Individually and Collectively: A City of Immigrants with a Chorus of Voices – We All Do Better When We Work Together


This issue of CAN marks the beginning of our sixth year. Depending on when you start counting, our fifth anniversary is either just about to happen, or came sometime during the last six months. On this occasion, we can’t help explore who we are, and why we are here. And in light of the national and international political climate, with […]

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Individual Artists and Equitable Grant Making: Divided We Fall

Panelists at the Happy Dog: Watterson, Maugans, Mauersberger, Washington, Steward

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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Maybe no two words have more in common while meaning completely different things than “art” and “design.”  Artists and designers share many of the same technical skills. Both are likely adept at using color, drawing, manipulating materials, and maybe even using a sharp knife.  Trained artists and designers may take many of the same classes to learn their trade, and […]

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Emoh: Backward Home Numbers

Loren Naji with Emoh, on the occasion of his bon-voyage party at Prosperity Social Club in Tremont

By now, thanks to USA today and multiple other news outlets, tens of thousands of people across the country have read that Loren Naji’s “Emoh” is named for the word “home” spelled backwards. And they know Naji’s intent by living for a few weeks in his eight-foot sphere–cobbled together with debris collected from abandoned homes in Cleveland and Detroit– is to […]

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TERRIBLE AND BEAUTIFUL: Darius Steward, Clotilde Jimenez, and Race as a subject for artistic dialog


When we talk about race in Cleveland, conversation runs quickly toward headline stories, especially of white police officers and Black men or boys. Thanks to a couple of high profile shootings and the way the justice system responded, the city had a major role in the national discussion of race-related violence in 2015.  That was the context in which I […]

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Artistic Languages from Around the Globe

Meng-A geography lesson - Taiwan

And the voices keep coming –     Throughout Cleveland’s history our cultural legacy has been built by people from around the globe. From the dozens of immigrant nationalities that designed, sculpted, and maintain the cultural gardens of Rockefeller Park,  to the music performed at Severance Hall, to the Asian collection and the rest of the vast holdings of the […]

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CAN We Talk?


Maybe this is a good time to talk. Just over 75 percent of the people who cast ballots in Cuyahoga County in November voted in favor of renewed public support of the arts and culture through its 30 cent per pack tax on cigarettes. That’s an overwhelming number. And a few months earlier, when the County Council discussed putting the […]

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Surge, Resurge: Tremont and Little Italy work to recover their art walk magic


Nothing could be more emblematic of the churn on Cleveland’s art-walking scene than the coincidence of the Little Italy and Tremont art walks one Friday in October. Both neighborhoods once were the edgy hot spots of the Cleveland art scene. Each of them once defined the term “Art Walk” in Cleveland, and together they are responsible for establishing here the idea that artists […]

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