The Cleveland Foundation Presents: Creative Fusion, Global Artists with Targeted, Lasting Local Impact


CAN’s coverage of Creative Fusion means to spread the word about a program that opens doors between Cleveland and the world. Since 2008, Creative Fusion has brought international artists here to create exhibits and performances with local host organiztions. In Fall, 2016 we are enthusiastic to tell you that the program is evolving in ways that will engage local artists more, respond to current events in Cleveland and abroad, and amplify impact beyond studios, classrooms, galleries, and performance spaces. Going forward, Creative Fusion will be thematically focused. The idea is rich and fluid with possiblities . It might mean all the resident artists will respond to the same issue, or will work in the same medium, or could come from the same country, or, as is the case in Fall, 2016, they could work in the same neighborhood.


Artists and organizations of this cohort will concentrate most of their efforts in the Near West side neighborhood lately known as Hingetown. And the timing is not happenstance: Hingetown is at a point which aligns its interests with those of the Creative Fusion program in a mutually catalytic way. The recent surge in arts investment there (especially by Transformer Station and SPACES), combined with a surge in development interest means Hingetown is already getting lots of attention. That will inevitably put the work of Creative Fusion in the spotlight.


This first iteration of the evolved program will bring six visual artist to create murals on buidlings along Detroit Road, between West 25th  and West 65th streets, bringing a mega dose of color and place-making to a vital neighborhood. They’ll serve as billboard scale branding of the creative activity that goes on there already. The neighborhood includes Lakeview Estates, which—with the engagement of residents there– will have its long, grey Shoreway wall between West 28th and West 25th streets livened with what we believe will be the largest mural in the city.


This group of Creative Fusion artists also comes with a plan to deepen international artistic ties, by pairing each resident artist with a local collaborator. Each of the six host organizations will engage a Cleveland artist not only to help the Creative Fusion residents navigate the city, but also to work with them creatively. And if the international relationships formed in Creative Fusion’s first eight years are an indicator, those connections will endure and resonate far beyond the three-month residency.


As all this unfolds, the writers at CAN Journal look forward to keeping you informed about the continuing impact of this vital program, and the ongoing interaction it creates between Cleveland and the world.