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Hough Mural, Cleveland, Ohio


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Planning Convo Super Summary: Participation + Engagement

In February 2018, CPAC held four planning conversations to connect with the arts and culture field and ask them for help in setting priorities for our work. Below is a quick overview of what we heard at the Participation and Engagement planning convo on 2-15-18. To let us know what you think in a survey, click on the link to your right.

What does the participation landscape look like in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County?

  • Arts organizations are experimenting regularly with programming initiatives to increase their participation and engagement
  • A wide variety of environmental and social factors affect whether or not people can or will participate in arts and cultural activities or programming
  • There is not much data or information to understand how individual artists work to expand their audiences or consumers

What kind of assets do we have that encourage arts and culture participation?

  • A high volume of talented local artists
  • Many free arts and cultural programs, events and institutions
  • The existence of metrics to prove the benefit of arts in neighborhoods
  • Good connections between large corporations and small businesses
  • A legacy of philanthropy

What are your biggest challenges and frustrations with participation and engagement?

Competing Markets
Arts organizations and artists are always competing for audiences. Oversaturation, free vs. paid events, virtual platforms and a sports-minded city all contribute to that competition

It’s often difficult to collect data on participation and there is a lack of local participation data and a central place to find information in general

The ability to access arts organizations or activities will affect whether people participate or not. Reliable transportation, availability, safe spaces and accessible facilities (for individuals with disabilities) can all be challenging factors

Racial diversity of audiences, staff and boards continues to be a challenge for arts and cultural organizations

Effective marketing and promotion is often a challenge for smaller arts organizations and artists

Not enough available funding to work on increasing participation rates and pressures from funders to direct programming exist as significant challenges

Where should CPAC focus?

  •      Produce a long-range study on who is and isn’t participating in local arts and culture and why
  •      Create a central database to access and connect with local artists
  •      Develop data education collection for the field
  •      Work to create a more arts-centric citywide perception through media
  •      Develop and implement a standardized method for collecting data for arts and culture organizations

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