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Classes, Workshops and Events

The Creative Compass event calendar is focused on events geared toward individual artists. For a list of public arts and culture events in Cleveland, visit


January 2020


Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism Exhibition

The Sculpture Center
Nov 29, 2019 - Jan 10, 2020 Various times | The Sculpture Center | Hone Your Craft
Crafting Democracy demonstrates the ways in which craft is employed as a tool of expression that gives voice to people who seek an active role in democracy. This exhibition shows how objects of material culture can provoke and engage everyday citizens, including those of marginalized identities, as productive tools in deliberative democracies; craft can also aid those wanting their voices to be amplified through the process of making.

Improv 1

Michael Busch
Jan 06, 2020 7-9 p.m. | Mahall's, 13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 | Hone Your Craft
This course is an introduction to long-form improvisation, based on the style developed by The iO Theater and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. We will start with a focus on the fundamentals - agreement, listening, and support - as well as the thing that should come across in every scene: the fun. We will also get into things like establishing the reality of the scene, connecting with your scene partner, and heightening based off game/premise.​
This class is designed for beginners up to those with some longform improv experience.
Each week we will develop your group and individual skills through scene work and exercises.
The class ends in a graduation show.
RATE: $200, 8-week course. Schedule: Mondays 7-9pm beginning 01/06/2020. You must attend at least 6 classes to advance to Improv 2.

Improv 2

Michael Busch
Jan 07, 2020 7-9 p.m. | Terrymore Inn, Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 | Hone Your Craft
In this course we will build on the fundamentals from Improv 1 to create full shows of interconnected scenes - building a world with your own rules. Part of the fun of improv is that it can grow as weird and crazy as you like, but it needs to start from a seed of reality.
Through scene work and exercises you will learn to focus your performance and build shows based on the core idea, or game of the scene. Listening for the unusual thing and creating your world around it. You will also heighten your writing skills and learn to think quicker on your feet.
This class is designed for performers who have taken Improv 1 or have taken similar classes elsewhere.
Each 8 week course will end in a class show for your friends, family, and future fans. RATE: $200, 8-week course, Tuesdays 7-9pm, Begins 01/07/2020.
To sign up for Improv 2 you must take Improv 1 or get approval - please email michaelbuschclasses at

Sketch Writing 1

Michael Busch
Jan 08, 2020 7-9 p.m. | TBD (Lakewood area) | Hone Your Craft
In this 8-week course you will learn: Proper script formatting, Ways to generate ideas, Tips on the writing process, How to confidently pitch, Writing/revising sketches, Practical experience in a writers room setting.
At the end of the 8-week course you will have 4-5 finished sketches. This class is for both experienced comedians and people just starting out - as long as you have a desire to write your own material, you are welcome. You will be required to write outside of class.
Through Michael's experiences working with various groups and shows at The Upright Citizens Brigade, running writers rooms for digital companies, and pitching shows and ideas to networks and companies such as Maker Studios and Comedy Central, I'll bring you tips and skills to help you succeed whether you're in New York, Los Angeles, or right here in Cleveland.

Developing a Writing Habit

Literary Cleveland
Jan 08, 2020 - Jan 29, 2020 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Ave., Lakewood OH 44107 | Hone Your Craft
Showing up to write isn’t half the battle – it is the battle. This class will help you develop writing habits that will boost your confidence, help you find your "voice," and keep your writing process in motion. We’ll investigate ways to playfully expand the imagination and increase creative output as well as work with prompts that will help inspire specific writing projects, and most importantly generate new work. Participants will leave with a tool kit to keep the writing flowing. Open to writers of all levels.

Learning the Short Story

Literary Cleveland
Jan 09, 2020 - Jan 23, 2020 6-8 p.m. | The Bookshop in Lakewood 15230 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 | Hone Your Craft
“You become a different writer when you approach a short story. When things are not always having to represent other things, you find real human beings begin to cautiously appear on your pages.” – Zadie Smith.
During the three-week class we will look at the structure, modes, and language of classic short stories by Donald Barthelme, Amy Hempel, Gilbert Sorrentino, and others to write a short story of our own.

