Using Their Craft, Artists Breathe Life into History, Myth and Tradition

CLEVELAND (December 20, 2016) – Today, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture releases the final collection of video interviews with Creative Workforce Fellows. Through their original work, these five artists create a connection between contemporary audiences and themes and craft of the past. They remind us that societal and personal progress requires remembering and accessing our history. The Fellowships are generously supported by Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Julie Andrijeski, Simone Barros, Alison Garrigan, Dave Lucas and Renee Schilling share their work.

Filmmaker and playwright, Simone Barros has nurtured a relationship with the Cozad Bates House, Restore Cleveland Hope and her muse, Joan Southgate. Through documentary film, she retells the story of the underground railroad and the woman who walked it’s path a century and a half after slaves fought for their freedom. Barros’ work will be included in a screening on January 22, 2016 at Cedar Lee Theatre alongside films from fellow grant recipients Annika Sheaff and Jakob Hochendoner.

Baroque violinist, Julie Andrijeski’s, newly devised Wonder Chamber project, rediscovers music from 17th century manuscripts. Wonder Chambers, or cabinets of curiosity, were developed in Renaissance Europe and are used as the spring board for her project. Andrijeski becomes a literal link to the past as she performs centuries-old music free to the community on her nearly 400-year-old violin.

In his writings, poet and teacher Dave Lucas parallels biblical and ancient texts with modern events, particularly in Cleveland. “The river burned here, that can either be a source of great shame or it can be looked at as a scene out of the Book of Daniel or the book of Exodus. If we start to treat these events in a way that lends them the nobility of being a story that can be told, what happens then?” Lucas is a force in the local writers’ community as the host of the monthly Brews + Prose series as well as Cleveland Book Week, a new effort bringing literature to Cleveland residents in a day full of partnerships.

Alison Garrigan is a vibrant creator of theatre arts for children, developing new theatre works based on historical stories and myths. As the director of Talespinners Children’s Theatre, she sees herself as an artist first, bringing life to rich cultural stories using puppets and characters to which kids can relate in today’s Cleveland.

Playwright, Renee Schilling draws a direct connection between the contemporary capabilities of texting and technology to traditional devised theatre. “I’m a millennial. So, why write plays for a generation that doesn’t like going to the theatre? I write them because we are a generation that is desperate to connect,” says Schilling. You can see her stylings in “Light the Lights, Ol’ Moses CLE,” playing now at Cleveland Public theatre.

About Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC)

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture is a nonprofit organization in Cleveland, Ohio. CPAC serves and supports arts and culture professionals and community leaders who are working to create a brighter future for greater Cleveland. Through counsel, relationship building, research, programs and advocacy, CPAC works to strengthen, unify and connect greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. CPAC envisions greater Cleveland’s diverse arts and culture sector as a leading partner in contributing to our community’s vitality and enlivening the human experience. For more information, visit

About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC)

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest public funders for arts and culture in the nation, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2007, CAC has invested $155 million in more than 300 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit