Creative Fusion 2020 Update

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the residencies and programming of Creative Fusion 2020: CONTAR have been postponed.

This has been a heartbreaking decision. But with the future safety of public gatherings in doubt, the anticipated difficulty of securing visas for international artists, and mandatory quarantine regulations for US-based artists entering Ohio from other states, it became increasingly clear that we would not be able to accomplish our original plans this year.

Taken literally, social distancing is an alarming term. Distance and disconnection among members of a society breed harm. While we maintain physical distance in order to prevent the spread of illness, we need social connection, now more than ever, in order to maintain emotional health and resilience.

What has become abundantly clear is just how much the individuals who do not often find themselves in the public spotlight—our essential workers, many of whom call Clark-Fulton home—count. And how much we count on them. What should also be clear is that artists and cultural advocates also do essential work. We need music and film and books and performances provided virtually to get through these times of isolation. This is how we maintain social connection.

While virtual arts and cultural programming have represented a vital lifeline in our current situation, there was a lot of magic specific to our partners’ original plans that could not be replicated online. They all continue to find ways to forge social connection during difficult times, but the magic in their specific Creative Fusion concepts deserves to be experienced as planned, when it is safe to do so. We can’t wait to let you know when we can finally go forward with Creative Fusion: CONTAR.

Courtenay A. Barton, Cleveland Foundation Program Manager for Arts & Culture