I hate numbers. I have always hated numbers. Story problems make my toes curl; asking me to do addition typically elicits a blank stare and a long ‘Uhhhhmmmm…’ before someone else eventually answers. My method of measuring things like wood and paper, involves a well-developed technique I like to call eyeballing, so as to avoid dealing with a ruler, tape measure, or, god-forbid, fractions. Recently I’ve found myself in the presence of things like statistics and data.
Public Art didn’t get there by accident. Except maybe the Free Stamp (kidding). Of the many things artists contribute to our community, public art may be one of the most visible and ever growing influences on our culture and landscape. Forming Cleveland provides a more in-depth illustration of these investments, which you can learn more about on November 20. On top of that, if you are interested in breaking into your own public art portfolio in Cleveland, I strongly advise you connect with LAND studio (who will also be at the Forming Cleveland event). I recently sat in on a workshop “From the Studio to the Street” that only reemphasized the strength of this organization, which says its support of artists is completely self-serving; they can’t do what they do without the creators that make it happen. Pretty awesome, right?
After news broke of the undercover police raid at Loren Naji’s art gallery back in May, among the many concerned arts professionals were the attorneys at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA). In the interest of educating artists and nonprofits about an area of widespread public concern, the VLA decided to hold a free seminar about the legal issues and risks in hosting an event. The VLA teamed up with SPACES (which had encountered a similar charge a few years back) and CPAC to serve that need. Given that 95 arts and culture nonprofits in Cuyahoga County could fill 16.1 terminal towers, we should probably aware of the risks of filling that space at our events.
Soon, we will head to the voting booth to choose elected offices and decide on community issues. There are nearly one hundred ballot issues in Cuyahoga County, and fifty-four federal, state and local elected offices to vote on.
And then there is fear, terror actually.
There is anger and uncertainty and more fear…
There is the feeling of being totally out of control, of knowing nothing except despair and more fear…
And the cancer isn’t yours, it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to your four-year-old daughter who is the light of your life and who you would die for at any moment…
Watching a kindergartner learn the alphabet by “dancing” her name with body movements. Hearing a fourth-grader thoughtfully and confidently explain what the vibrant colors in his painting represent. Observing the teamwork on display in a middle-school string ensemble.
When my wife and I lost our first child due to preeclampsia, I took what solace I could in writing. My journals of that time express the sorrow, anxiety and anger which came from discovering how incapable we are as a society to talk about child loss, especially men. These writings soon after became the source material for my solo performance ³I Hate This (a play without the baby)². Because I am a theater artist, creating this work was simply the most obvious way for me to communicate my grief, by telling our story on a stage, as a play, to be produced for a theater audience.
Upon meeting, one of the first things people ask you is where you’re from. Growing up in Akron, I have known Cleveland as my neighbor my whole life. When I was much younger I dreamed about living in places like New York City and Los Angeles. From my younger perspective, these were the places where people went to be successful artists. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the things right under your nose.
In my earlier guest blog for CPAC's Creative Minds in Medicine, I share Jory Aebly's story, who was a victim of violent crime, and a patient at MetroHealth.
I have personally been able to see the results of the benefits of neurological music techniques, properly applied in rehabilitation with people who suffered brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries. It has truly been a rewarding experience to watch patients here at MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio, recover and live a full and productive life once again.