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Arts and Culture Public Officials Breakfast 2015

strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector

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Prestigious Creative Workforce Fellows named for 2014

Cuyahoga County’s artistic R & D grants provide $20,000 to select leading artists - $405,000 total to 22 winners                                                       

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Community Partnership for Arts & Culture (CPAC) announced today the names of the 2014 Creative Workforce Fellows.  Each of the twenty Fellows will receive $20,000 this year to be used to advance their artistic endeavors and development.  This annual program has, since its inception in 2009, provided nearly $2.5 million in Fellowship grants. 

“This year’s fellows represent some of the most creative and innovating artists who make their homes in Cuyahoga County, and we are honored to welcome them to the select Fellowship family,” said Thomas Chema, chair of CPAC’s Board of Trustees.  “Northeast Ohio is fortunate to be home to thousands of exceptional artists, working in a variety of disciplines. These artists produce practical and intrinsic values for our community. They are investing and working to revitalize of our neighborhoods.  They are principal players in knowledge and creative-based economies.   Through their art they can raise new ideas and impart sharper insights that expand our perceptions. They help to make our community, and our lives, more vibrant.”

Each Fellowship class is selected from applicants within four artistic disciplines, which vary from, year to year.  The 2014 Fellows work in the media of dance, literature, music or theatre. For its one-year duration, every Fellowship offers a $20,000 financial award that can be used for any purpose that advances the Fellow's artistic work and professional development. The award also includes a number of additional professional development services. The funding for the Fellowship program is provided by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

The 2014 Creative Workforce Fellows are:



Specialty or Notes

George Bilgere Literature Poet
Raymond Bobgan Music Composer, director and playwright
George Brant Theatre Poet and playwright
Joshua Brown Dance Modern dancer
Eric Coble Theatre Playwright
Christa Ebert Music ‘Uno Lady’ – self-taught singer and musician
Terrence Greene Dance Dancer, choreographer and teacher
Faye Hargate Theatre Performer, performance- and installation artist
Christine Howey Theatre Performance poet, critic and playwright
Kevin Keating Literature Novelist ofThe Natural Order of Thingsand professor of literature
Tracy McKee Dance Dancer, teacher of movement and anatomy
Philip Metres Literature Poet, literature teacher
Lynda Montgomery Literature Novelist, physician
Clint Needham Music Orchestral music composer
Amanda Powell Music Classical, jazz and folk singer
Dan Rourke Literature Poet, essayist and short story author
David Shimotakahara Dance Modern dance and ballet
Robin Van Lear Theatre Performance artist
RA Washington Literature Novelist and poet
Sarah Willis Literature Novelist

Additionally, Thrity Umrigar (Literature) received a Seth Rosenberg Prize. The award, named to commemorate the life and work of late 2009 Fellow Seth Rosenberg, designates two alternate artists who would receive an award should a Fellow be unable to accept it.  The Rosenberg Prize includes $2,500 for each recipient. CPAC receives a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to implement the Fellowship program.

“The Creative Workforce Fellowship program helps this county develop and retain the artistic residents who enhance our communities,” said Tom Schorgl, CPAC president.  “The program is about more than identifying and supporting great artistic talent.  It also creates a direct return on investment for Cuyahoga County.  The residents support a variety of artistic organizations and projects through the funding of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, but the Fellowship program lets this region cultivate individual artistic leaders who help give this region personality and national recognition as a creative hot-spot.”

In just its sixth year, the Creative Workforce Fellowship program has become one of the most prestigious prizes in Northeast Ohio, annually recognizing the leading lights of the region’s artistic community.  The Fellowship program is unlike any other award in the region in its significant monetary value, focus on individual artists, and few restrictions on how the award can be used by the Fellow. 

Previous Fellowship classes have included nationally notable artists like visual artists Amy Casey, Seth Rosenberg, and Douglas Max Utter; jazz musician Ernie Krivda; playwright and actor David Hansen; designer Michael Ina; and writers Michael Oatman and Joanna Connors.

Fellowship applications are scored in two levels of blind-adjudications. First, CPAC invites a panel of artists from across the country to review the applications online. They analyze and score each application. The top 40 scoring applications are then reviewed by a second panel of five national artists, who travel to Cleveland and discuss the work in a public meeting prior to scoring.

About CPAC: The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector.  CPAC provides counsel and research to foster a more informed dialogue between representatives of the arts and culture sector and public leaders concerning arts and culture’s role in the region’s development. It also supports the advancement of artists, arts and culture professionals and other civic leaders through an array of programs and services. For more information, please visit 

About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture was approved by Cuyahoga County voters in 2006, and since 2007, CAC has invested more than $112 million dollars in more than 237 local arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County. CAC’s vision for its first ten years of public funding for arts and culture is to help build stronger, more resilient arts and culture organizations, create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture, and establish Cuyahoga County as a hub of creative activity and a destination for artists. To learn more, please visit

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