History

Ingenuity was conceived as a movable feast, a multi-day, multi-venued event that would move from location to location, downtown, inviting NE Ohio residents and tourists to re-discover their city, to see it alive and vibrant, animating storefronts, abandoned alleys and interiors of buildings that had long been ignored. Launched along Cleveland’s iconic Public Square, the Festival moved to Gateway/East 4th Street, Playhouse Square, the Cleveland State University campus and then the Streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge.

Ingenuity was formed in 2004 by James Levin and Thomas Mulready as a Festival that would showcase the wide range of cultural strengths in the Northeast Ohio region, while simultaneously inviting and cultivating the means to intersect the arts with technology. The first IngenuityFest in 2005 drew more than 30,000 people to Public Square. It included a unique array of renowned and/or cutting-edge work such as NASA’s collaboration with DancEvert on a performance involving wind-tunnel technology, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s display of 3-D digital educational content, and composer/technology artist Phil Kline’s motion sensing musical installation called “Symphony for 21 iPods.”

Ingenuity serves all of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Our annual audience surveys show a balance of genders, attracting a broad audience from college students and families, to young urban singles and over-60 arts aficionados. A 2009 Team NEO report found that the Festival had a $4.5 million dollar economic impact in the region.

Organizations that Ingenuity has collaborated with over the years include: Case Western Reserve University, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland State University, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga Community College, Cuyahoga County, Baldwin Wallace College, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Kent State University, NASA, MOCA Cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, University Hospitals, and more.