CAC Apologizes to Individual Artists: Full Text

CAC Board President Nancy Mendez, left, with colleague Karolyn Isenhart, showing a chart that reflects funds collected but, for the purpose of tempering the decline in cigarette tax revenue, not granted, since 2013.

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Board President Nancy Mendez apologized to artists present at the CAC Board meeting December 13. An apology was the first priority expressed in the 2023 Support for Artists: Community Engagement and Planning report, commissioned by CAC and delivered a week earlier by a contractor on behalf of Assembly for the Arts.

CAC director Jill Paulsen said the apology was written as a collaboration between Mendez and herself, and “it reflects [their] views on the current situation and how to move forward productively and collaboratively.  Paulsen said “she was speaking on behalf of herself and me, not the full board.”

The statement refers without naming specific events to the early days of individual artist grantmaking, administered by the Community Partnership for the Arts and Culture, to the work of the Support for Artists Planning Team, and to recent criticism of the fact that CAC did not spend the entirety of its budgeted amount for individual artist grants some years.

It includes saying “We are sorry,” and “We hope this apology will be accepted in the spirit in which it is offered,” and “We know, thought, that any apology must be backed by action.”

During the meeting, CAC awarded an additional $100,000 for individual artist grants to Assembly for the Arts.

Immediately after the meeting, critics faulted CAC for a multitude of things, including that that the Board did not approve board member Charna Sherman’s motion to move its executive session for discussion of personnel matters to the end of the meeting, after its action on individual artist grants.

Images of the full text, on two pages, follows.

Apology, Page 1
Apology, Page 2

The opinions expressed on CAN Blog are those of the individual writers. Art is somewhat subjective. Well, somewhat. But yes, everybody's a critic.