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Cleveland: MOCA

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I find the above article very annoying, actually. It's written portraying Cleveland as a Rust Belt backwater with MOCA being the saving grace of the city's cultural scene- quite a sensational inaccuracy. While MOCA's new building is absolutely stunning and the team that brought it to fruition deserve major accolades for their achievement, it's only a small piece of the city's impressive arts and cultural scene. I mean the thing might literally be able to fit in CMA's new atrium. To suggest there was little, if any, cultural tourism in the city pre-MOCA- I'm sure that would give a good laugh to the people over at Playhouse Square, CMA, the Orchestra, and on and on and on..You're dumb, lady. Rant over.

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It's the typical drivel some Cleveland ex-pat journalists have - god forbid they produce an article that doesn't have at least a backhanded compliment or three. What was more appalling to me is that she holds degrees from Stanford and Columbia and the article reads like something out of a backwater college newsletter.

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^Agreed.  Even aside from the codensention, what an awful post. Anyone so naive to be surprised to find flashy starchitecture in small or rusty metros really has no business posting journalisty looking stuff on the topic.  JFC, lady, open your eyes to the world around you.

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It's the typical drivel some Cleveland ex-pat journalists have - god forbid they produce an article that doesn't have at least a backhanded compliment or three.

 

I call it "I used to live in Cleveland but now I live someplace that I think is cooler, and that makes me cooler, I think, but I have to knock Cleveland to help me feel confirmed in my life decisions" syndrome.

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It's the typical drivel some Cleveland ex-pat journalists have - god forbid they produce an article that doesn't have at least a backhanded compliment or three.

 

I call it "I used to live in Cleveland but now I live someplace that I think is cooler, and that makes me cooler, I think, but I have to knock Cleveland to help me feel confirmed in my life decisions" syndrome.

 

BINGO!

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So I sent the author a message and she quickly replied:

 

I wrote "I found it condescending and weak.  Being from Cleveland, you should know that culture has what kept Cleveland alive for decades.  Scores of minorities, races and ethnicities all molding their part of town.  Arts, music, theatre has always had a huge, nationally respected place.  Your flare for the dramatic or whatever you were shooting for was a reach."

 

She replied in an email:

 

Hi Dan,

 

 

Thanks for your note. I appreciate your taking the time to write.

 

 

I think you're right that I overshot this time. I'm going to update the post.

 

 

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just read the post.  She obviously updated it because I couldn't find much wrong with it.

 

Found this note at the bottom:  Update, December 4: An earlier version of this story said that Cleveland was not a culture destination though it has a long history with the arts and some world-class cultural institutions such as the Cleveland Orchestra. The story has been updated, and the writer regrets the tone of the initial version of this piece.

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Meh, the post is better now, but I still think these kinds of pieces are silly fluff.  It's awesome to review the building as a work of architecture and art destination, but she totally whiffs at the context.  Countless midsized cities hire fledgling or full-flung starchitects to design contemporary art spaces.  Just look at Cinci, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, etc. This isn't to take away from the Cleveland MOCA, but this building does not have some kind of bigger meaning about the city moving on from its problems or differentiate itself, IMHO.  It stinks, because pointing these things out often makes us sound defensive, but I'm just amazed how people so clearly untraveled or otherwise ignorant about national architectural or museum trends can get work like this posted.  Then again, I have no idea how prominent a site SmartPlanet is, so it's possible we're just picking on some low level amateur post.  In which case I feel kind of guilty.

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You NEED the fluff pieces though, as long as they're positive. Can't overlook that. That's part of changing the image of Cleveland. (Something we don't pay as much attention to as we should.) We need "sexy". Don't ignore the "sexy", people!  8-) So, although fluff pieces may not be your thing (and I, like you, don't know how big this particular site is), things like this do influence people who's only exposure to Cleveland is from the handful of times our sports teams are on national TV. Don't sleep on it. Its important. Image matters in 21st century America.

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I wasn't offended by the article. She meant well. But yeah, the orchestra, art museum and Cinematheque are all very much on the national radar already.

 

Yes, yes Cleveland is well known for its stellar arts and cultural institutions (especially when you consider its size) but anybody that has any familiarity of the area also knows how large an extent or role that the local arts culture plays here.  I have lived in many places, and none have quite matched at the level that Cleveland has in this regard.

 

Also, most people recognize that importance and role as one of the only places that publically funds their arts organizations and groups.     

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this is anecdotal, but i keep hearing about some opening gala where the whole art world desended or will descend on cleveland for moca. not sure if it happened or will happen? anyone know??

 

anyway, cleveland's moca is definitely in the zeitgeist and is the talk amongst the ny art world folks these days. something to try to keep capitalizing on for sure.

 

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By the way, if you buy the Ambassador-level ($125) membership at the Cleveland Museum of Art, you get reciprocal admission at MOCA.

