Cigarette Tax: A Learnable Moment

Educators talk about “teachable moments”– those times when learning comes easily because something happens that makes information relevant. This is one of those times for people concerned about public funding for the arts in Cuyahoga County. As if to highlight the need to find something other than a cigarette tax to provide such revenue,  a recent State of Ohio budget […]

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Leadership Qualities: CAC Search Continues

It was late October, 2018 that Cuyahoga Arts and Culture hosted meetings with arts and cultural leaders to get input on a job description, to learn from constituents what leadership qualities are desirable in the organization’s next executive director. It’s a big job at a challenging time. Gary Hanson, a member of the CAC board who is working with the […]

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UPDATED: CAC’s Re-tooled Support for Individual Artists

Nearly two years after the sunset of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s Creative Workforce Fellowship program, a new version has been birthed.  Its creation follows the instigative energy of public discord resulting from a change in the status of the program (formerly administered by Arts Cleveland / Community Partnership for the Arts and Culture), which awarded $15 and $20 thousand-dollar unrestricted […]

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2018: Looking Back and Forth

In Cleveland’s art world, 2018 was a year of landmark exhibits, new beginnings and portentious change, sometimes all rolled into single events. Here’s a look at some of the milestones, and what they will mean in 2019 and beyond. Triennials: The most noteworthy events of 2018 both included the word “triennial,” and both coordinated broad realms of the region’s art […]

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Karen Gahl-Mills Resigns

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture CEO and executive director Karen Gahl-Mills has resigned, effective June 7, according to a press release sent this morning, April 18.  In a challenging atmosphere of funding cuts, the leader of one of the nation’s largest public funders of the arts became embattled on several fronts: first in an attempt to address racial inequity in grantmaking […]

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Punch Above Your Weight / Growing the Pie: Selling Art Beyond the Boundaries of Northeast Ohio, Part Three

It could happen here: In 2014, two New Orleans photographers—the husband-and-wife team Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick—showed a series of photographs of the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana as part of the art triennial, Prospect. Speaking of their exhibit, called “Slavery: The Prison Industrial Complex,” Calhoun told the New Orleans Times Picayune, “Angola is still pretty much run like […]

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Individual Artist Grants, Race, and Public Benefit

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s abrupt termination of its Creative Workforce Fellowship last fall, and its plan to substitute it with a different program providing greater “public benefit,” have elicited a range of passionate responses from members of Cleveland’s arts community and others. While some outsiders see this as unfortunate bickering, it has opened a window on a much larger issue. […]

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Individual Artists and Equitable Grant Making: Divided We Fall

Wednesday morning—a few hours before about 60 artists would gather at the Happy Dog’s Euclid Tavern location to talk about Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s individual artist grants–Zygote Press director Liz Maugans asked me what was my greatest concern about the controversy at hand. For those who have not been following, the controversy is over a proposed new direction for CAC’s […]

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CAC to Individual Artists: Money in the Budget, No Program to Administer It

After two hours of public comment–which included impassioned statements from leaders of the arts policy community, as well as more than three-dozen artists and administrators–the Board of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture met Monday and listened as its staff outlined six elements they believe should be a part of the tax-funded agency’s individual artist grant program in the future. Among the […]

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