CAN Journal: The Best Magazine in Ohio

LEFT TO RIGHT: CAN Co Founder Liz Maugans; Designer JoAnn Dickey; Editor/Publisher Michael Gill; Educator Lisa Shaffer-Gill. Photo by Liz Maugans.

When you’re telling the truth, it’s not bragging—it’s just reporting.  And certain occasions, it’s just appropriate.

CAN Journal, Summer 2019. Art by Wadsworth Jarrell; Design by JoAnn Dickey.

I couldn’t be more proud to report that at its annual All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, The Press Club of Cleveland recognized CAN Journal, the quarterly publication of the nonprofit Collective Arts Network, as the Best Magazine in Ohio.  The CAN team was proud to share the stage with second place winners Edible Cleveland and runner-up Cleveland Magazine.

The Awards are judged annually by panels of peer journalists from press clubs outside Ohio.

CAN Journal is a magazine founded on the idea that artists and art organizations are stronger together. It is a magazine that would not be possible without the collective action of approximately 100 art organizations in Northeast Ohio, along with support from a multitude of individuals, funders, and patrons.

For CAN that is doubly true: First because all those organizations and people create the art scene that CAN covers, and Northeast Ohio has an exceedingly robust art scene. Every issue is packed with that evidence.

It is also literally true that CAN was created by those organizations, which responded in 2012 to the dearth of media coverage of art by launching a bootstrap effort to make their own media.

CAN Journal, Spring 2019. Cover art by Stephen Calhoun. Design by JoAnn Dickey.

The idea came from Liz Maugans, who convened the Strategic Arts Leadership Talks (SALT) at Zygote Press in 2011. The effort gathered leaders of small to mid-size art organizations, both nonprofit and commercial, to talk about how they could support each other in tough economic times. Those organizations use the magazine as a platform to educate audiences about their upcoming programs. In addition to their role as content providers, they do some of the work: The first step of distribution for each issue is a networking party at one of those venues. A list of organizations that are members of Collective Arts Network can be found below.

While the judges did not offer comments on winners in this category, we know that when they saw it they must have thought, “my word, this is absolutely beautiful!”  And the truth of that statement is shared by the artists whose work appears on the cover and all the pages, as well as by designer JoAnn Dickey who, with Editor/Publisher Michael Gill has worked on the magazine since the beginning.

It is also true that CAN has drawn on the talents of the region’s most accomplished writers about art, including our communications manager Brittany Mariel Hudak (who gathers dozens of events for the CAN Weekly e-newsletter), as well as Douglas Max Utter, Henry Adams PhD, William Busta, Joseph Clark, Jeff Hagan, Jimi Izrael, Erin O’Brien, and many others. Our impeccable copy editing is done by Laura Fratus.

CAN Journal, Winter, 2018-2019. Cover art by Chris Sickels / Red Nose Studio. Design by JoAnn Dickey.

CAN would not be possible without support from the Foundation community, the generosity of patrons, and the staff who help us reach out to them. CAN’s Development Manager is April Bleakney. Specifically, we thank Wally Lanci and Consolidated Solutions, a printer who saw the promise of collaboration by art organizations in our first years and has continued as an invaluable partner. In addition, we thank: the Cleveland Foundation, which recognized CAN as important communications infrastructure for the regional art industry; the George Gund Foundation, whose visionary support enabled the creation of CAN’s website, and ongoing work; The Ohio Arts Council, which supported the SALT Talks, the initial publication of CAN, and the creation of CAN’s blog for critical review; and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, which has supported projects including an initiative to increase diversity of participation in the network.

Finally we thank our advertisers for their support of CAN and  the Cleveland art scene, and even more specifically for their support of print media. At CAN we believe that because printed magazines are distributed as physical objects throughout the city, they command attention “in real life” (as we say on the web) and enable us to reach new audiences.

CAN Journal, Fall 2018. Cover art by Kristina Paabus. Design by JoAnn Dickey.

CAN Journal has a quarterly print circulation of 10,000, distributed free in more than 200 locations around Northeast Ohio, and to subscribers.


Organizational members of Collective Arts Network

Akron Art Museum

Allen Memorial Art Museum

Aliberti Art Tile

Art Books Cleveland

Art Gallery of Willoughby

The Art Gallery at Beachwood Communty Center



Artists Archives of the Western Reserve

Artists of the ArtCraft Building

The ArtSeen




Bostwick Design Art Initiative

Cain Park

Canton Museum of Art

Carrington Arts

Cleveland Arts Prize

Church of Art

Cleveland Arts Prize

Cleveland Institute of Art

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Photo Fest

Cleveland Print Room

Cleveland Skribe Tribe

Climb Cleveland

Community Partnership for the Arts and Culture

La Cosecha Galeria

Cuyahoga Valley Art Center

Dawn Tekler Studio

Donna Marchetti Design

Edward Parker Creative Arts Complex

Eileen Dorsey Studio

Elevate Gallery

Emily Davis Gallery / University of Akron

Fawick Gallery

Florence O’Donnel Wasmer Gallery / Ursuline College

Flux Metal Arts

Foothill Galleries of the Photo Succession

Framed Gallery

Glass Bubble Project

Galleries at CSU

Galleries at Lakeland


Gordon Square Arts District

Graffiti Heart

Gray Haus Studios

Harris Stanton Gallery


Heights Arts

Howson/Streeter Galleries at Judson Park

ICA Art Conservation

Kalman and Pabst

Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery

Kent State School of Art

Kings & Queens of Art

LAND Studio

Lissauer Gallery / Shaker Historical Society

Lorain County Community College Stocker Gallery

Gentile Studio

Mansfield Art Center

Maria Neil Art Project

Massillon Museum

McDonough Museum of Art / Youngstown State University

MOCA Cleveland

Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory

Nicholson White Gallery

Orange Art Center


Print Club of Cleveland

River Gallery

Rooms to Let

The Salon

Screw Factory Artists

The Sculpture Center

Shaker Community Gallery

Sherrie Gallery

Stella’s Art Gallery

Still Point Gallery

Society for Photographic Education

Streeter Gallery at Judson

Survival Kit

Thomas French Fine Art / Tregoning and Company

Tower Press Artists

Tri-C Creative Arts

Tricia Kaman Studio

Transformer Station

Valley Art Center

The W Gallery

Walkabout Tremont

Waterloo Arts

WGS Productions


William Busta Gazzette

Worthington Yards

Zygote Press

CAN Journal, Summer, 2018. Cover art by Bruce Checefsky. Design by JoAnn Dickey.

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