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Great Lakes Theater "The Merry Wives of Windsor," 2014

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CultureForward Blog

Showing blog posts written by Valerie Schumacher

this is a great moment

I was suddenly thrown back to my earlier days at CPAC, just before the age-old idea of integrating artists into community revitalization efforts was coined “creative placemaking.” CPAC and community organizers were discussing not only how artists can help revive communities, but how communities could give back to these artists. There was, and is, a clear understanding of the need to sustain growth without pricing out existing residents, which often includes people working in creative professions. Now that real estate professionals all over the state are recognizing Cleveland’s increasing property values--a result of any number of factors--some of the theories, I imagine, will be put to the test. In fact, a number of efforts that were set in motion in 2008-2010 have already proven themselves and grown in all the obvious neighborhoods, and some not so obvious ones.

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Categories: Artists, artsandhealth, Best Practices, community development, connect, creative minds in medicine, creative placemaking, Creative Workforce Fellowship, cross-sector, Neighborhoods, public benefit, research, resources | 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

Artist Stereotypes

A few weeks ago, I ran across a story titled “Artists Frustrated With Being Put in a Black Box”. The story, by David C. Barnett (WCPN), featured artist choreographer, Dianne McIntyre among other local talents. I met Dianne during her Fellowship in 2010. She is a world renown, Guggenheim-award-winning, trail-blazing choreographer. She is also welcoming, dedicated and all-around wonderful, as most of the other artists I’ve worked with. But I admit the concerns in this article never would have crossed my mind at the time.

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Categories: art therapy, Artists, creative placemaking, creativity, culture, innovation, Race, Storytelling | comments

A List of Lists: Do your Holidays with a CLE Arts Twist

List of Lists

You already know the importance of buying local and that Cleveland has some of the best shops in the land.  With so many lists of them, it would be silly to add our own, so here is a list of those lists that showcase the “buy local arts” scene (plus a few shout-outs). Share these with your friends, and do this holiday season the Cleveland way - with an arts twist.

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Categories: Artists, arts, Cleveland, creativity, experience, Kickstarter | comments

Breaking into Cleveland Public Art

Buckeye Park

Art & Soul of Buckeye Park Festival

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?

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Categories: accessibility, Artists, Best Practices, Cleveland, collaboration, creative placemaking, Neighborhoods, public, Sustainability | comments

10 things to know about arts event planning

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.

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Categories: audience, Best Practices, Cleveland, community organizing, legal, Music, network, resources | comments

Making the wrong argument to the wrong people

Working at a research organization is strange for me because I’ve always felt most at ease when I’m doing. I want to design and create, to be at the event, to write the content, not analyzing participation and setting strategic plan metrics.  If it’s good content and the right people benefit, we’ve done our job right? Arts and culture changes lives. We know it inherently.

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Categories: Arts Education, research, Storytelling | comments

Advocacy: Our Obligation

As nonprofits and artists, this idea may be overwhelming. Taking on more obligations as we work to serve our constituents through programs and services with limited resources is a challenge, to put it lightly. Advocacy is expensive and time-consuming, right? Especially as the federal government proposes policies that restrict the voices of nonprofits and the people we serve…but isn’t silence a disservice to those same amazing people who count on us? One answer to these questions might be that it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming, and there are resources to help you join the public sector conversation.

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Categories: advocacy, capacity building, civic, cross-sector, issues, public policy, resources, voting | comments

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