Art Falco, Kit Jensen, and Jerry Wareham, Founders of Idea Center


The aptly named Idea Center at Playhouse Square is the result of an unusual and groundbreaking meeting of the minds. Three years in the making, the Idea Center, which houses Cleveland's public television and radio stations, WVIZ-TV Channel 25 & WCPN-FM 90.3 (now known as Ideastream), is the result of a visionary partnership between the broadcasters who needed new state-of-the-art headquarters and the Playhouse Square Foundation,a not-for-profit redeveloper of downtown Cleveland's historic theater district..

It's a "breakthrough concept conceived out of unprecedented collaboration to serve and inspire the public," according to Ideastream, led by chief operating officer Kit Jensen and president and CEO Jerry Wareham. "It's a home for creative thinking and learning designed to inform both current and future generations through its offerings."

"There is nothing like it in the country," added Art Falco, pesident and CEO of Playhouse Square Foundation.

Located in the beautifully renovated historic building at 1375 Euclid Avenue, Idea Center also houses Ideastream's distance-learning and educational technology training facilities Playhouse Square Foundation's extensive arts education programs and services.

Open since September of 2005, Idea Center has become a model of creative connectivity, where digital media are used to create and distribute news, information, educational services and arts and cultural programming. Its founders expected the center to increase by 100,000 people annual attendance at Playhouse Square arts 
education activities

Befitting its creative use, Idea Center is housed in a storied setting. Built by esteemed Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks and meticulously renovated by URS Corporation and Westlake Reed Leskosky, the Idea Center building was formerly home to the studios of radio station WJW-AM, where in 1951 deejay Alan Freed first coined the term "rock and roll."

—Amy Sparks

Cleveland Arts Prize
P.O. Box 21126 • Cleveland, OH 44121 • 440-523-9889 •