CREATIVE FUSION: Global Artists at Home in Cleveland

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In 2008, The Cleveland Foundation created an unprecedented international artist residency program that has brought more than 70 foreign artists to Cleveland. Each year, Creative Fusion brings approximately a dozen accomplished or rapidly rising artists from underrepresented cultures to Cleveland.  Each is hosted by a local cultural institution during two, three-month residency periods which take place in spring (March-May) and fall (September-November).

What makes this artist residency unique is that, in addition to undertaking innovative work in his/her discipline, each artist is spending just as much time, if not more, on making strong connections and exchanges with local artists, students and the Greater Cleveland community.

The deep engagement that Creative Fusion offers at the artistic level generates a rich and lasting impact. In recent years, Creative Fusion welcomed incredible international artists from Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Chile, Iran, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil, Senegal, Egypt, Pakistan, and South Africa from a variety of art forms, including painting, multimedia installations, print-making, sculpture, ballet, experimental dance, and photography.

The Cleveland Foundation is proud to partner with CAN Journal on this first issue highlighting Creative Fusion, the host organizations, the artists themselves, and the work they plan to do in the community.  The goal of this partnership is to create more awareness of the artists and their impact on Cleveland. This first issue highlights the spring cohort of artists and the collaborations they are planning with their host organizations.

We have included the many ways that you can engage with the artists while they are here. In the Summer issue, we plan to share with you highlights of the impact of their residencies in Cleveland. I encourage you to visit an exhibition, attend a performance and reach out to the host organizations to meet these incredible, globally significant artists.


  • Lillian Kuri, Program Director for the Arts and Urban Design, Cleveland Foundation.