Cleveland, OH – On Saturday, April 30th, 2016 our community will come together—to celebrate hope, honor history and inspire change. Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), in partnership with the City of Cleveland and former Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman, present the 3rd annual Station Hope event— an immersive experience of art and performance staged in and around one of the most historically significant sites in Greater Cleveland, St. John’s Episcopal Church, or—as it was known on the Underground Railroad—“Station Hope,” a last stop for fleeing slaves seeking their freedom across the waters of Lake Erie.


“Station Hope is a true gathering of community and demonstrates how transformative and powerful an arts experience can be, and its potential to change the fabric of our society.”


– Joe Cimperman, former Ward 3 Councilman, City of Cleveland

Statin Hope is a jubilant, one-night-only arts event inspired by the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, Cleveland’s social justice heritage, and some of the most important issues of our time—bringing together over 40 professional and community-based arts organizations and 250 individual artists from across Northeast Ohio to creating diverse original art and performance that addresses issues of freedom, equity and social change. Station Hope is free, family-friendly and open to all.

Last year, over 3,000 people attended the 2nd annual Station Hope event—and this year, with an expanded footprint and additional stages, there will be more to see than ever before. Visitors will tour St. John’s sanctuary, parish hall and basement to view an array of short performances of dance, theatre, storytelling and music reflecting on contemporary issues—while visual art displays, interactive art activities and choral performances set the atmosphere around the historic site. For a taste of the experience, visit our photo gallery from last year’s Station Hope event, or click here for a video trailer.

Station Hope 2016 will feature both new and returning artists, tackling such contemporary topics as immigration, human trafficking, gun violence, income inequality, racism and gender discrimination—alongside uplifting testaments to courage and the human spirit, also historically-based original works that celebrate the people and stories comprising Northeast Ohio’s Underground Railroad history.

Cleveland Public Theatre’s Station Hope is presented in collaboration with the City of Cleveland, Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman—with support from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant. Community partners include St. John’s Church and The Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, Friends of St. John’s Church, Restore Cleveland Hope and the Cozad Bates House, Ohio City Incorporated and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Leading up to the Station Hope 2016 celebration, CPT and community partners will host a series of free neighborhood-based events in different locations across Cleveland. Called Road to Hope, these events invite local residents and newcomers alike to experience a taste of Station Hope through short excerpts of larger works, facilitated dialogue around contemporary topics and other special activities. Upcoming Road to Hope events will take place at Christ Episcopal Church in Shaker Heights (Saturday, April 9th) and at the historic Cozad-Bates House in University Circle (Sunday, April 24th).

At Cleveland Public Theatre, our mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through our artistic work on stage and in communities. And we are believers in the vision that art changes lives. It is our great honor and privilege, in bringing about Station Hope—now for the third year—to work alongside so many others who are likewise invested in this great city. Artists, advocates, parents, educators, policy makers, philanthropists, developers, government leaders and so many others, visitors from across Northeast Ohio and beyond, who believe in the power of art to change lives, to envision the future, to inspire dialogue and to invite healing. When he was still a Councilman, our dear friend and champion Joe Cimperman, put it best. “I’m excited about Station Hope, yes. But what I’m really excited about is the next day, because of how Cleveland will be changed.” -Cathleen O’Malley, Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations, Cleveland Public Theatre

Station Hope 2016 and Road to Hope activities are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant program. Cleveland Public Theatre is proud to be among the 69 recipients of this prestigious award, which supports creative place-making projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful and resilient places with the arts at their core.

What: Station Hope 2016
Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2600 Church Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113
Time: 6:00pm-10:00pm
Learn more at or by calling 216.631.2727 x 212