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BWW Reviews: Cespedes Choreography Highlight of Cleveland Foundation Centennial Meeting

Related: Martin Cespedes, Cleveland Foundation Centennial Meeting
BWW Reviews: Cespedes Choreography Highlight of Cleveland Foundation Centennial Meeting

Roy Berko

In the last century, the Cleveland Foundation, the first community foundation in the world, has given $1.78 billion dollars in grants to enrich the lives of young and old through working for sustaining a vibrant local economy, developing human potential, reimagining Cleveland, pioneering housing options, and preserving the arts. What better way is there to celebrate these achievements than to throw well-earned celebrations?

The Cleveland Foundation has given Clevelanders free entrance to various venues during this year and held a major event on June 11th at the Palace Theatre.

The highlights of that evening, were the granting of the Homer C. Wadsworth award to Steven D. Standley, Chief Administrative Officer of University Hospitals, for his "innovative, visionary and energetic leadership," as well as the presentation of a delightful and thoughtful speech by Retired General Colin L. Powell, and an opening cavalcade developed by award winning choreographer Martin Céspedes.

Powell's speech covered facts of his life, his experiences in the world's political venues, personal philosophical concepts, the value of the Cleveland Foundation, and a scolding of the present Congress for failing to compromise and work together. As he comfortably wandered the stage, speaking directly to the audience, Powell used personal anecdotes and humorous references to enhance and charm the audience during what appeared to be an ad-libbed speech.

Céspedes's dance concept was inspired by the organization's visual image, the oak tree. The choreographer envisioned that tree as the center of a connective story line through dance movement, lighting, electronic images and music.

As the story unfolded, a child finds an oak leaf on the ground. A leaf which has fallen from a mighty oak, whose roots have grown deep and whose image inspires strength and longevity. This allusion parallels The Cleveland Foundation's growth from a sapling to powerful entity.

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Roy Berko Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.

He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.



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