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Arts Cleveland Blog

Arts Learning and Education Research: What Are We Up To?

As you might have seen in the flurry of communication about all things new for us (new name, new strategic plan, new logo, new set of work imperatives), Arts Cleveland is also igniting a new focus on the arts learning and education ecosystem. This is exciting work, but anyone who works in this field, knows it’s a monstrous area of study, with lots of players, variables and unknowns.

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Categories: Arts Education, community, research, strategic planning, teaching | comments

Understanding the past to build the future

Today we released “Elevating the Influence of Arts and Culture.” 

Cover of Elevating the Influence of Arts and Culture

The playbook is a story of our recent local arts and cultural history with which some of us may be more familiar than others. And in a time when we all would like to look forward, the famous quote by George Santayana applies: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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Categories: artsandhealth, creative intersections, creative placemaking, Neighborhoods, public policy, research, resources | comments

You'll want to hear this

"A strong arts and culture sector for a stronger community..." what does that mean to you? We have strong opinions as individuals, but one thing is clear; no matter what role you think arts and culture should play in our communities, those assets must be strong in order to perform any role at all. Megan Van Voorhis came out in full force last week to give you a flavor of her vision as our new president and CEO. That message was preceded by some incredible insights from two public leaders who care deeply about their communities and understand the unique roles arts and culture play in the lives of those they serve.

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Categories: advocacy, art therapy, Arts and Safety, Arts Education, artsandhealth, Economy, music therapy, Policy Makers, public policy | comments

Spring Update

As changes are happening all over Cleveland’s arts and culture communities, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes. Megan has been establishing our next set of strategic objectives as she grows and understands the lay of the land from a new perspective. She’s meeting with leaders all over Cleveland, following development of the changes at Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and keeping up on local issues -- we send our best to Jill Paulsen as she works with the CAC board during this transition. We’ve also spotted a new notebook dedicated to all Megan's ideas that is piquing our curiosity, though we know we have a lot to do before we get to sharing. And these are just a few of our most pressing tasks for defining our future. 

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Categories: management, public official, strategic planning | comments

On the Subject of Navel Gazing

What’s one of the best ways to find out what someone needs? Ask them.

Community conversations are a bit on trend these days, which we think is a good thing (asking people what they need instead of telling them what they need seems like a super idea for obvious reasons). Back in February of this year, we launched 4 public planning conversations to help inform our organizational direction. But CPAC isn’t the only organization going out into the field recently to collect community feedback on organizational work and practices. We’ve seen Gordon Square Arts District, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and the Cleveland Foundation all using similar methods to direct what they do and how they do it.

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Categories: advocacy, audience, connections, Education, funding, partnership, public policy, strategic planning | comments

My Toastmasters Experience So Far

Did you know surveys say that in general, people fear public speaking more than death? Crazy, isn’t it? 

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I can believe it because I have always been afraid of public speaking. Before and during a speech, I’ve been known to have shaky hands, a quivering voice, the feeling of butterflies in my stomach and other signs of nervousness. After years of avoiding any presentation opportunities that came my way, I decided earlier this year that I wanted to stop letting fear hold me back. I wanted to grow and advance in my work at CPAC and strive to reach my full potential. I decided to visit a Toastmasters International  club.

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Report from Capitol Hill

Earlier this week, I joined over 500 artists, arts administrators, arts educators and students in Washington, D.C. to advocate for favorable arts and cultural policy at the federal level. I have to confess, this is the first time I have ever been to the National Arts Action Summit and Arts Advocacy Day. My years of experience have demonstrated that the best relationships with public officials are built at home over time – long before you have to make an ask of them. What makes this year special, then? In short, for a second year in a row the President has proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts – an action that would have material impact on the arts and society. Going to Washington would ensure I can sleep at night, knowing that I had left no advocacy opportunity vacant.

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Categories: advocacy, Arts Education, Connecting with Policy Makers, funding | comments

Do you remember that time we all went down to City Hall?

When we talk with people about public policy and the arts at CPAC, it’s not unusual for that question to come up. ‘I do remember’, I say. ‘It was one of the first arts activities I was involved in when I came to Cleveland.’ Following on the heels of the City of Cleveland’s adoption of a live/work ordinance, Cleveland City Council adopted resolution No. 491-02 calling for an “Artists’ Summit and Exhibit for the purpose of promoting and supporting local Cleveland artists, underscoring their importance to this community and fostering cultural and artistic exchange and opportunities to all artists and citizens in the city.” We convened on Wednesday, May 15, 2002. It was significant because it was the first time that artists, arts and culture leadership and sector supporters assembled en masse at City Hall to talk about how to advance arts and culture in Cleveland. It was an exciting day for all those who experienced it. A report was issued from the proceedings, a second summit was held in October of that year, and that was it. Fifteen years later, people still look back on that moment fondly, but then they say, what happened from all of that?

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Categories: public policy | comments

Our story began with you. Our future starts with you.

The last year has been a pretty quiet one as far as CPAC goes. Certainly 2017 was stormy as far as the fate of public sector funding for arts and culture at the national and local levels. Will the CPB, IMLS, NEA and NEH survive? Will the cigarette excise tax revenue run out? If so, at what pace? And, how should we respond? And then there was the private philanthropy side, with many expected changes beginning to take root. Significant as those things are, it was a pretty quiet year at CPAC. Why? Because in uncertain times it’s useful to pause and take stock of things. Reflect. That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been quietly reflecting – on our past, and on our future.

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