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The opening gala, mrnyc, was the weekend of October 6th. Through #hashtags on twitter and instagram, I was pretty surprised to discover the art world (nyc/LA) did, in fact, focus on Cleveland for MOCA's opening. Private tours of CMA and the Progressive Collection were also given that weekend to visitors. MOCA did make quite a splash. I've been twice(having never been to the old museum) and am in love with it.

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By the way, if you buy the Ambassador-level ($125) membership at the Cleveland Museum of Art, you get reciprocal admission at MOCA.

 

 

Ooooooo, that's good to know. My lady and I are thinking about which cultural venue to become a member of for the time being as the kids have outgrown the Science Center and such

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By the way, if you buy the Ambassador-level ($125) membership at the Cleveland Museum of Art, you get reciprocal admission at MOCA.

 

 

Ooooooo, that's good to know. My lady and I are thinking about which cultural venue to become a member of for the time being as the kids have outgrown the Science Center and such

 

Yes good to know, although TBideon and CLE618 would hate that!

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The opening gala, mrnyc, was the weekend of October 6th. Through #hashtags on twitter and instagram, I was pretty surprised to discover the art world (nyc/LA) did, in fact, focus on Cleveland for MOCA's opening. Private tours of CMA and the Progressive Collection were also given that weekend to visitors. MOCA did make quite a splash. I've been twice(having never been to the old museum) and am in love with it.

 

 

ah so it happened, the opening was the event -- thank you. i guess i am still hearing the positive fallout from my artworld pals -- and its good to hear!

 

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By the way, if you buy the Ambassador-level ($125) membership at the Cleveland Museum of Art, you get reciprocal admission at MOCA.

 

 

Ooooooo, that's good to know. My lady and I are thinking about which cultural venue to become a member of for the time being as the kids have outgrown the Science Center and such

 

Yes good to know, although TBideon and CLE618 would hate that!

It's not that I don't enjoy art at all... I just don't enjoy walking into a magnificent building that had been highly anticipated, only to find that only one or two small floors actually contain art. The CMA is massive and has much more to offer, and it's free. Just not my cup of tee at the MOCA.

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MOCA is really for going to a particular show that you want to see, not for going to check out some artwork in a more general sense.  You might go if they have a retrospective of a certain artist who's work you like, or a certain genre of art you are interested in, for example I went to MOCA in its old space to see a display of architectural renderings from contemporary design firms.

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How so? I'm pretty sure works of art are kept and displayed there in a building, so it holds pretty true to the definition of museum.

 

mu·se·um  [myoo-zee-uh m]  Show IPA

noun

a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.

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It's not that I don't enjoy art at all... I just don't enjoy walking into a magnificent building that had been highly anticipated, only to find that only one or two small floors actually contain art. The CMA is massive and has much more to offer, and it's free. Just not my cup of tee at the MOCA.

 

Agreed. I went to MOCA with my wife and we both thought admission was high for what it was. You basically have this beautiful building and have to travel up to the top floor to really see anything. We were in and out in less than 40 minutes. I've seen more works on display at much smaller galleries.

 

The building itself is beautiful and I love that it's there. I just wish it had more usable square footage (yes, it's bigger than the old MOCA but doesn't really feel like it).

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It's not that I don't enjoy art at all... I just don't enjoy walking into a magnificent building that had been highly anticipated, only to find that only one or two small floors actually contain art. The CMA is massive and has much more to offer, and it's free. Just not my cup of tee at the MOCA.

 

Agreed. I went to MOCA with my wife and we both thought admission was high for what it was. You basically have this beautiful building and have to travel up to the top floor to really see anything. We were in and out in less than 40 minutes. I've seen more works on display at much smaller galleries.

 

The building itself is beautiful and I love that it's there. I just wish it had more usable square footage (yes, it's bigger than the old MOCA but doesn't really feel like it).

 

Everything Ive read said its smaller than the old space.

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I think the gallery space is smaller, this is from a Litt article

 

the old MOCA had roughly 9,500 square feet of gallery space, enough to hold several different exhibitions simultaneously. According to a spreadsheet provided by the museum, the new building comes close to 9,000 square feet of display space -- a virtual wash.

 

The catch is that the 9,000-square-foot number holds only if you consider the museum's vertiginous, 1,365-square-foot atrium and a 308-square-foot lobby on the second floor to be gallery space. If you don't, the space that's entirely dedicated to art amounts to 7,300 square feet -- 20 percent less than at the museum's former home.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2012/11/despite_minor_flaws_mocas_new.html

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It's worth noting the new facility also offers much better space for performance art, music, film, etc., so even though the gallery space hasn't grown, it's still quite an upgrade functionally (even aside from the increased visibility and neighborhood benefits).

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MOCA Cleveland's building wins LEED Silver rating for environmental performance

 

By  Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer 

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on May 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM, updated May 13, 2015 at 2:01 PM

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The new Museum of Contemporary Art building is certainly beautiful. It is also now officially green.

 

MOCA's building, designed by architect Farshid Moussavi of London, and built in 2012, has achieved a Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED system, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2015/05/moca_clevelands_gemlike_buildi.html

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