Black Girls Catch More than Rides on RTA?

I can’t help but love the buzz of a metropolitan lifestyle and how Cleveland makes it possible for me to live in a sorta big city way.

Granted, it’s not Brooklyn, NY but it’s home and has been exciting me lately like my visits to big cities elsewhere. Taking the rapid transit to work is one way for me to get my metropolitan fix, even as quaint as the rapid is.

Tuesday morning, I was running a little late for work, but it was all good. I caught a young lady reading out loud as I waited for the train at Shaker Square. A small crowd gathered and someone videotaped her as she eloquently read on the platform.

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In celebration of Cleveland Book Week, Twelve Literary Literary and Performing Arts Incubator partnered with RTA and LAND Studio to feature several pop-up readings along rapid transit routes this week. Some of the readings featured past and present winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, which happens this evening at the State Theater.

In case you didn’t know, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award is the only American book prize focusing on works about racism and diversity. It’s an anticipated annual event, where honored authors and scholars visit Cleveland and share insight about the books they’ve written.

Tickets for the 82nd annual event are sold out, but you can catch a live-stream of the ceremony and check out present and past winners of this prestigious award.

Which brings to back to RTA and what else I catch when I ride on the rapid every day.

Gazing from the window of the Blue Line, I watch the Cleveland urban landscape pass by without much thought. When the train reaches certain spots, I catch these stunning visuals that add color, intrigue, and beauty to an otherwise uneventful trip.

A while back, I learned about this artwork at the Inter|Urban Street Festival held on May 19.

You're probably thinking what makes this artwork so special.

Several organizations and artists collaborated to bring RTAs rapid route to life with art that interprets selections from past winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

During the May 19 festival, I snagged a few pics of the books featured as artwork. I also met the guys of the Bubble Process who created this wonderful work of art on the facade of the Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City. It’s based on a poem by Rowan Ricardo Phillips.

Living in Cleveland feels more metropolitan to me as I catch more than rides on RTA.

Check out the interactive map of Inter|Urban art installations that brighten up my train ride everyday. And be sure to check out Twelve Literary and Performing Arts Incubator. They’re adding spoken and written art to Cleveland’s metropolitan landscape too.