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Production still from "Broken Codes" - Theatre Ninjas

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

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Bridging Divides

Art and culture has the power to unite. How is arts and culture bringing together groups to dispel stereotypes, fight stigmas and forge greater understanding?

Arts and culture can be a powerful tool in shaping how we see, understand and engage with one another. During this session, explore how film, theatre and multidisciplinary artists are working with incarcerated populations and building connections between different community members including police departments.

Event date & time: Thursday, July 28th, 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.


Jakob Hochendoner, director, cinematographer, producer and educator

Jakob Hochendoner's headshot

Jakob Hochendoner is a director, cinematographer, documentarian, producer and educator currently residing in Cleveland Heights. Jakob has worked on over 40 films including narrative shorts, documentaries, music videos, promotional videos and theatrical installations. He has served as Director of Photography on more than 20 of these projects. His work has been screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival, The Wrap’s Shortlist Film Festival in Los Angeles, Impugning Impunity Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in New York City, the Berlinale Festival, the Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam, the Sunview in Brooklyn and the Shanghai Biennale.  

In 2015 he was awarded the position of StoryLens Fellow at Oberlin College, where he produced short documentaries on social issues effecting Northeast Ohio. Jakob is a teaching artist for incarcerated citizens in the Northeast Region of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He leads media production workshops at several rehabilitation facilities around the region and his work as a documentarian has begun to focus on issues surrounding incarceration and prison reform in the United States. Jakob holds a B.A. in Cinema Studies and English from Oberlin College.

Marty Pottenger, Founding Director, Art At Work

Marty Pottenger's Headshot

Writer, performer, director and activist Marty Pottenger, a pioneer in the community arts and arts-based civic dialogue movement, has been making theater professionally since 1975. Her play #PhillySavesEarth premiered at the Painted Bride on Earth Week 2016. Her TEDx talk about creativity belonging in the Periodic Table and her poetry project with police officers can be seen on YouTube. In Maine, current performance-arts-civic-listening-projects include ‘All The Way Home” performances and comic books with veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and ‘Hearts, Minds & Homes’ a citywide project exploring gentrification and homelessness in Portland Maine.

Her theater work has been produced throughout the US and Europe including the OBIE-winning “City Water Tunnel #3 and ABUNDANCE, a play that Seattle Post-Intelligencer hailed as “one of 2003’s ten best plays” was written from her interviews with 30 millionaires and 30 minimum wage workers asking “What is enough?” In the days following 9/11, international media covered two of her street-art-projects, ‘Forty Signs’ and ‘Gandhi’, made it clear that New Yorkers wanted peace not war.

Founding Director of Art At Work, a national initiative piloted with the City of Portland Maine’s departments, unions and elected officials to improve municipal government through strategic arts projects. In 2016, Pottenger began working with the City of Boston and Broward County Florida on their Art At Work-inspired programs. Art At Work’s neighborhood-diversity-arts project ‘Meeting Place’ received NEA Our Town award in 2011. The Police Poetry & Photography Calendars were covered in the Guardian, Turkish Weekly, New York Times, American Police Beat, LA Times, and Fox news. Executive Director of Terra Moto Inc. a multidisciplinary arts organization.

Honors, awards, support: MacDowell Fellowship (2016), NYFA Fellow, Headlands Bridge Fellow, Doris Duke Building Audience Demand with The Painted Bride in Philadelphia PA (2014 – 2017). Founding Member of Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art & Politics. Past Board Chair of American Festival Project. More information at or

Chris Seibert, theatre director, creator, performer and educator

Chris Seibert Headshot

Chris Seibert is a Cleveland-based theatre director, creator, performer and educator. For the past ten years she has served as Cleveland Public Theatre’s Director of Education, working collaboratively with Cleveland inner-city teens, children in public housing, incarcerated women, and adults in recovery to create original performances based on the participants’ life experiences.

Through the Council of International Programs USA, Chris traveled to Istanbul, Turkey as part of a contingent of Cleveland-area arts professionals working with Turkish artists in the development of arts programs for marginalized urban youth. Chris’ work was featured in Convivium33 Gallery’s 21st Century Expressions of the Second Sex, a showcase of selected works by leading regional female artists, and in 2010, she was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship, a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, generously funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

In 2014, Chris was selected to participate in a week-long creative laboratory with 24 other directors from seven different countries entitled Investigating Adaptation and Devised Work presented by DirectorsLabChicago, and in 2015, Chris was one of 25 national arts educators selected to participate in the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI), a seven-month leadership development program of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

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