To listen to our own mythology, Cleveland is a great town if you're married, have kids and a steady job; but heaven forbid if you're young, single and a tad different.
Yes, young people might be attracted to Case, Cleveland Institute of Art or Kent State. But once they get their cap and gown, they're gone. And while we like to think our problems are unique, all towns with universities must wrestle with similar cases of brain drain.
Part of Cleveland's struggle centers on its bear-hug affection for big institutions from Fortune 500 companies (the few that remain) to cultural temples such as Severance Hall. Admittedly, it's a tough hold to loosen, but something that's necessary to clear some space for the up-and-comers.
In fact, a simple, no-cost way to help keep kids interested in Cleveland is to show an interest in them. Universities and arts and cultural organizations consistently feature the work of our region's talented doers. Unfortunately, the media and public alike often ignore student work.
But not here. Be sure to check out these cool January events.
Young and Emerging Composers Because of internal politics, this may be the last season for the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, known for its "adventuresome programming of contemporary music" Mnd its "commitment to new American music." Check out this Emerging Composers concert, conducted by Marilyn Shrude, with performances of works by Northeast Ohio's most talented student composers, on Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. Drinko Hall, Cleveland State University, 2001 Euclid Ave., (216) 687-9243, www.clevelandchambersymphony.org
Art Rock It's a live-wire exhibition comprising young Cleveland artists who are musicians and musicians who are artists supplying their unique brand of creative outbursts. Jason Byers, artist and front man for the Cleveland punk band Disengage, will curate the exhibit. Opening night is Jan. 24 at Lake Erie College's B.K. Smith Gallery. (440) 375-7056, www.lec.edu/finearts
58th-annual Student Independent Exhibition Cleveland Institute of Art's annual student show is a juried gallery exhibit managed and curated by CIA students and showcasing select work from its student body. This year's jurors are Charles LeDray, Jeanne Dunning and Patty Chang. Free and open to the public, it begins Jan. 30 with an opening reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Institute's Reinberger Galleries, 11141 East Blvd. The show runs through March 14. www.cia.edu/galleries/reinberger