Fireworks celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Chagrin Arts!

Eleven years ago, 45 citizen-stakeholders from Chagrin Falls gathered to envision how its arts community could look. A 2020 vision was proposed to restore Chagrin Falls as a destination for arts and cultural experiences. Since 2007, Chagrin Arts has been a proud product and proponent of that vision.

On the broad shoulders of the Valley Art Center and the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, a movement was born. Four additional arts and cultural organizations, each with its own mission, are sharing the vision. Chagrin Arts presents high quality programs including its renowned Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ lecture series and entertaining Performing Arts Series. The Chagrin Documentary Film Festival innovates and gains respect in the film industry. The Museum of the Chagrin Falls Historical Society offers a portal to the community’s historic past. The Chagrin Falls Studio Orchestra embodies the excitement of studio arrangements. All help fulfill that 2020 vision.

We celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Chagrin Arts by continuing to promote Chagrin Falls as a destination for intimate venues and high quality entertainment, with renowned restaurants and exciting retail opportunities.

Welcome! We invite you to share the ride.

Stephen G. Thomas
President and Founder of Chagrin Arts



On July 10, 2007, Arun Gandhi, founder of The M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, presented at the first Chautauqua Tuesdays, now known as Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™. Mr. Gandhi was joined by Dick Celeste, former Ohio Governor and Ambassador to India, and Rev. Alastair Symington, chaplain to the Queen of England at Balmoral. The topic was The Meteoric Rise of India.

Since that historic evening, Chagrin Arts has experienced its own meteoric rise by expanding programs that challenge, educate, entertain and enrich the lives we touch. The celebration of our 10th Anniversary is a true testament to the past and present support of our donors, volunteers, artists, performers, staff and patrons.

I invite you to share and celebrate the Chagrin Arts 10th Anniversary. Share the power of our Performing Arts and the engaging energy of Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™.

Karen Lazar
Executive Director


  • 2007

    Chagrin Arts (CA) is established to improve the quality of life and enhance economic development in the Chagrin Falls area.

  • To increase visibility, Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ is established in partnership with the Chautauqua Institution of New York to bring internationally recognized speakers to Chagrin Falls during the summer season.

  • July 10 – Inaugural Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ Program features Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence; Richard Celeste, former Governor of the State of Ohio; and Alistair Symington, Chaplain to the Queen of England at Balmoral.

  • CA partners with Chagrin Falls Library to establish the Young Explorers Program featuring Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ -related, educational children’s.

  • 2008

    CA develops its Performing Arts Series during the winter months present inspiring and unique performances.

  • February 19 – Inaugural Performing Arts Program features Darrett Adkins and friends from the renowned Oberlin Conservatory of Music. The program included Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, which will be performed again in honor of Chagrin Arts’ 10th Anniversary on March 10, 2017 by Cleveland Orchestra cellist Paul Kushious and colleagues.

  • May 23 – CA holds its first Annual Benefit, "Fire Up" featuring Apollo’s Fire.

  • 2009

    CA’s Performing Arts Series expands to include a performance by Verb Ballets, as well as a return visit by GroundWorks DanceTheater, artists from Oberlin, and Apollo’s Fire.

  • December 6 – CA brings its first performer from outside of Ohio to Chagrin Falls. Baroque violinist and fiddler David Greenberg and flutist Chris Norman from Canada make a stop in Chagrin Falls during their U.S. tour to perform music rooted in the Canadian maritime and Scottish traditions.

  • CA becomes eligible to receive sustainability funding from the Ohio Arts Council.

  • 2010

    "Excellence in Public Education" is one of the themes of Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ and includes a musical performance by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s All City Road Show.

  • CA receives its first major grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

  • 2011

    CA partners with The Musical Theater Project to co-present a multi-media presentation as part of the Performing Arts Series. "The Making of My Fair Lady" is the first of what will be an on-going collaboration between the two groups.

  • Chagrin Arts hosts the renowned Chicago Children’s Choir and provides a unique interactive-workshop with Chagrin Falls High School students.

  • 2012

    A plethora of newsworthy speakers are part of Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ including Ambassador Andrew Young, Judge Dick Ambrose and former Nixon White House Counsel, John W. Dean.

  • 2013

    CA and TMTP co-present "The Making of The Music Man" including local students, one of whom is "discovered" and goes on to perform with The Great Lakes Theater and other Cleveland production companies.

  • Jeanette (Jenny) Grasselli Brown, arts advocate and one of the founding members of Chagrin Arts, is honored at the annual Fire Up! Benefit.

  • 2014

    CA adds a family program to its Performing Arts Series.

  • February 9 – Inaugural family program features “Bash the Trash” from New York. Program includes an instrument building workshop using reused and repurposed materials, followed by a performance from Bash the Trash musicians, and an indoor parade celebrating science, sound and sustainability.

  • June 7 – CA adds a free community Music Crawl to its Performing Arts Series to support local talent and present the community with a variety of music genres. The event fortifies the collaborative efforts with the Valley Art Center as it is held on the Saturday evening of Art by the Falls. "Come early for the art and stay late for the music" becomes the annual tagline for both organizations.

  • CA partners with the Chagrin Falls School District for a Music Crawl logo design contest.

  • CA becomes a member of the Chautauqua Trail, a group of organizations and individuals located throughout the United States and Canada who are dedicated to the Chautauqua concept.

  • July 1 – Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™ looks at the sustainable table with a panel discussion including Chef Doug Katz, Chef Jonathan Sawyer, Trapp Family Farm’s Mark Trapp, and Marc S. White from Rid-All Green Partnership in Cleveland.

  • CA increases its collaborative activities to co-sponsor free programs throughout the year, presenting speakers and performing artists in smaller settings.

  • CA adds a fall program to its Performing Arts Series.

  • October 24 – Inaugural fall program features NYC chamber music ensemble PROJECT Trio who performs a few songs with Chagrin Falls High School Orchestra students.

  • 2015

    CA presents its first program featuring a secondary performing art form – the "Acrobats of Cirquetacular" from NYC.

  • CA establishes the Joan Brown Campbell Award for Arts and Culture to honor an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding leadership in promoting arts and culture. Joan Brown Campbell is the award’s first recipient.

  • CA receives funding from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation for performing artists to provide professional development for teachers of underserved Cleveland youth.

  • CA hosts its first Latin dance workshop and performance.

  • 2016

    CA presents its first program featuring the art of puppetry. Madcap Puppets performs "Aesop’s Classic Fables" using life-size puppets for Chagrin Arts’ annual family program.

  • The Dancing Wheels Company - America’s first and Foremost Physically Integrated Dance Company - performs in Chagrin Falls for the first time.

  • Community Leader Jean Hood is presented with the 2016 Joan Brown Campbell Award for Arts & Culture.

  • Music Crawl expands from four venues to nine and from five music groups to nine.

  • CA receives a grant from Ohio Humanities in support of Chautauqua-in-Chagrin™

  • November 6 – Chagrin Arts partners with Paris Room to present "Paris Underground – Sunday Jazz Series" as an intimate event for jazz enthusiasts.