Introduction to Fiction

Literary Cleveland
Jan 09, 2020 - Jan 30, 2020 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Siegal Lifelong Learning, 25700 Science Park Dr #100, Beachwood, OH 44122 | Hone Your Craft
Have a story to share? Looking to hone your prose? This four-week workshop is designed to help you get started on a short piece of fiction. Together we’ll practice each stage of the writing process from writing prompts to revision. Fiction of any form, length, or genre is welcome. No experience necessary.

American Playgrounds & Model Homes: Work by Juan-Si González and Da'Shaunae Jackson

Cleveland Print Room
Jan 10, 2020 - Feb 29, 2020 | Cleveland Print Room | Community
Cleveland Print Room's seventh anniversary year begins with the opening on Friday, January 10, of an exhibition featuring the work of artists Da'Shaunae Jackson from Cleveland, and Juan-Si González, a Cuban living in exile in Dayton, Ohio. Both keen observers of the changing landscapes of America, their work explores the often unseen corners and surfaces of our country.

On Saturday, January 11, Juan-Si González and Da'Shaunae Jackson will have an artist talk at the Cleveland Print Room from 1:30-3pm. All are welcome.

The show will be on display during Cleveland Print Room's normal hours until Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Turn Up the Creative Energy

Literary Cleveland
Jan 11, 2020 1-5 p.m. | Council Gardens, 2501 N Taylor Rd, Cleveland, OH 44118 | Hone Your Craft
In this four-hour workshop we’ll apply research on creativity to enhance our writing practices, share ideas to enliven our current projects, and engage in playful writing exercises across many genres to loosen up our imaginations. Writers at all levels welcome.

Slam Poetry

Literary Cleveland
Jan 11, 2020 - Jan 25, 2020 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Lake Erie Ink, 2843 Washington Blvd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 | Hone Your Craft
Spoken word is an art form that encourages poems to be read aloud and performed. As a platform for spoken word artist, a Poetry Slam is a contest that encourages Poets to compete by performing their poetry. During this 3-session workshop, participants will create original poetry in an effort to organize and compete in a Poetry Slam. During each session, we will review performance poets and their poetry so to learn the history, function and elements of Slam Poetry and Performance Poetry as theatrical devices.

Keep it Real: How to Research and Write Nonfiction

Literary Cleveland
Jan 11, 2020 - Feb 01, 2020 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Loganberry Books 13015 Larchmere Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44120 | Hone Your Craft
In this workshop, participants will learn everything they need to know about how to research write nonfiction: memoir, and personal essays. This class is for beginners who want to learn the range and scope of creative nonfiction writing. We will read from Lee Gutkind's seminal text, "Keeping It Real". There will be exercises and participants will use the completed exercises to research and then start a piece of nonfiction or revise work already begun.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Publishing

Literary Cleveland
Jan 11, 2020 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Lake Erie Ink, 2843 Washington Blvd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 | Hone Your Craft
At a Big 5 publisher, over sixty people help bring a book into the world. For academic, small press, and self-publishers, the hands may be fewer but the volume of work remains the same. Book publishing expert Brandi Larsen demystifies the publishing process and shares how a book is made and what you can do to get in the pipeline—from manuscript to bestseller to perennial backlist and beyond.

Film & Darkroom Basics Workshop

Cleveland Print Room
Jan 12, 2020 11 am - 4 pm | Cleveland Print Room, 2550 Superior Ave, Cleveland OH 44114 | Hone Your Craft
This class is for anyone who needs instruction on getting started with hand-processing and printing B&W film, or for those who would like a refresher course after a long absence from darkroom work.
This course is a comprehensive, intensive one-day course.
The session will cover B&W film developing and printing contact sheets of the negatives, plus printing photos from negatives in the darkroom.
Students should bring TWO rolls of shot standard B&W film to the class -- preferably 24-exposure rolls of the same 35mm film.
Students will also need to bring a package of photographic paper. Participants can bring lunch or take a lunch break in the neighborhood. Please call with any questions.
Cost for this course, limited to 8 participants, is:
$125.00 for Print Room members
$135.00 for non-members
Please contact or call (216) 802-9441 with questions.
Register here:

