CLEVELAND: The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) has announced the return of Parade the Circle on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 12 p.m. Returning for the first time since 2020, the 31st art parade will fill Wade Oval with lively sounds and colors, innovative costumes, handmade masks, giant puppets and floats.
Pieces created by artists, families, schools, churches and community groups from Greater Cleveland and beyond will delight participants and attendees.
New for the 2023 parade is the appointment of a lead artist, Héctor Castellanos Lara. Originally from Guatemala, Castellanos Lara has called Cleveland his home for more than 30 years, sharing his passion for art and cultural expression with the Cleveland community. Castellanos Lara has had numerous exhibitions and workshops at the CMA and through Playhouse Square Foundation. He is also co-founder of ALU (Artistas Latinos Unidos), an association dedicated to promoting Latino artists.
“As we strive to regain normalcy from the pandemic, we are all looking for a positive moment of transformation,” said Castellanos Lara. “We need a formula to bring us together again. One of hope, change, new beginnings, prosperity—a new way to celebrate life.” This year’s Parade the Circle theme is Transformation (Dragonfly/Libélula). “Like the transformation of a dragonfly, we all need change in our lives to grow, self-reflect and adapt to any environment or circumstance we may face,” stated Castellanos Lara.
Representative of change and transformation, the dragonfly, or “libélula,” also symbolizes strength, joy, creativity and happiness. The theme is meant to inspire everyone to make the most of each moment in life.
Parade participants may use the theme when creating floats, puppets, costumes and performances, symbolizing change in any way they see fit. Professional parade artists will be on hand at community workshops to help groups at the ideation, planning, and construction stages.
“Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’ll participate in Parade the Circle,” said Stefanie Lima Taub, director of community arts at the CMA. “People of all ages and artistic abilities are invited and encouraged to take part. We want to make this the best, most memorable Parade the Circle yet.”
Parade the Circle begins at 12 p.m. from the CMA and will proceed in a counterclockwise direction around Wade Oval until it spills into the oval in front of the museum. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors are invited to participate in Circle Village, presented by University Circle Inc. Hands-on activities offered by local organizations and live music on the Kulas Community Stage are free for the whole family.
Parade the Circle Is for Everyone
Saturday, April 8, and Sundays, April 16 to May 7, 1 to 3 p.m.
The Community Arts Center (CAC) will host five workshops designed to introduce the parade to community members, provide examples of past parade ensembles, discuss design elements and talk through initial ideas. In addition to guidance by Castellanos Lara, experienced local artists will assist parade participants in planning. During the workshops, participants can begin making smaller elements at the CAC. To reserve a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMA Tent Workshops
Saturdays and Sundays, May 13 to June 4, 1 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, June 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
Workshop pass (one-time fee): first three participants in your group $50/person; additional participants $25/person
The CMA will also hold nine tent workshops where participants can work with artists in the parade tent (adjacent to the museum). A one-time fee entitles you to attend all workshops.
Individuals, families, schools, neighborhood groups and community organizations are all invited to participate by creating a handmade parade entry.
Participants must adhere to parade guidelines. Parade participation is open to all ages; however, children 15 and under must register and attend with someone 16 or older.