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Production still from "Broken Codes" - Theatre Ninjas

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

Our Programs


Building Safe Places

How does arts and culture influence justice, social ties and neighborhood development?

Arts and culture is a force for building safer and more equitable communities. Join us as we explore how arts and culture is empowering citizens to be part of the civic dialogue, driving restorative justice programs nationally, and changing the landscape of communities. This session will first provide an introduction to this broader series and discuss the range of ways arts and culture programs are intersecting with safety themes spanning areas such as crime prevention, criminal justice, re-entry, community building, built environment considerations and artists whose work focuses on social justice themes. We will then dive deeper into the neighborhood development and safety connection.

Event date & time: Thursday, March 24th, 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.


Barbara Schaffer Bacon, Co-director, Animating Democracy, Americans for the Arts

BSchaffer Bacon Headshot

Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. She is privileged to serve and support artists and community leaders in that role. Barbara has written, edited and contributed to many publications including Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy; Case Studies from Animating Democracy; Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force for Civic Dialogue.  A consultant in program design and evaluation, Barbara has served as an adviser for state and national arts agencies and private foundations. Barbara previously served as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts. She is president of the Arts Extension Institute, Inc. and a board member for WomenArts. Barbara served for 14 years on the Belchertown, MA school committee.  She currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Desi Mundo, Founder & Executive Director, Community Rejuvenation Project

Desi Mundo

Desi Mundo is the founder and executive director of the Community Rejuvenation Project. Over the past three years, under his direction, CRP has produced more than 100 murals, primarily in the Bay Area as well as Chicago, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Montana, South Dakota and Bologna, Italy. As an artist, he collaborated with influential aerosol artists such as ZORE, P.H.A.S.E.2, VULCAN, and RAVEN. Desi has a long history as an educator and youth worker in K-12 schools, such as Oakland Unity High School, ARISE, Calvin Simmons, and OASIS in Oakland for the past 13 years. He has been recognized with a “Best of the Bay” Award by the East Bay Express for his monthly youth art series, the “Weekend Wake-Up.,” and facilitates an after-school mural taller called the Arrow-Soul Council. Desi has an extensive background in community organizing and public art advocacy, receiving the “Rising Leaders Fellowship from the Youth Leadership Institute in 2005. He has worked with numerous non-profit and community organizations, such as Urban Tilth, Phat Beets, and United Roots forming lasting partnerships and powerful alliances. His latest work, the Alice Street Mural Project will be depicted in the feature length documentary film, "Alice Street," premiering in October.

Judie Gilmore, Project Director, Breathing Lights

Judie Gilmore

Judie Gilmore is an independent arts consultant, curator and writer who works with creative organizations and individuals on public projects, site-specific installations, and project and organizational development. She is currently the Project Director for Breathing Lights, a temporary public art installation planned for fall 2016 that will illuminate hundreds of abandoned buildings in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY. Conceived as a way to take creative advantage of vacant buildings, the project will transform vacant structures across the region from pockets of shadows into places of warmth. Previously, Judie served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program where she developed large-scale public art initiatives that focused on neighborhood economic development, behavioral health, workforce development and prisoner re-entry. She received her BA in Art History from the Johns Hopkins University, and MPA, concentrating in arts and cultural strategies and community development, from New York University where she was a Public Service Fellow.

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