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Recording at ideastream to promote The Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays@7 concerts

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CultureForward Blog

Moving Forward with Light Speed

Yard signs are popping up all over Cuyahoga County. Newsletters and emails are being sent. Literature is being dropped. Phone calls are being made. Curtain speeches are rolling forth. Momentum is building. The force, as they say, has indeed awakened. I could go on with the Star Wars metaphor, by noting how useful a Jedi mind trick would be to the arts and culture campaign, but really, what we need is one big force push to ensure that arts and culture prevails.

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What I did for Summer Vacation: A Reflection on the Arts and Democracy

This summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Kettering Foundation’s Deliberative Democracy Exchange in Dayton, Ohio. The week-long event brought people together from throughout the world to have conversations related to one fundamental question for Kettering: What does it take to make democracy work as it should? With the turmoil in the Middle East, the ongoing questions about the justice system in the United States, and the influence of money in our elections system, you like many Americans, might be wondering if democracy can work. In truth, there are days I get so frustrated by what I see that I wonder if there is any hope at all for our democracy. Then I remember something really important. It is our democracy, and without citizen engagement, it can’t function as such.

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Categories: Civic Engagement, Neighborhoods, public benefit, public policy | comments

7 Excellent (and Free!) Resources for Artists You Didn't Know Existed (With Bonus 8th Resource!)

Alright, you may know some of these existed, (artists are resourceful people, after all) but I found them to be so useful, I couldn’t resist sharing. Here at CPAC we are on the never-ending quest to locate and share the best resources we can find for artists. There’s no disputing it, sustaining yourself as an artist is a challenging job. Whether you’re looking for business advice, help with money or time management, artist residencies or just some encouragement from other creatives making it work, we aim to provide as much support around you and your creative practice as possible. There is a lot of help out there! But sometimes knowing where to look first is half the battle. Keep making. Keep doing. We’re here to help.

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5 Ways To Work With Your Audience

Back in May, we had the pleasure of having an Arts and Culture Roundtable that focused on Audience development. Attendees were able to hear from five speakers including Ross Binnie from The Cleveland Orchestra, Talise Campbell from Djapo
Cultural Arts Institute, Ed Gilchrist from the Cleveland Play House, Sara Laskey from MetroHealth and Leland Patton from the Cleveland Indians. Each speaker spoke for a short time on their work in audience development within their organization. Here are some of the key themes and takeaways from these five speakers’ presentations. 

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Categories: audience, collaboration, communication, communication strategies, experience, Listening | comments

What is your team's DNA?

A recent staff departure combined with a fresh fiscal year and new set of objectives for CPAC has given me cause to think about how best to deploy our small, but mighty, team; and what might be needed moving forward. Almost fifteen years ago, when I was an MBA candidate, I read a book by Jim Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t. He and his partners had spent a significant amount of time studying companies and identified key characteristics that differentiated the “good” from the “great.” One of the most important takeaways from that book for me was the discussion about the people on your team; namely, the importance of getting the “right people on the bus,” and then once you’ve got them, getting the “right people in the right seats.” If you can really become good at that, Collins notes, you can go anywhere. In recent years at CPAC we’ve focused a lot on understanding our team’s DNA and how that influences our work. Because, if you don’t really understand your people, you certainly can’t ensure that you’ve got the right people in the right seats. So, how can you better understand your team’s DNA?

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Set the Stage for More Young People to Thrive (guest blog by Marsha Dobrzynski)

We are born learners.  

Anyone who has watched an infant grow into a toddler can attest to that.  So what goes on when we get to school?  Boredom and the subsequent conviction that school is irrelevant has led high school students to drop out at the rate of 30% nationally; as much as double that in some demographic groups and geographic areas.

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Categories: Artists, Arts Education, Best Practices, Education | comments

5 Myths about the Creative Workforce Fellowship

Artists define the Creative Workforce Fellowship – through all aspects: the Fellowship year, the applications, the feedback... 

That last one is probably the toughest piece of the program for us on staff, but also the most interesting. We get some heated responses in the anonymous survey. We also hear directly from those who are not too shy to call us up.  I’ve been on the receiving end of many of these incredibly insightful conversations. The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) has revised the program every year based on these conversations…minus the curse words (totally kidding) and submits a new proposal for a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC). Along with the feedback, I’ve heard some less objective comments from the field over the years. I want to take a quick moment to address a few of the concerns that have popped up many more times than once.

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Categories: accessibility, Artists, creativity, Cuyahoga, funding, public | comments

Small but Mighty CPAC Staff

I have been at CPAC the least amount of time of any of us staff members. That said, I have gotten to know this organization pretty well in the last 17 months. I have learned that each of us 7 staff members are very different - we have

CPAC Staff

From left: Valerie, Meg, Adam, Tom, LeAundra, Kristin, Megan

different personalities, different work styles, different ideas, different ways of seeing things, etc. Though we are all different, we make a strong, cohesive team. We are always working together to complete the organization’s goals. And as biased as I may be, I think we do it well.

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State Advocacy Alert: Music Therapy Licensure Efforts Gain Momentum…Your Help is Needed Now!

House Bill 184 (HB-184) has been introduced in the Ohio House under the bi-partisan leadership of Rep. Dovilla of Berea and Rep. Antonio of Lakewood. Music therapists led a highly successful outreach day where they had contact with the offices of all 99 House members and 33 Senate members with personal visits with over 40 elected officials. At the end of the day over 20 House members, from both sides of the aisle, signed on to co-sponsor with Reps Dovilla and Antonio….and three senators signed on to co-sponsor once the bill goes to their side of the legislature.

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Categories: advocacy, artsandhealth, creative minds in medicine, music therapy | comments