The City Club of Cleveland

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About The City Club of Cleveland

The City Club of Cleveland is one of the nation's great free speech forums. A product of the Progressive Era, we were founded in 1912 and are one of the nation's oldest continuous independent free speech forums, renowned for our tradition of debate and discussion. For more than a hundred years, all of our speakers—from sitting presidents to community activists—have answered unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience.

View our 2018 Annual Report here.


We firmly believe in the free expression of all ideas and the benefits of an open exchange. We are non-partisan—we do not take positions on issues—and we are fierce advocates of engagement. In our second century of service, we produce more than a hundred programs every year for the benefit of the community. 


Our Mission is to create conversations of consequence that help democracy thrive.
Our Vision is of strong, informed individuals and communities that prize freedom of speech and civil, civic dialogue.  


To fulfill these goals, the City Club produces forums on a range of topics for a variety of audiences. The backbone of our programming is the Friday Forum, a luncheon program devoted to significant national and regional concerns. We also have forums on other days, at different times and venues, including neighborhood bars. Some of our most successful programs are developed by member-led teams and students. Every election season, you can count on the City Club to convene candidate and issue debates. 

The City Club's primary media partner is ideastream, which includes 90.3 WCPN/NPR, 104.9 WCLV, WVIZ/PBS, and the Ohio Channel. ideastream provides production support to our programs, broadcasting some of the best ones and helping us provide a digital archive and live stream of the rest. Our programs are often broadcast on radio and television outlets around the country. 

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