The Arts + Culture Caucus is a multi-jurisdictional group of elected and appointed officials. It includes Cuyahoga and surrounding Northeast Ohio counties. Participants are unified by their shared interest in supporting and creating arts and cultural policy.

The Arts + Culture Caucus serves as a vehicle for public officials to connect with like-minded peers and the arts and culture community. Members examine existing policies, access sample models of legislation and work to craft and advance policies that further support and embed arts and culture into the fabric of our region. In addition to providing the group with relevant and credible information, Arts Cleveland facilitates communication between Arts + Culture Caucus members and the Arts Advocates grassroots group. The work in parallel to review and discuss community-identified policy issues directly affecting the field.

Members of the Caucus

Public Officials opt-in to the group by contacting Arts Cleveland. Members receive and respond to regular communication about arts and culture as it relates to public policy. Arts Cleveland facilitates two Caucus Sessions per year.

Senator Nickie Antonio, The Ohio State Senate, District 23

Mayor Michael Byrne, City of Parma Heights

Ms. Caryn Candisky, District Director, Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Councilman Andy Celcherts, City of Brooklyn

Ms. Jeri Chaikin, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Shaker Heights

Councilwoman Sara Continenza, South Euclid, Ward 3

Councilman Kevin Conwell, City of Cleveland, Ward 9

Councilwoman Mary Dunbar, City of Cleveland Heights, Ward 2

Mayor Robert Fiala, City of Willoughby

Ms. Gwen Garth, Board Member, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Councilman Marty Gelfand, South Euclid

Representative Stephanie Howse, The Ohio House of Representatives, District 11

Council President Ron Jackson, City of Maple Heights, Ward 4

Ms. Heather Johnson-Banks, Program Manager, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Councilman Basheer Jones, City of Cleveland, Ward 7

Mayor William B. Judge, City of Barberton

Councilwoman Maria Jukic, City of Euclid, Ward 7

Councilwoman Bridget King, City of Fairview Park, Ward 5

Councilman Jud Kline, Orange Village

Mayor Stanley Koci, City of Bedford

Mayor Edward Kraus, City of Solon

Councilman Richard Leskovec, City of Pepper Pike

Ms. Allison Lukacsy-Love, Architect + Community Projects Manager, City of Euclid

Council President Charlene Mancuso, City of Euclid

Council President Paul Marnecheck, City of North Royalton

Councilwoman Christine McIntosh, City of Euclid

Councilman Dale Miller, Cuyahoga County

Ms. Jill Paulsen, Interim CEO + Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Ms. Tarra Petras, Public Art Coordinator, City of Cleveland

Councilwoman Kristin Saban, City of Parma, Ward 4

Representative Kent Smith, The Ohio House of Representatives, District 8

Councilwoman Sandy Spinks, City of Bedford, Ward 1

Captain Keith Sulzer, Commander, Cleveland Police Foundation

Councilman Jim Trakas, City of Independence

Councilwoman Gigi Traore, Village of Newburgh Heights

Mayor Patrick Ward, City of Lyndhurst

Mayor Georgine Welo, City of South Euclid

Councilman Matthew Zone, City of Cleveland, Ward 15

Arts & Culture Makes Us Stronger Seal


  1. Veronica D Thornton on July 29, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    According to this list there are no representatives from the city of Cleveland. Will there be any officials from the city of Cleveland? Or anyone to represent Cleveland at this caucus?

    • Valerie on August 21, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      As of today, the list only includes public officials who opt’ed-in at the Public Officials Recognition Breakfast. We haven’t yet done targeted outreach, and we will absolutely be reaching out to Cleveland City Council and many other places in the next few months. We’ll discuss this a bit more at the Arts Advocates meeting on September 5.

  2. Sandi White on August 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I have worked with many of the elected officials noted here over many years as a leader in the Democratic Party.

  3. Sandi White on August 16, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    As a community leader/ activist in the Arts Community and political arena, as well as a fine artist, I would love to help coordinate the Arts Caucus… it’s a natural fit for me!!!

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