of virus transmission while still celebrating the arts and their ability to help our community process, cope, and find inspiration and joy—an important endeavor now, and always.

Interested in learning more about the program?

ABOUT THE GROUPS COMING TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN

POW! WOW!

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Since its founding in 2010, POW! WOW! has grown from a small art exhibition with a handful of artists in Hong Kong to a major-market art festival with lineups and creative experiences that rival some of the best festivals in the world. Expanding to 17 POW! WOW! festivals in different host cities all over the world, the newest editions of POW! WOW! encompass artists, musicians, photographers, and media partners from around the globe, forming a unique and creative community built on the celebration and appreciation of art, music and culture.

LAND STUDIO

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LAND studio, a Cleveland-based nonprofit, is a catalyst, convener, and collaborator. For more than thirty years, LAND studio has managed a wide range of public art installations, cultural programming, and civic space development projects across the city of Cleveland. Learn more.

MIDTOWN

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MidTown Cleveland is the organization charged with leveraging MidTown’s diverse assets to develop a dynamic neighborhood that unites the city’s downtown and innovation districts. MidTown Cleveland provides services to MidTown’s members, stakeholders, businesses and organizations, residents, and visitors in order to create a connected and complete community. MidTown Cleveland facilitates conversations, makes connections, and helps entities and individuals achieve their goals. Learn more.

POW! WOW! Cleveland is presented by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation with generous support from Dealer Tire. Additional support has been provided by ShurTech, FrogTape, Hot Cards, The Louise H. and David S. Ingalls Foundation, Gund Foundation, Councilperson Basheer Jones and Councilperson Phyllis Cleveland.