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The SPE Thermoforming Division is hosting the 2023 SPE Thermoforming Conference in Cleveland. The city’s vibrant arts, cultural, sports, and recreational scenes, anchored by world-class art museums, performing arts institutions, music venues, professional sports teams, historic landmarks, and a tapestry of city and national parks, offer immense opportunities to anyone wanting to explore the rich offerings of this diverse midwestern city. Find out more about Cleveland.


Museums, monuments, and landmarks

  • Cleveland History Center: A Museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society ( The Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest existing cultural institution in Cleveland with properties throughout the region, but its Cleveland History Center museum in University Circle is can’t-miss. 
  • The Arcade ( is America’s first indoor mall and one of Cleveland’s most iconic landmarks. It has many unique stores, a food court, and gorgeous architecture.
  • A Christmas Story House and Museum ( is located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood and was the actual house seen in the iconic film, A Christmas Story. It’s filled with props and costumes, as well as some fun, behind-the-scenes photos.
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden ( allows you to explore ten acres of beautiful outdoor gardens, plus an 18,000 square-foot glasshouse with beautiful tropical plants, butterflies, and birds that will warmly greet you year-round.
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History ( allows you discover the past and future of our natural world. From diamonds and dinosaurs to otters and outer space, there is something at this museum to please everyone.
  • Dittrick Medical History Center ( is located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and explores the history of medicine through exhibits, artifacts, rare books, and more.
  • Dunham Tavern Museum ( is located on Euclid Avenue, and is the oldest building in Cleveland. In the 19th century, Dunham Tavern and farm became a social and political center for parties, turkey shoots, and Whig Party meetings.
  • Grays Armory Museum ( memorializes the Cleveland Grays, an independent volunteer militia charted in 1837. The Grays saw service in the Civil War, Spanish American War, Mexican Border Campaign, and World War I. The museum preserves the history of the group as well as their stunning landmark building.
  • Great Lakes Science Center ( is the hub of all things STEM in Cleveland’s museum world. The museum includes a 618-foot-long lake freighter to explore, an OmniMax theater, and tons of hands-on activities that make STEM come alive.
  • Greater Cleveland Aquarium ( features more than 50 exhibits and more than 250 different species. Stop by the aquarium for wonder-filled aquatic adventures.
  • Lakeview Cemetery ( is not just one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the country, it’s filled with fascinating history and memorials to people from the Cleveland area. While there, you will see the President James A. Garfield Memorial, the tomb of our country’s 20th president; the Wade Memorial Chapel, with one of the last Tiffany interiors in the world; as well as the final resting place of John D. Rockefeller, Garrett Morgan, Francis Glidden, Henry A. Sherwin, Carl B. Stokes, and Eliot Ness, among many others.
  • Old Stone Church ( is a historic Presbyterian church and the oldest building on Public Square. It was the second church built in Cleveland and a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. 
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ( includes interactive exhibits covering the history of rock and roll.
  • Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument ( is a monument to those who served in the Civil War from Cuyahoga County. It is located in the southeast quadrant of Public Square and was designed by Levi Scofield.
  • Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage ( celebrates and works to build bridges of understanding between people of all faiths, races, and cultures. The Maltz features exhibitions about Jewish heritage, tolerance, and Cleveland’s Jewish population.

Art museums, galleries, and studios

  • Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) (, located in the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side, is an internationally renowned art museum that offers free admission as part of its mission to serve “for the benefit of all the people forever.” With more than 45,000 works of art, the museum is highly regarded for the quality and diversity of its collections, with particular strengths in Asian and Egyptian art. CMA also supports robust scholarship, research, and art education programs.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) ( is located in the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side, in a building designed by world-renowned architect Farshid Moussavi. As a noncollecting institution, MOCA showcases new exhibitions three times a year to highlight regional, national, and international contemporary artists.
  • Cleveland Institute of Art’s Reinberger Gallery ( is located in the University Circle neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side, and exhibits the works of regional, national, and international artists. Reinberger Gallery serves as an educational resource to the Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland communities.
  • SPACES ( is located in the Ohio City neighborhood on Cleveland’s near west side, and is a presentation venue for contemporary art. SPACES supports contemporary artists through a research and development program, the SPACES World Artist residency program, and the SPACES Vault, a video and audio exhibition space.
  • 78th Street Studios (, located on Cleveland’s west side, is the region’s largest art and design complex, with 170,000 square feet of art galleries, artist studios, performance spaces, and music recording studios. Art tours are available every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., with artist demonstrations from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Transformer Station (, located in the Ohio City neighborhood on Cleveland’s near west side, is a free contemporary art exhibition space sponsored in partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art.
  • Sculpture Center (, located just north of Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, is a non-profit arts organization and exhibition space with the mission of supporting regional sculptors and exhibiting high-quality contemporary sculpture from early-, mid-, and established-career sculptors.
  • Zygote Press (, located on Cleveland’s near east side, is an artist workshop and gallery space promoting contemporary fine art printmaking through advocacy, community programs, and affordable workspaces.

