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Serving everyone as they are.
audience members and event attendees annually
mainstage participants and volunteers annually
students in arts enrichment programs, workshops, and tours annually
We strive to create high quality theatre for our audiences, but our work goes far beyond that of a theatre.
We leverage the collaborative process of theatre to bring people from all walks of life together. These individuals represent every age, race, gender identity, income-level, political persuasion, religion, and a wide spectrum of abilities. By exploring the themes of our shows and understanding their meaning, we create understanding, opening hearts and minds to the world around us.
We were founded to serve the youth of Cleveland’s Near West side. Today we serve all ages, but our commitment to youth continues through free after school arts enrichment programs, partnerships with local schools, workshops, and tours. In addition to these programs, the mainstage serves youth with productions dedicated to growing their talents on stage and backstage, as well as focusing on their social and emotional growth and development.
We are known for our high quality community theatre productions. While the artistic and technical staff for our productions are paid theatre professionals, all of the performers on stage and in backstage crew are volunteer community members. Our shows often focus on addressing themes that are relevant to society, promoting social justice, and helping us gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
We are a founding partner of the Gordon Square Arts District, which is a neighborhood undergoing revitalization on the Near West side of Cleveland, Ohio. Using an arts-based community development strategy to address blight, GSAD has benefited from more than $400 million in construction and $317 million in economic output through 2013, with another $350 million in development online. Construction, coupled with the addition of 100 new businesses, resulted in more than 1,300 new jobs. There is a robust housing market consisting of new construction market rate homes and the development of affordable and market rate apartments. Violent crime has decreased 38% while property crimes have decreased 28% in the district. Near West Theatre is proud to be among the anchor institutions helping drive economic revitalization and success in the district.
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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