If you’ve lived here long enough, you probably know that nearly a decade ago Slavic Village was one of the most devastated areas in the country following the housing crisis of 2008. Now, it’s set to see major economic growth thanks in large part to being selected by the investors of Chain Reaction, the somewhat related, local follow-up to CNBC’s Cleveland Hustles. To continue the conversation around vacancy and the current state of Cleveland’s historic neighborhoods, Slavic Village Development presents its fourth annual Rooms to Let: CLE. The event originated in Columbus with a similar theme, but Cleveland’s event has outlived its southern predecessor.
Rooms to Let returns to Slavic Village from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. This year’s event includes more than 100 art installations in vacant homes and empty lots on three streets throughout the neighborhood. In addition to the installations, the weekend includes live music, as well as interactive and performance art. This year’s curators are local artists Dana DePew, Loren Naji, Dott von Schneider and Omid Tavakoli, and the transformed homes are located at 6627 Lansing, 6808 Gertrude and 5804 Hosmer Avenue.
“Rooms to Let: CLE provides an opportunity for artists and residents to continue our three-year conversation about neighborhood transformation,” says Christopher Alvarado, executive director of Slavic Village Development. “By creating temporary art spaces in vacant and abandoned homes, we pay homage to the people and buildings that previously occupied our community, while describing what the future may hold for Historic Neighborhoods in Legacy Cities— especially at a time when new businesses are moving to Slavic Village and homes are being renovated for new homeowners.”
The epicenter of this year’s event is the Polish American Cultural Center at 6501 Lansing Avenue, with an artisan market, live music, food, beverages and parking. Saturday’s performances include p.stoops at 12:30, the Admirables at 2 p.m., Doc Robinson at 3:30 p.m. and HoneyBucket at 5 p.m. Sunday’s music lineup is headlined by Mourning [A] Blkstr at 3:30 p.m., preceded by Marcus Alan Ward at 12:30 p.m. and Curtail at 2 p.m.
Not far away, local photographer Steve Mastroianni hosts an open house for Silver Scuro, his new photography studio at 5322 Fleet Avenue. A longtime resident of Tremont, Mastroianni moved into Slavic Village just last month. One of the only studios in Cleveland offering traditional film portraits, shot and hand-processed on black and white film and silver gelatin paper, the new, larger space allows for more in-house portrait and studio work.
Stop in to see the new studio from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday during Rooms to Let, and become part of a new portrait collage being created for the event. On Sunday, Malphonia will be performing on the sidewalk outside the studio.
For a complete list of participating Rooms to Let: CLE artists, visit facebook.com/events/677741515740457/.
(Rooms to Let) 6501 Lansing Ave., 216-429-1182 ext. 141, slavicvillage.org/roomstolet.