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In 2006, Near West Theatre embarked on a collaborative capital campaign through the Gordon Square Arts District (GSAD) to create a permanent home and be a part of the revitalization of the Detroit-Shoreway Neighborhood.
At its founding, GSAD represented a collaboration between Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), Near West Theatre (NWT) and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation, owner of the Capitol Theatre, that uses the arts as a catalyst for economic development and job creation through preservation and renovations of historical buildings and complementary new construction.
The $30 million campaign funded an enhanced Detroit Avenue streetscape and signage, additional parking for the business district, acquisition and renovations to the CPT complex, the reopening of the long-shuttered Capitol Theatre, and construction of Near West’s first permanent performance venue. Groundbreaking for NWT’s space commenced on November 27, 2012, and in Spring of 2015, we took occupancy and staged the first show in our permanent home.
The Gordon Square Arts District has become an economic cornerstone of Cleveland’s West Side, where a powerful combination of housing, new businesses, the arts and neighborhood beautification continue to spark the development of new job opportunity.
Leveraging the restoration of the Capitol Theatre, renovation of Cleveland Public Theatre, and the construction of the new Near West Theatre has led to more than 80 new businesses coming to the neighborhood since the start of the campaign, and more than $500 million of investment in the neighborhood.
From galleries to boutiques to restaurants to live theater to a pinball gaming parlor, you will find plenty to experience in the Gordon Square Arts District!
For a full directory of the neighborhood, visit Detroit Shoreway CDO’s website.
History & Land Acknowledgement
GSAD and its encompassing Detroit Shoreway neighborhood have long been diversely populated. With the 19th century influx of settlers from Europe seeking industrial jobs, communities of German, Irish, and Italian ancestry found home here. These cultures hold space in our neighborhood to this day, along with the later additions of Black, Hispanic, and Puerto Rican community members. It is important to recognize that prior to 18th century colonial seizure and settlement, native peoples owned and occupied this land.
We acknowledge those of the Shawnee, Miami, Erie, Ottawa, Potawatomi (“POT-ah-WAH-toe-me”), and Haudenosaunee (“HOH-den-no-SHOWN-ee”) Confederacy whose lands we stand on, and the nearly 28,000 Native American people who live in Northeast Ohio today; your neighbors, coworkers, classmates, and community members, who represent over 100 tribal nations.
Donations of all sizes create artistic opportunities for hundreds of youth and adults each year.
Become a Volunteer
Near West Theatre was founded on volunteer support, and it sustains us to this day. Discover the ways to get involved.
Every show, every program, every event is made possible by donors like you. Monthly gifts make a sustaining impact!
Our journey started with a big vision and a small seed. Over 43 years later, that vision has transformed thousands of lives and a near west side community.
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