Education, Arts and More: Lakewood Offers Opportunities for Learning, Cultural Programs

Education, Arts and More: Lakewood Offers Opportunities for Learning, Cultural Programs

Historic Lakewood Library Front Porch Concert Series. Photo by Judie Vegh.

The city of Lakewood is a unique place known for its culture and education. Families who live in the city can take advantage of the public schools, independent schools and a college that reside in the city.

Visitors can enjoy the many cultural attractions, including the library and Beck Center for the Arts, which offers arts education programs and activities. Many of those in-person activities will be reopening to the public soon, but for now, families can find opportunities through virtual programs.

The historic Lakewood Library, which was first opened in 1916,  located at 15425 Detroit Ave., has curbside appeal. The columns and steps in front of the library have housed many events, such as the annual LakewoodAlive Front Porch Concert Series. The library also has dedicated spaces to public art. Inside, the library boasts a unique color palette that was selected by architect Robert A.M. Stern.

While the in-person activities and events are not currently taking place — which under normal times consisted of literary events, youth arts and science programming and innovative ways to introduce authors and more —  the library has virtual storytime learning resources. Also, the summer reading program is in full swing. 

Check for updates on the library and its reopening at

Ymer Dar’s children have a music lesson through [email protected] virtual learning with Dr. Wooley. (Photo Courtesy of Beck Center.)

Beck Center for Arts plays an integral role in the Lakewood community. 

“Dreams have come true through the magic of the arts; children and adults feel a sense of accomplishment through works created and inspiration through performances experienced; shy students believe in themselves and flourish,” says Cindy Einhouse, president and CEO. 

While the art center is still not open due to the state’s health guidelines, it is offering virtual programs for students and is currently planning for the fall session.

“It will be a dynamic fall at Beck Center with in-person classes taking place, while we continue to provide our “[email protected]” (virtual) programming for those looking for an alternate online arts experience,” says Ed Gallagher, director of education at Beck Center. “On campus classes and lessons will be available in all art forms while providing best practices for arts education and individual safety throughout our studios.”

Learn more at

Did You Know There’s a College in Lakewood? Students have many opportunities to attend college around Northeast Ohio. For students who live in Lakewood or nearby, there is a college campus in town — with programs that fit the city’s cultural vibe.

The North Coast College (formerly known as Virginia Marti College of Art & Design) offers accredited associate and bachelor’s degrees in interior design, graphic design, art and design management, fashion design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, graphic design and interior design. It is scheduled for spring of 2021 to also offers two culinary degree programs: associate of applied science in baking and pastry arts or culinary arts. 

President Dr. Milan Milasinovic says the school’s relationship with the city is a supportive one.

“We were born and raised in Lakewood,” he says about the history of the college. “We support our community and providing education to local residents.”

In fact, the college is now offering scholarships for all Lakewood residents that could decrease tuition cost by half.

The school appeals to students looking for a hands-on approach to learning in small classes with big studio spaces to be creative, while keeping social distancing. The school is also walkable for students who live in Lakewood.

“We are not a school of abstract,” Milasinovic says. “We teach our students to apply, innovate and manage. The idea application is making something useful and something people can use. I think the biggest advantages is the faculty had significant careers before they decided to teach. We are educating for 21st century jobs, using the digital economy.”

Learn more at

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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