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Arts Cleveland Blog

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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Your 2017 Gift Guide to Cleveland Artist Amazingness

What better way to find last minute, local gift options for those you love than by looking to the Cleveland artist and maker community! From pop-up makers markets to uncommon books, performance tickets and classes, our local creatives offer an amazing array of handcrafted items and experiences to share. This list features only a fraction of the artists and arts organizations we have locally, so don’t hesitate to send us more ideas and get creative yourself in how you think about spending this holiday season.

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Categories: Artists | comments

The Federal Tax Bill…And Us.

Over the weekend, a tax reform bill was passed by the U.S. Senate. Now, a conference committee has been charged with reconciling that bill with one previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The objective is to produce a bill that the President can sign before December 25. There are a number of provisions that affect those of us working in nonprofits and public service. The Arts Action Fund has a helpful analysis of the bills and how the arts could be affected. We wanted to make sure that you are aware of a few of those provisions and to provide you with some resources to find out more information.

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Categories: advocacy, public policy, tax | comments

Trends in Audience Engagement

Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit, ExtendArts and cultural marketers and market researchers from across the country gathered in Memphis last weekend to learn and share. The conversations about arts marketing at the NAMP Conference naturally ranged as wide as cultural audiences themselves. Four days were devoted to sharing ideas to acquire and retain participants in arts and cultural activities. More people with deeper experience in the arts is better for everyone. We caught a few trends to share that we hope will resonate in Cleveland.

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Categories: accessibility, audience, marketing, Race, research, resources | comments

15 Notes On Accessible Communications

VSAOhio and Services for Independent Living presented to a group of arts and culture administrators on accessibility in marketing and communications. There was so much information condensed into the time frame, I couldn't possibly share it all here. I did, however, take away a few simple practices that can quickly be put into practice.

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Categories: accessibility, communication, community, marketing, public policy | comments

Artists and Audiences Gain from Diverse Theater Scene

Karamu House; "Rasheeda Speaking"

Cross-pollination among artists is always beneficial for everyone involved, including the spectators who experience the final results. Within the theater, Terrence Spivey, artistic director at Shore Cultural Centre and former artistic director at Karamu House, the oldest African-American theater in the US, knows the immeasurable value of collaboration.

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Categories: collaboration, Race, research, Theater | comments

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