Modern art advocate loves walking to the best culture in Cleveland

Hope Hungerford’s first husband Andrew Dempsey introduced her to the world of contemporary art.  And it’s a world the Judson Manor resident continues to relish as a long-time trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland.  MOCA recently opened its acclaimed new home only steps away in University Circle’s burgeoning Uptown district.

“The building makes an important statement about Greater Cleveland’s support for modern art,” says Hope. Living at the Manor, she appreciates its proximity to the best culture in Cleveland.  “I love walking to the museum and nearby shops and restaurants in the Circle’s new Uptown district,” says Hope. “The neighborhood is vibrant and safe.  It’s amazing how things have changed.”

A Cleveland Heights native, Hope earned a degree in history from Connecticut College.  She returned to Cleveland and worked as an assistant to architect John Terrence Kelly, until she left to raise a family with her first husband, Andrew Dempsey.

Although Hope always appreciated fine art and architecture, her interest in modern art was nurtured by Andrew, and his family, who were avid collectors.  When Andrew became chairman of the board of the New Gallery (MOCA’s first iteration), Hope started volunteering and joined the board, eventually serving on the search committee that hired current Executive Director Jill Snyder.  She was also very involved in the planning for MOCA’s move to its amazing new home.

Hope admits that Cleveland has come a long way in its appreciation for contemporary art.

“Cleveland was and still is a very conservative town,” says Hope.  “You’ve got to educate the public about the work.  Jill Snyder and her team have done a yeoman’s job of amassing support and understanding.  I admit I don’t always understand it, but that’s what makes it so interesting.  It’s important to know about the art of our times.”

Along with living in University Circle, Hope notes the Manor’s other advantages. “The apartments are spacious, bright and airy.  I was able to bring my grandfather clock.  Compared to other retirement living options, it’s very affordable—you get a lot for your dollar here,” she says.  “I don’t miss my house at all!”

“I’ve made some really good friends here,” continues Hope.  “And after a day out and about, I love coming home to the sound of the Cleveland Institute of Music students practicing in the ballroom.”

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