Built in 1836, St. John's Episcopal Church earned the city the designation as Station Hope and is the first authenticated Underground Railroad site in the city. Cleveland Public Theatre pays tribute to that legacy at its third annual Station Hope multiarts festival at the church. The April 30 event features works by more than 150 artists addressing struggles for freedom and justice. Executive artistic director Raymond Bobgan shares why his hopes are a little higher this year.
Hope is critical for our own community. I have more hope, but I also have more fear than I had last year. I believe the mayor is making systematic change. I'm particularly afraid because of the presidential race. What I've learned is that sometimes it's more important to act with hope than to feel it. We have an obligation as people to move forward — even when there's no hope. In the Underground Railroad, they could not always see hope, not see the stars, but they kept going.