Close Encounters of the Heights Kind

A Close Encounters performance in 2019.

For over twenty years, Heights Arts—a nonprofit nestled in the heart of Cleveland Heights—has presented the region with programming in visual art, poetry, and music that reflects the vibrancy of the community it calls home. Alongside the opening of its 22nd annual Holiday Store, Heights Arts presents its entire music season of eleven concerts through August 2024.

The 2024 music season features local musical talent of varied genres through its free Gallery Concert, ARTbar, and Close Encounters series. Close Encounters provides patrons with a completely unique musical experience. Uncommonly intimate, each performance takes place at either a nearby private venue or a coveted event location.

“When an orchestra performs as a whole, audiences enjoy the music from a relative distance,” says Artistic Director Dane Johansen. “…The Close Encounters series provides audience members with a completely different experience where subtle sounds and signals are communicated that bring audience members more immediately inside the moment of musical creation as performers inspire each other to ‘play.’”

This year’s Close Encounters series will no doubt prove to be an excellent display of the elements that make Cleveland Heights home to the arts—and Heights Arts its constant steward.

“Many of the artists this season are leaders in their respective sections within The Cleveland Orchestra,” Johansen says. “The beauty of their artistry will be perfectly showcased in such intimate settings as we are blessed to enjoy through the Close Encounters series.”

Heights Arts Holiday Store Opening in 2019.

In November and December, Heights Arts’ entire physical space at 2175 Lee Road is transformed into a celebration of the winter season, showcasing work from over 120 Northeast Ohio-based creatives.

Disciplines include jewelry, books, paintings, cards, prints, ceramics, and glass: there’s something for everyone.

“The Holiday Store at Heights Arts is magical,” says participating artist Natalie Rich. “It’s the best place to purchase one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, original art.”

It has become a tradition residents and visitors look forward to as their “go-to” when looking for unique items for themselves and loved ones.

“Heights Arts is a true community gem,” says artist Annie Becker. “The perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone you care about while supporting a local business that enriches our community.”

Special, wonderful, and crucial—all words used to describe the Holiday Store. They could just as easily be describing the community Heights Arts works to serve all year round.

2175 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118


Heights Arts Holiday Store, through December 30. Visit for hours.

EKPHRASTACY Artists Talk and Poets Respond collaboration at Valley Art Center, December 1. VAC is located at 155 Bell Street, Chagrin Falls

Prismatic Group Exhibition SPOTLIGHT: Amelia Joynes, January 12

Irrational Objects: Backwards Into the Future Exhibition, March 15

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