Shortcut Navigation:

Production still from "Broken Codes" - Theatre Ninjas

strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector

Our Programs


Activating Change

How does arts and culture mobilize social movements and influence civic dialogue? 

Arts and culture can be a driving force for change within our communities by spurring collective action and mobilizing groups around social change. During this session, we will explore how arts and culture is being harnessed to start conversations about topics such as gun violence, social and economic justice, and community activism.

Event Date & Time: Thursday, September 29th, 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Event Location: Bohemian National Hall, 4939 Broadway Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44127


Ashley Davis, Programs Director, Alternate ROOTS

Ashley Davis headshot

Ashley Walden Davis, is an arts manager, mommy and wife with an affinity for working with communities. Ashley is the Programs Director at Alternate ROOTS, a Southern based arts service organization for artists and cultural organizers who seek to champion social and economic justice.

As Programs Director, Ashley leads the Programs Team and is primarily responsible for developing and implementing strategies that will maximize the synergies among program areas and establish consistent, objective program performance standards of accountability. Ashley works closely with the Programs Manager in executing the day-to-day activities in all ROOTS programming. The Programs Team is responsible for the Artistic Assistance Program, Partners in Action Program, Presenting Subsidies Program, Visual Arts Initiative, ROOTS Week, Learning Exchanges, Rhizome events, membership relationships and advocacy regionally and nationally.

Ashley currently serves on the Board of Directors for Appalshop, a media, arts, and education center located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of the southern Appalachian region of the United States. Ashley also is a founding member of The Next Generation National Arts Network, a small group that supports the professional development and growth of emerging and young arts professionals under forty years old. Ashley has served as an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA.

She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Producing from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Old Dominion University. Selected honors include Theater Communications Group New Generations: Future Leaders Grant, and fellowships with Association of Performing Arts Presenters Leadership Program, Cornerstone Theater, LA Stage Alliance Ovations Awards and Arena Stage. Ashley lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and son.

Robin Pease, Founding Artistic Director, Kulture Kids

Robin Pease Headshot copy

Robin Pease is the founding artistic director of creating original, interactive arts programs and performances that inspire community, cultural awareness and life-long learning.

Pease holds a Master of Fine Arts from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Boston Conservatory. She has performed and taught drama/theatre, music, dance, literary arts and multiculturalism for people of all ages throughout the country.

Robin has presented for the Arts Education Partnership, Kennedy Center, International Children’s Games, Cleveland Public Theatre, Corning Glass Museum, Ohio Library Diversity Conference, International Children’s Theatre Festival, Ohio PTA, New Jersey Arts Education Connect Conference, Cleveland Association for the Education of Young Children, India Festival USA, Cleveland State University Summer Institute, Once Upon A Time Storytelling Conference and the Initiative for Cultural Arts in Education.

She is on the roster of artists for Hartford Performs, the Center for Arts Inspired Learning, Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative, Young Audiences: Indiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rochester. She is a consultant/teaching artist for PlayhouseSquare’s Department of Community Engagement and Education and a playwright for MetroHealth Hospital's Arts in Medicine.

Pease has written and performed The Last Fugitive Slave, the true story of Cleveland's Sarah Lucy Bagby and In the Storm, created through interviews detailing how gunshot wounds impact the caregivers who work to save lives.  

Robin has received the Seth Rosenberg Award, the Cleveland Community Healer Award, the Young Audiences’ Sunshine Award, is listed in Who’s Who in America and was named by the National Storytelling Network an “emerging, under-appreciated and regional treasure storyteller”.  Her audio CD The Talkative Turtle And Other Tales has fans all over the world.

Gwendolyn Garth, Artist/Community Activist, Founder/CEO of Kings & Queens of Art

Gwendolyn Garth headshot

Gwendolyn Garth was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She has one daughter, one son and three grandchildren. Gwendolyn first fell in love with community service and activism as a teenager, passing out flyers to help Carl Stokes become elected Mayor. Since then, she has been a tenacious and caring force in the community.

Gwendolyn attended Cleveland Public Schools and graduated from Glenville in 1969. She attended Cuyahoga Community College and worked for the City of Cleveland in the Division of Recreation as a Recreation Instructor and Interim Manager of Cultural Arts. She served as a Union Steward and went on to become Recreation's Chapter Chairperson of AFSCME Local 100. Gwendolyn also served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, working with the homeless population and the Cleveland Ylediation Center (CMC). She went on to become a State Leader working in Columbus with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COOHIO). She served a two year Fellowship with Neighborhood Connections as a Network i'Veaver and now works with the organization as an Artist in Residency. Gwendolyn has been a Freelance Artist since 2000. She formed a grassroots artist's organization called Kings & Queens of Art in 2013, which provides an outlet for urban artists to show their work and allow artists the opportunity to teach their craft.

Ms. Garth is a Precinct Committeeman and Executive Committee Member of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. She was recently appointed to the Board of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and is very active with the Neighborhood Connections Neighbor Up Network. She is currently working on several projects with the Wealth Building and Placing Unity Back in The Community Initiatives. She is also working with the Campus District on a Mural project called "A Bridge That Bridges."

In her spare time, Gwendolyn finds joy in her own work because she is using her skills as an artist. She loves going to Playhouse Square, Karamu House, seeing a good movie and reading a good book. When asked what she loves most about her city she stated, "When I travel to other cities and come back to this city and I see Cleveland's skyline I exhale and a warm feeling comes over me that says I'm home."

Was this helpful?