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 Cleveland Museum of Art. The immigration that makes our city so rich evolves through time, but the basic fact remains: the multitude of languages— visual, musical, and in movement as well as words—are what makes our city’s culture so rich. Our contemporary art scene continues to be informed by that legacy. And the voices keep coming.


Three years before CAN Journal began, the Cleveland Foundation created a new, international artist residency program called Creative Fusion to bring artists from around the world to Cleveland, especially from places not well represented here. Each year, Creative Fusion brings two groups of artists—one in the Spring, another in the Fall—to work with a host organization for three months.  They’ve presented exhibits and performances, visited schools and worked with students, given artist talks, eaten meals with, and befriended artists and the arts audience of Cleveland. Through Creative Fusion we’ve met artists from Chile, Albania, Armenia, Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, and Vietnam, among other countries. And since the beginning of CAN, several of our member organizations have hosted Creative Fusion artists.


In 2016—as CAN begins a fifth year amplifying voices of creativity in Northeast Ohio–we are proud to partner with the Cleveland Foundation to bring you coverage of Creative Fusion. In this issue, we’ll introduce you to the Spring cohort. Right after our neighborhood-by-neighborhood previews, you’ll find a special section introducing the Spring 2016 group of artists from around the globe. You’ll learn who they are, find insights into their work, and see how they will interact with their host organizations and Cleveland audiences—including you.  The Spring, 2016 host organizations are the Cleveland Print Room, the Center for Arts Inspired Learning, the Scultpure Center, Verb Ballets, Inlet Dance Theatre, and Zygote Press. We are honored to be able to help spread the word.


That idea of spreading the word has driven the Collective Arts Network since the beginning.  As we begin our fifth year, we feel that we are just getting started. In fact we are gaining momentum. And we are doing it by fulfilling the promise that launched this project:  that organizations can empower themselves, that by acting together, Cleveland galleries, studios, and schools of art can have their own voice.


In addition to coverage of Creative Fusion, you’ll find another “first” in this issue: our profound Thank You to the visionary people and organizations that have supported CAN financially, including in our first ever annual campaign. Most of these are not member organizations directly served by CAN, but patrons of the art scene who believe in what we are doing and value the information we provide.


I’ll close with an invitation to express your support again, and mingle with others who do, by coming to CAN’s 2016 benefit, CAN CAN, Saturday, April 2 at SmArt Space in 78th Street Studios. We begin with hors d’oeuvres,an open bar, and live jazz for our VIP guests, followed by an auction of art experience and ephemera, and finally a reprise of one of that most joyfully outrageous event, artist karaoke. Won’t you join us?


Michael Gill

Editor / Pubisher