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

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Declaring Our Independence from the Bad Presentation

A few years back, I made a presentation to a group of about 60 students from a professional practices class at one of our area universities. I had been asked to talk about CPAC and the resources available to individual artists in our community. It was an after-hours presentation, and as I know the topic so well, I didn’t invest a lot of time preparing for it. As the saying goes, you get out what you put in, and not surprisingly the presentation was a total bomb. There were students sleeping in the room and the overall engagement with me as a presenter was abysmal. I left feeling resentful…I had after all spent my personal time to make this presentation, the least they could have done was pay attention.

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Categories: arts, capacity building, culture, presentations, training | comments

Moving Toward Life (By Guest Blogger Tracey Dwyer)

spontaneous remission n “complete recovery...inexplicable by medical means.” Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier. 

Artists and scientists both seek pathways that lead to the heart of exploration.  The search begs questions like, “how can I make the impossible, possible?” We often make our own best guinea pigs in our attempts to answer such questions.  I had the opportunity to offer myself up to self-experiment when I received breast cancer diagnosis.  I endeavored to dedicate my life to explore my ideas about the power of consciousness over cell regeneration, and the effectiveness of creative process as a tool for transformation.

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Categories: artsandhealth, connect, cross-sector, dance, experience, Health | 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

Synergies Are Created Through Collaborations (by Guest Blogger Ed Gallagher, Beck Center for the Arts)

With all of the discussion surrounding the intersection of the arts and health I have to admit that I feel like for the last 20 years I have been living in the corner house where those streets come together.  From where I sit, our arts community is at the top when it comes to quality, effective, and innovative programming that affect the health and wellness of our residents.

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Categories: Artists, arts, Arts Education, artsandhealth, Best Practices, collaboration, connect, cross-sector, health, Music | comments

Creative Minds in Medicine

About a year ago, I was asked to take a journey that had no set itinerary or final destination. I only received a general direction that said “write a paper on the intersection of arts and health in Cleveland.”

Being given free rein to explore such a vast topic is exciting, but it comes with the challenge of figuring out how to make sense of a myriad universe of knowledge that’s out there about it.

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Categories: artsandhealth, Cleveland, health, Health | comments

#THISISCLE

Arts and culture is a part of our DNA. That was a key takeaway from a public opinion survey we recently commissioned about arts and culture in Cuyahoga County. Our artists and arts and cultural organizations are a huge source of civic pride, said residents; Cuyahoga County wouldn’t be the same without them. The idea that arts and culture is a treasured asset by many in the County isn’t new to us at CPAC, but it is reassuring to know that the community feels as strongly about arts and culture today as they did when we asked them to consider a public investment in our sector a number of years back. Arts and culture contributes significantly to our world class image, along with many of our other treasured assets, such as our parks, libraries and our healthcare community – just to name a few. And that world class image, without the world class ego, is something that Positively Cleveland seeks to capitalize on as it launches a new campaign to attract folks to our area.

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Categories: arts, creative placemaking, marketing, tourism | comments

Raising Arts Advocates

Inspiration can strike at any time. For example, last night I was reading a book to my five-year old son, Logan. We reached the end of the book and he said very casually after looking at the author’s photo, “There’s the dead guy who wrote this book.” I laughed. I said to him, “Logan, how do you know this author is dead?” Then I said, “That’s like saying all composers are dead.” To which he responded, “But all composers are dead!” Thanks to Lemony Snicket for reinforcing that concept. Anyway, I treated this as a teachable moment, an opportunity to remind him that there are many artists (including writers and composers) that are making work today – and that they should be supported. As I said, inspiration can strike at any time. That’s when I realized that it was the perfect time to share with our readers a really important concept…that arts advocacy begins at home.

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Categories: advocacy, Arts Education | 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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