The Race of Art
As I live and breathe art in the creative community of Cleveland, Ohio, and that is exactly what it is, a living breathing full-fledged 41-billion-dollar industry in the great state of Ohio, according to a study published earlier this year by Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Bowling Green State University. It finds “that the creative industries in Ohio support 289,321 jobs annually, fuel more than $41 billion in economic activity…”
How I reached this point is well documented; why I am I at this point is altogether a different question. We started the gallery inside a condemned storefront, not because of creative placemaking nor community development and impact. It was the simple fact that Palin Perez-Jackson (1974 – 2009), Gabriel Gonzalez, many other artists of color, and I could not get a show in Tremont in its beginning heyday. We had the talent, the technical know-how and the passion, just not the opportunity. I have only been back in the arts community a short period of time and it didn’t take long to realize that the situation has not advanced much. The struggle continues.
In an ongoing effort to support each other, La Cosecha Galeria and Vocero Latino (a Cleveland arts & culture magazine) and El Sol de Cleveland have become collaborators to bring forth light and coverage upon the local arts and cultural scene.
The Summer Art Garden has become a full-fledged community project, embraced by impacted organizations and city officials. All are enthused, but I can honestly write I wasn’t expecting the amazing offer given to the gallery just recently. More news to come after print.
We are very proud of resident artist/producer Anjalise Galindez (Lotus Anji) and her crew for the outstanding jobs they have done organizing three shows since the new year began, each more successful than the last. La Cosecha Galeria has been an artistic outlet since 2001 and it is satisfying to watch the next generation take advantage to express themselves and create.
On my own art career, I cannot describe how humbling it is to be sought out for my opinion or asked to join in collaboration from art to civic planning; the projects and opportunities overwhelm my feeble mind at times. I was recently tapped for the Early- to Mid-Career Arts Administrators of Color Charrette held in Cleveland this past February by the Joyce Foundation, and another Charrette for an Art Leadership Development Program Design Incubator Session scheduled in early April, an initiative for emerging arts and cultural leadership through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
I work with much passion in the studio as diligently I consider the community that spawned me. I am always willing to share ideas and be an ambassador for creative spirits. When I decided to reopen the gallery with the same concept, it quickly became apparent that not much has changed—an outlet and advocacy is still a dire need. Without artists, there are no arts and culture, period.
My current endeavor began last November, being one of twelve artists selected from Cuyahoga County to participate in the Center for Performance and Civic Practice’s Learning Lab, supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. The Learning Lab is a professional development program designed to train and support artists in civic, social, public and placemaking practices.
The program also connects twelve artists with local nonprofit partners and provides funding so they can conceptualize and implement projects together. I was fortunate enough to be joined with the Hispanic Alliance. With mutual aspirations our project choice is the LatinX Arts & Culture of Hispanic Alliance, which will provide professionals and emerging artists the training, professional development, networking and community engagement opportunities needed to contribute to the advancement of the community.
It is such a privilege to be a part of such a luminary of talented professional artists that have been convened to form the first LACHA Initiative Steering Committee. The first committee members brought together in council-style meetings feature a variety of artistic disciplines, including visual artist Hector Castellanos-Lara, theatre group LatinUs executive director Monica Torres-Caban, musician Carolina Borja and Claire Appelmen.
It’s empowering. They cannot take this away, for I live and breathe art.
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | 6PM SATURDAY, APRIL 27
CAN JOURNAL LAUNCH PARTY | 6PM FRIDAY, MAY 17
POOR SUNSHINE FASHION SHOW | 6PM SATURDAY, MAY 25
SIDEWALK CHALK DRAWING CONTEST 2 | 2PM SATURDAY, JUNE 1
SUMMER ART GARDEN 2019 | 3PM SATURDAY, JUNE 29
CORRIDOS: BALLAD OF LA VILLA | 6PM SATURDAY, JULY 27
NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND | 6PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 24
TASTE OF CULTURA | 6PM SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
La Cosecha Galeria
5404 Storer Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44102