Intimacy: Informed Advocacy for Performers

Cleveland Play House
Jan 12, 2020 5-8 p.m. | Cleveland Play House, 1901 E. 13th Cleveland, OH 44114 | Hone Your Craft
Presented by Alexis Black and Samantha Kaufman, Intimacy Directors, Intimacy Directors International from 5-8pm on January 12th. Offered to actors, this workshop shares a three-pronged approach to Intimacy. This introductory class includes exercises in instant chemistry, consent, and choreography. Each of these exercises is supported by its intersection with Intimacy Directors International's Five Pillars, which will be unpacked for you the student as a means of advocating for yourself and others. Participants should be prepared to participate in exercises from the perspective of actors. Participants with previous experience with IDI workshops are welcomed to register. Register for both Intimacy: Informed Advocacy for Performers on 1/12 and Applied Intimacy on 3/8 and save $25!

January Fight Night

Ohio Shakespeare Festival
Jan 13, 2020 7-8:30 p.m. | OSF at Greystone Hall events, 103 S. High Street Akron, OH 44308 | Hone Your Craft
With single swords, you will focus on point work, the difference between on-line and off-line targeting, and specificity in targeting. Working with steel weapons this month!
Register now for only $15 ($10 students)

Detroit Shoreway Youth Chorus

Near West Theatre
Jan 14, 2020 4-5:30 p.m. | Near West Theatre, 6702 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102 | Hone Your Craft
Who: Youth in grades 3 – 8
What: Learn vocal performance skills (vocal technique), music literacy (reading music), sing contemporary and classic music, put on concerts, and make friends!
Where: Near West Theatre
When: Starting January 14, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 – 5:30pm. This program is continuous, meaning youth can join on a rolling basis. Concerts and other performance opportunities happen intermittently throughout the year.
How: Through a collaboration between Near West Theatre, Cleveland Opera Theater, and Starting Point, we are able to offer this program free of charge. The youth chorus is directed and facilitated by Jordan Cooper and Trinidad Snider. Voice Lessons are led one-on-one by Cleveland Opera Theatre’s Claire Connelly.

Call Near West Theatre for more information or to register! Contact Trinidad Snider: or 216.961.9750. Or visit

Reader Series: Fem Spec

Literary Cleveland
Jan 15, 2020 - Jan 29, 2020 6-8 p.m. | The Bookshop in Lakewood, 15230 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107 | Hone Your Craft
When Mary Shelley published Frankenstein she launched a new genre of literature that blurred the boundaries of the possible, and women have remained key influencers shaping the contours of speculative fiction. Join this group to discuss how feminist perspectives reveal the seen and unseen while blending reality into surreality. Known and celebrated for their literary craft, we’ll also explore how these foundational authors use elements of story to convey social criticism and their techniques for making the fantastic believable.

‍Kindred by Octavia Butler
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
‍The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Inlet Dance Theatre presents Dominic Moore-Dunson's "The 'Black Card' Project"

Inlet Dance Theatre
Jan 17, 2020 7:00 PM | Akron Civic Theatre | Community
The Black Card Project, created by Inlet Dance Theatre's Dominic Moore-Dunson in collaboration with Kevin Parker, is an evening length dance theatre production examining the narrow definition of the black identity. Described as a mixture of "an old school Saturday Morning cartoon, a 90's black sitcom, and a vaudeville show" this family-friendly show aims to open dialogue about the black experience as it eventually relates to economic development in the community. Artie Alvin Beatty III is a young home-schooled black boy with a highly overdeveloped inner-sphere. Artie's mother, being concerned about his lack of cultural awareness, sends him to Booker T. Malcolm Luther Parks Academy of Absolute Blackness! In a single school day Artie must pass various classes such as, "How To Dance on Beat" and "Thuggin 101" in order to earn his "black card". "The Black Card" - An African-American metaphor of one's black identity, authenticity, or belonging.

