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Great Lakes Theater "The Merry Wives of Windsor," 2014

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Artists to Share Examples of 'Activating Change' in Communities

Explore how artists are mobilizing action around social and economic justice issues

AUGUST 30, 2016 (CLEVELAND, OH) – Arts and culture can be a driving force for change within our communities by spurring collective action and mobilizing groups around social change. During its upcoming “Activating Change” event on Thursday, September 29th from 1:30-5:30pm at the Bohemian National Hall, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) will explore how artists are being catalysts for change. Ashley Davis, programs director at Alternate ROOTS, a Southern based arts service organization for artists and cultural organizers who seek to champion social and economic justice, will speak at this event, along with local artists Robin Pease and Gwendolyn Garth. 

As a progressive arts organization, Alternate ROOTS is at the forefront of establishing model programs for regional cultural organizing in the United States. ROOTS is an incubator for participatory democracy, and through the practice of its guiding principles as created by Resources for Social Change – Equitable Partnership, Shared Power, Open Dialogue, Individual and Community Transformation, and an Aesthetic of transparent processes – Alternate ROOTS models regional organizing that is responsive to and reflective of the needs of its unique artistic community. As Programs Director, Davis leads the Programs Team and 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. 

“The arts and culture sector is a driving force for social change in our communities,” said Gary Poth, chairman of CPAC’s board of trustees. “Through this event, we will be drawing attention to how arts and culture is spurring collective action on issues,” said Tom Schorgl, president and CEO, CPAC.   

Joining Davis at the event will be local artist Robin Pease who is the founding artistic director of Kulture Kids where she creates 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. 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. 

Also presenting will be local artist and community activist Gwendolyn Garth who first fell in love with community service and activism as a teenager, passing out flyers to help Carl Stokes become elected Mayor. She has served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, working with the homeless population and the Cleveland Mediation 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 and now works with the organization as an Artist in Residency. 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 teach their craft. 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." 

The Creative Intersections “Activating Change” event will include light refreshments and time for networking. The cost is $25. For more information on the series and to register, visit www.cultureforward.org

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About Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC):

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) is a nonprofit organization in Cleveland, Ohio. CPAC serves and supports arts and culture professionals and community leaders who are working to create a brighter future for greater Cleveland. Through counsel, relationship building, research, programs and advocacy, CPAC works to strengthen, unify and connect greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. CPAC envisions greater Cleveland’s diverse arts and culture sector as a leading partner in contributing to our community’s vitality and enlivening the human experience. For more information, visit www.cultureforward.org.

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