Jul 16

GCP Interns Take Over University Circle


University Circle is one of the most vibrant and culturally-rich urban areas in the country. It also is home to the Commission's Director of Construction Diversity and Inclusion, Chris Nance. With the help of some very passionate people in the UC community, Chris led GCP's nine summer interns on a day of exploration and education in his neck of the woods on Wednesday, July 10.

The eager tour group started the day on the RTA's HealthLine, and after nearly missing their stop, they found themselves at University Circle, Inc. (UCI) with VP of Planning and Real Estate Development Debbie Berry and Director of Planning Elise Yaplonsky. Berry and Yaplonsky provided a comprehensive overview of the past, present and future of UC, including the impact UCI will continue to have in the area. They took the time to answer all questions the curious interns had, sharing information about everything from Cleveland as a stop on the Underground Railroad to live music at Wade Oval Wednesdays.

Next, it was time for the walking tour of UC, courtesy of Case Western Reserve University's Advising University Architect Irwin Lowenstein. He played a pivotal role in the design and development of the Nord Family Greenway, which features gorgeous landscaping and pathways enjoyed by pedestrians and cyclists on their commutes, their lunch breaks or even their days off. It truly is that beautiful. Lowenstein's impressive knowledge and contagious enthusiasm made it clear just how precious UC is to the people who live, work or play there.

"Every single part of the city, from buildings to parks to sidewalk lamps, has a story and each of those stories is what makes Cleveland different from the stories that created other cities," Marketing & Events Intern Celine Zidar said about the experience.

There were two more stops in store: the Maltz Performing Arts Center (MPAC) and the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). The recent renovations done at the MPAC converted it from an old temple to a wonderfully antique, yet state-of-the-art performance center that still holds religious gatherings on Jewish high holidays. 

The CMA boasts one of the largest and most prestigious collections in the world at a very low price of admission - absolutely free - thanks to the financial contributions of four Cleveland industrialists in the early 20th Century. Chris and the interns were surprised and delighted to learn the CMA is the only museum on Earth with an app that has a full catalogue of every item in the museum's posession. That free app, dubbed ArtLens, facilitates incredible chances for visitors to interact with the pieces on display.

"The CMA was great; I cannot believe such a museum is free to everyone," reflected Business Development Intern Bobby Bruno.

"As a native Clevelander who grew up very close to UC, seeing the continued progression is truly eye opening," said Commission on Economic Diversity and Inclusion Intern Harlan Jones. "I found myself learning something new at every stop."

The interns greatly appreciate the efforts of those who made this excursion possible. They gained valuable insight and excitement about the city of Cleveland - precisely what the GCP strives to instill within young residents of Northeast Ohio.