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

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CultureForward Blog

We’re Planning for CPAC’s Future and We Need Your Input!

It’s hard to believe that CPAC is celebrating 20 years of service to the region this year! As we reflect on the past and look toward our future, we’re interested in your thoughts and ideas. What is your take on Cuyahoga County’s arts and culture sector? What’s needed today and what role should CPAC play? How have we gotten it right? How can we improve?

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Categories: strategic planning | comments

Speak For Yourself (Guest blog by Imad Rahman)

One of the most common logical fallacies some writers of color, or some writers of color born outside the U.S., encounter is one of representation (this is somewhat akin to the ‘You speak English very well’ conversational gambit some well-meaning strangers employ). You are automatically drafted into the position of ambassador, or spokesperson, for your entire ethnic community. You are supposed to write about them, voice their concerns, represent their emotional truths, chart their logistical realities, reveal their deepest darkest secrets, make them accessible through their flaws. In short, a personal truth is expected to become the Universal Truth. And truth, of course, is much murkier than a zero-sum game.

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It's not about my feelings

Photo by Steve Wagner

"Incendiaries" photo by Steve Wagner

I’m fortunate to be part of an artistic community that values and supports risky experimental work. By risky, I mean just that. There is a fair portion of this work that fails. It may confuse or perhaps even offend the audience. But that is what artists and innovators do, they embark on journeys often unsure of where they will end up.

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Categories: innovation, Neighborhoods, Race, Storytelling | comments

Is an arts job really as legitimate as a [insert every other industry here] job?

My colleagues in the arts industry may bristle at this question, particularly in light of the fact that I’m an arts and culture advocate. If truth be told, I thought we had moved beyond the point where we have to answer this question, due in large part to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis & National Endowment for the Arts. Last year, they released data demonstrating the considerable contribution that arts and cultural production makes to the GDP. After years of local and national organizations conducting analyses to explore the role of arts and culture in the economy – much to the dismay of some in the arts and culture field – the economists in government were finally paying attention.

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Categories: artist, Artist as an Entrepreneur, Education, research | comments

Providing safe afterschool arts & sports programming to CMSD youth (Guest Blog by Boo Geisse)

Miss Bri works on poetry with some of the 3rd graders at Mound STEM during summer programming at Mound Elementary School.

I think about safety in two ways. There’s physical safety, which includes the safety of the body, the home, and environments that lend themselves to opportunity. Physical safety is you and I working and living without injury, our children getting through school without harm. This type of safety also incorporates the space around you: your right to exist, to take up space, to participate. It’s being in an environment that allows you to do what you want to do, to pursue goals and dreams.   

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Categories: Arts and Safety, Arts Education, creative intersections, sports | comments

The Power of Learning In and Through the Arts (Guest Blog by Santina Protopapa)

Ever since I can remember, music has been an important part of my life.  Playing an instrument since kindergarten empowered me to become a leader, showed me how to collaborate with others, and provided the perfect opportunity for me to develop creative problem-solving skills.  These skills play a role in every aspect of my personal and professional life.

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Categories: Artists, Arts and Safety, Arts Education, creative intersections, Music | comments

Integrating the Arts - Chicago's Ingenuity

A few weeks ago, Valerie and I had the opportunity to attend a presentation put on by the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium with guest speaker Nicole Losurdo Upton from Ingenuity. Ingenuity is an advocacy organization that has been working with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Department of Arts Education, certified teachers, students, parents and Chicago’s arts and culture community to ensure excellence in arts education for every student in Chicago’s Public Schools. Ms. Upton spoke on Ingenuity’s process on integrating the arts back into Chicago Public Schools through the CPS Arts Education Plan, a plan designed to bring the arts to every student, in every grade, in every school. Ingenuity started in 2011, and has since made strong progress in increasing the percentage of Chicago Public Schools that have arts programs.

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Categories: advocacy, Artists, Arts Education, creative intersections, Education, evaluate, public policy | comments

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