The City Club of Cleveland is the oldest continuous free speech forum in the United States. Formed in 1912 to promote the exchange of ideas and civic thought, the City Club is open to all, regardless of race, religion, or creed. It is best known for its Friday Forums, a weekly hour-long presentation by some of the world's most prominent politicians, artists, journalists, scientists, and educators.
The Friday Forum:
The Friday Forum is the City Club's most popular event. Broadcast to over forty states, the forum features a speech, following by a half-hour of unfiltered questions from the audience. Past speakers have included Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Theodore Roosevelt as well as others, such as Margaret Mead, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Robert Kennedy, and Cesar Chavez.
You need not be a member to attend the Friday Forums and the events are surprisingly affordable. They generally range from $10 to $40 per person. Members receive a discount on most events and priority reservations on popular events.
The Friday Forums are broadcast in Northeast Ohio on WCLV.
Lunch at the City Club:
The City Club dining room is open to the public Monday through Friday from 1130am to 130pm. The buffet meal includes soup, salad, a pasta bar, and a choice of entrees for $9, including gratuity and beverage.
City Club Catering:
The nine City Club event rooms are available for private parties, cocktail receptions, and business meetings, and will accommodate from 10 to 450 guests. For more information on catered events, call the City Club at 216 621-0082 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other City Club programs include the High School Student Program, where students attend a forum and meet with the speaker; neighborhood architectural and cultural tours; monthly issue roundtables; and the Youth Forum Series.
City Club membership is $200 for standard members, $140 for those under 40 or over 65, $50 for students, and $100 for those residing outside of Northeast Ohio. For more information on membership, see the City Club website. You don't have to be a City Club member to attend the Forums.
The "Freedom of Speech" Mural:
"Freedom of Speech" (click on the pictures above to view) is the centerpiece of the City Club auditorium. Created by Cleveland artist Elmer Brown in 1942 as part of the WPA works program, the mural has been called the most important work in Cleveland by an African-American artist. Mr. Brown later taught at Karamu House, illustrated books for Langston Hughes, and worked for American Greeting Company.
Parking at the City Club of Cleveland:
The City Club is connected to the adjacent Euclid/Prospect Gateway Parking Garage by an elevated pedestrian bridge. Parking is $7.75 before 4pm and $4.00 if you arrive after 4pm. (Special event pricing does not apply to City Club guests.) If you are at the City Club between 11am and 230pm, you may have your ticket validated to qualify for $2.25 parking.
The City Club of Cleveland
The City Club Building
850 Euclid Ave., 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
(Last updated 9-22-09)