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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Parade the Circle  event. Since 1990, the Cleveland Museum of Art has been bringing this FREE signature summer event to Greater Cleveland. University Circle comes alive with color, music, and art for all ages. International and national guest artists join Greater Cleveland artists, families, schools, and community groups in a spectacular display of bright costumes, giant puppets, stilt-dancers, handmade masks, and colorful floats. Circle Village, which includes activities, entertainment, and food, is presented by University Circle Inc.  Leading up to the June 14, 2014 event, we feature some of the stories that make up the last 25 years of Parade the Circle.
Please check back for more upcoming blogs celebrating the 25th annual Parade the Circle.
Robin VanLear, the Community Arts Artistic Director at the Cleveland Museum of Art, has been the event's artistic director throughout its 20-year history. In this blog, she discusses the origins of the event and her hopes for its future.
Today it takes a team of 50 artists to put on Parade the Circle. In the beginning we barely numbered ten. None-the-less, the artists and community members formed a close-knit team that produced far more than their numbers would suggest. A few of these individuals share their stories here.
From its inception, Parade the Circle and "community" have been inextricably linked. The mission behind Parade has one pre-eminent principal: everyone is creative; professional artists and their community have more in common than is often accounted for; and that artists and community members working side by side will engender a mutual respect, inspiring both.
Leading up to the June 14 Parade the Circle event, we look back at the last 25 years of Parade the Circle in our blog retrospective series. This week, we go behind-the-scenes of Parade the Circle with some of the folks who make it happen.
The interplay of global traditions and cultures, in particular the influences from countries with a strong history in the celebration arts, have helped form the spirit of Parade the Circle since its inception. Beginning in 1995 with the help of the Ohio Arts Council and Robert Bergman’s blessing, our international exchange with Trinidad and Tobago began. This web of the international celebration arts culture soon spread throughout the Caribbean, to Europe, Canada, Mexico, other regions of the United States, South America, and Africa—in that order! The artists here each came with a different role to play in these exchanges.
Parade is a very large and peculiar extended family, where some uncle or cousin or niece is always coming to visit and then deciding to stay. Couple this with our expansive intern and guest artist program and you have the perfect environment for the youngest of artists to grow, thrive and develop from Parade takers into Parade givers. The artists in this final post of our blog series have all taken and given with the very best of our Parade family.