Who We Are: Comedy, Tragedy & Cleveland
About the Work
Cleveland Public Library and LAND studio welcome three talented and hilarious personalities to the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library on Thursday, April 25th at 6:30 p.m. to talk about what it means to be from Cleveland and how a regional personality and perspective takes shape. Modern Family’s executive producer Dan O’Shannon, Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown, and Dave Hill a comedian, writer, and frequent contributor to This American Life on NPR will engage in a conversation moderated by local public radio host and Plain Dealer columnist Mike McIntyre. This will be a lighthearted dialogue titled Who We Are: Comedy, Tragedy, & Cleveland.
Cleveland has taken a hit to its self-esteem over the past several decades. An identity stemming from unemployment, government corruption, bleak weather, and subpar sports teams have left Clevelanders explaining to the outside world why anyone would choose to live here. Through decades of common experiences, including a history of hearing Cleveland as the punch line in national media and a general feeling of being the underdog, Clevelanders have weathered the negativity and formed a collective and powerful identity that is forever hopeful.
Our great city has endured a lot – and with struggle comes humor. Based on Brown’s, O’Shannon’s, and Hill’s common experiences as former Clevelanders, they will examine the development of Cleveland’s identity through the collective experiences of the people who live here.
How It Started
Held annually, the Lockwood Thompson Dialogues expose the Cleveland community to unrehearsed and provocative discussions that are built upon themes formulated to be relevant to current events or topics of public interest and engagement. The dialogues are generously funded through an endowment of the late Lockwood Thompson, who was an avid art collector and trustee to the Cleveland Public Library.
As a follow-up to this conversation, Cleveland Public Library and LAND studio will be collaborating with the design firm Agnes Studio to develop a book that features Clevelanders sharing the good, bad, and the ugly of what makes Cleveland unique. People interested in contributing to the book can contact Tiffany Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or leave us your ideas in the comments section of this page!