Theater and performing arts

  • Playhouse Square ( is the U.S.’s largest performing arts center outside of New York City. There are thousands of events and shows here annually. The theaters are beautifully restored and maintained, and are a popular destination for weddings and special events.
  • Cleveland Play House (CPH) ( was founded in 1915, and was America’s first professional regional theater. CPH is the flagship theater of Northeast Ohio.
  • Cleveland Public Theatre ( was founded in 1981 and is known for its diverse and socially conscious performances, as well as their dedication to social justice. Their mission is to develop new, adventurous work while nurturing Northeastern Ohio artists.
  • Dobama Theater ( in Cleveland Heights produces contemporary plays by emerging and established playwrights. It is Cleveland’s only full-time, small professional theater.
  • Great Lakes Theater Company ( produces the world’s greatest classic plays at the Hanna and Ohio Theatres at Playhouse Square, from September through May each year.
  • Karamu House ( in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood is the oldest African American theater in the United States, and is a vibrant and nationally known arts and cultural institution. Many of Langston Hughes’s plays premiered at the Karamu, and the organization continues to produce ambitious theater for Clevelanders.


  • Cleveland Orchestra ( is considered among the finest in the world. In April, they will continue to perform in their stunning winter home, Severance Hall, located in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood.
  • Beachland Ballroom ( is an eclectic live music venue located in the Waterloo Arts District in Cleveland’s east side Collinwood neighborhood.
  • BOP STOP at the Music Settlement ( is a jazz music venue located in Cleveland’s west side Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.
  • Grog Shop ( is an independent music venue located in the bohemian Coventry Village district of Cleveland Heights, a historic inner-ring suburb of Cleveland.
  • House of Blues Cleveland ( is a blues, rock, and soul music venue and Southern cuisine restaurant located in downtown Cleveland. Its Gospel Brunch special on Sundays features local talent performing traditional and contemporary gospel music.
  • Music Box Supper Club (, located on the West Bank of Cleveland’s Flats entertainment district, features local and national artists performing Americana, blues, rock, punk, and country music.


  • Cleveland Cavaliers ( is Cleveland’s professional basketball team. While the Cavs may no longer have (arguably) the best player in the world with Northeast Ohio-native Lebron James now playing in Los Angeles, ACRL 2019 NBA fans can catch the Cavs play right before the conference begins, as they close out the 2018–19 regular season at home at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland in early April.
  • Cleveland Indians ( is Cleveland’s major league baseball team and has a rich and storied history in the city. 
  • Cleveland Browns ( is Cleveland’s professional football team. NFL fans can see the First Energy Stadium, where the Browns play, right next to Lake Erie, the Great Lakes Science Center, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Cleveland Fusion ( is Cleveland’s women’s professional football team, which plays at Mustang Stadium in the Maple Heights suburb of Cleveland. The Fusion have been praised in local media for breaking down gender roles and promoting LGBTQ pride.
  • Burning River Roller Derby ( is the premier skater-run flat-track roller derby league in Cleveland, with several teams competing regionally and one in the national Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The Burning River league’s stated mission is to provide an inclusive community for women and non-binary people to pursue athleticism and personal strength through the roller derby sport.

Parks and recreation/nature

  • Cleveland Cultural Gardens ( is one of Cleveland’s most beautiful treasures. There are currently more than 30 gardens, each representing a distinct culture or nationality, and whose purpose is to inspire “peace through mutual understanding.”
  • Cleveland Metroparks (, recently awarded the National Gold Medal Award for excellence in the field of park and recreation management, has 18 reservations spanning more than 23,000 acres, with hundreds of miles of trails. There are eight lakefront parks, a nationally acclaimed zoo, and something special happening every day of the year.
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park (, Ohio’s only national park, is situated between Cleveland and Akron, but feels like it’s a world away. Following the winding path of the Cuyahoga River, there is no shortage of wildlife encounters, historic sites, and recreational opportunities.
  • Cleveland’s Public Square ( is a two-block plaza at the heart of the city of Cleveland. It was part of the original 1796 town plat overseen by Moses Cleaveland, and was recently remodeled with a splash pad and lots of green space, which led to the American Planning Association naming the space one of five Great Public Spaces in America.


 Contact Shameka Jennings, Conference Coordinator 
 Phone: (240) 393-6567