James Levin in 2004 envisioned an art and music festival that would take place in downtown Cleveland, celebrating the creativity of Northeast Ohio and contacted his friend Thomas Mulready (Director of the Performance Art Festival that Mulready founded in the late 1980s at Levin’s Cleveland Public Theatre) to partner with him on “Ingenuity.”
Their intent was to create an event that would not only showcase this area’s vibrant art and music community, but would also draw focus to downtown Cleveland. Following the good advice of Tom Schorgl, President of the Community Partnership of Arts and Culture (“You need more than art and music to bring tourism here… you need to create a more distinct event.”), and building on Mulready’s background in technology, the Founders decided to expand the aperture of the vision to include tech projects. They created “Ingenuity, the Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology.”
Mulready continues to champion Cleveland’s cultural and entrepreneurial scene through his online network, CoolCleveland.com; Levin is forming a new organization, Cleveland Bridge Project Inc., that would open up the current location of Ingenuity as a pedestrian and bicycle thoroughfare year round.