Audition Psych 101 - Michael Kostroff Workshop

Houde School of Acting
Jan 20, 2020 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. | Houde School Of Acting (2310 Superior Ave. Cleveland, Oh) | Hone Your Craft
Michael Kostroff Workshop - Audition Psych 101
@ Houde School Of Acting (2310 Superior Ave. Cleveland, Oh)
Monday, January 20th, 6:30-10:30

-From The Wire, Liar Liar, Hit List and more
-De-Terrorizes the audition process from preparation to callback
-Conquer the mental gremlins that get in the way of booking the part

How to Publish a Poem

Literary Cleveland
Jan 25, 2020 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Lake Erie Ink, 2843 Washington Blvd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 | Hone Your Craft
It can seem like there are secret rules to getting a poem published, or some way to go about publication that no one has mentioned. This workshop equips you with information, tools, resources, and skills to use in seeking publication. You will leave it with a cover letter, ideas for journals to submit to, a plan for responding to rejection and acceptance, and ideas for how to pursue publication going forward. This workshop is geared toward intermediate poets who have at least 10-20 reasonably polished poems that they’d like to see published.

#53 Vaginas and Vulvas: Art Show and Poetry Reading

Jan 25, 2020 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm | 16205 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland OH 44111 | Community
Art Show Installation
Artist and Poet Georgia M. Reash
Saturday, January 25, 2020
16205 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland OH 44111
2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Open Mic Poetry Reading at 4:00

#53 Vaginas and Vulvas© was created by artist, author, assault survivor and PTSD healing advocate Georgia M. Reash, with the intention to inspire delight and discussion around difficult topics of the day. Installation of 53 paintings of literal/abstract interpretations of women’s genitalia and an open mic poetry reading will celebrate women, the strength of survivors, and the joy of healing the wounds.


Cleveland Play House
Jan 25, 2020 - Feb 23, 2020 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 7 PM, 7:30 PM | The Allen Theatre at Cleveland Play House | Community
Bring your Game Night to CPH! It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Murder and blackmail are on the menu when six mysterious guests assemble at Boddy Manor for a night they’ll never forget! Was it Mrs. Peacock in the study with the knife? Or was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the wrench? Based on the cult 1985 Paramount movie and inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit that will leave you dying of laughter and keep you guessing until the final twist.

Take Great Photos with Your DSLR Camera

Cuyahoga Valley Career Center
Jan 29, 2020 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. | Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, 8001 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, OH 44141 | Hone Your Craft
Learn what all those buttons and menu items do including aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and how to select and use different lenses. Cuyahoga Valley Career Center will go beyond the technical side as well to introduce how to compose stunning photos.

Bring your own DSLR camera or use one of theirs.

Writing About Nature

Literary Cleveland
Feb 01, 2020 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 South Park Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44120 | Hone Your Craft
Poet and nonfiction writer Lee Chilcote will be your guide as you explore poetry and personal essays with a focus on nature and the environment. Analyze selections from nature writers who make a connection between their lives and the environment, complete a writing exercise, and get helpful feedback and tips on your writing. The group will also take a short hike. Open to writers of all levels and abilities.

This program is brought to you in partnership with The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes.
NOTE: Registration is run by The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and there is no membership discount for this class.

The Elements of Craft in Fiction

Literary Cleveland
Feb 01, 2020 - Feb 22, 2020 10 a.m. - noon | University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 E 107th St, Cleveland, OH 44106 | Hone Your Craft
Author Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain) said, “You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.” In this generative workshop for emerging fiction writers, we’ll complete writing exercises to help you shape your story, and discuss the elements of fiction, such as point-of-view, plot, setting, character and dialogue. Over the course of four sessions, we’ll produce new work in a creative and supportive environment.