Mission Possible: The City Club of Cleveland moves toward a new chapter
Sunday, April 02, 2023
Sunday, April 02, 2023
CLEVELAND — “It's one of the most beautiful things that our community has created. This regular practice of coming together to talk about the issues that matter most,” stated the CEO of The City Club of Cleveland, Dan Moulthrop.
The City Club of Cleveland is an institution with a 110-year history. Known as a "beacon of free speech," it has hosted thousands of conversations with city leaders, artists and elected officials, from the local to the national stage. A non-partisan debate forum, welcoming a diverse audience, and access rarely found elsewhere.
“But for the City Club, which is a place where everybody's welcome to ask the question that can change the conversation,” said Moulthrop.
After decades at its current location, the City Club Now is moving into a new home in Playhouse Square. The space, once a Woolworth's retail store and more recently offices, is now taking shape.
This latest move is an opportunity created by the pandemic. With a previous tenant going hybrid, that opened space for the City Club to move in. The move east on Euclid brings access to Playhouse Square stages for bigger events, and its outdoor plaza too.
“The thing that will change is who's coming and how many more people from the community we can welcome. Our new space is going to allow us to host 50% more people,” said Moulthrop.
Attendees will get a front-row seat to the sixth home in City Club History when it opens this fall.
The Club's history includes many memorable moments, including a 1974 debate in which Howard Metzenbaum accused John Glenn of never holding quote "a real job." Or hosting Presidents from Ronald Reagan through to Barack Obama.
And speeches to mark some of our nation's darkest days. On April 5, 1968, in what was meant to be a presidential campaign stop, Robert Kennedy instead delivered one of the most stirring speeches, a day after Martin Luther King's assassination.
“Instead, he used it not to campaign, but to address the nation about the mindless menace of violence.” Recalls Moulthrop. “It was one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century. And it happened here in Cleveland at a City Club of Cleveland event.”
A rich legacy continues in a new location, at a time that can feel divided.
“Then we must be able to come together across differences to together take a shovel side by side and uncover the common ground so that we can find the solutions,” said Moulthrop.
Through a good conversation.
Together, we will bring civic dialogue to more people, lift new voices, amplify necessary conversations, protect free speech, inspire bold thinking, and invest in a home for City Club’s future.