Cleveland, OH (SEPTEMBER 14, 2016) – Today, the first group of video interviews with 2016 Creative Workforce Fellows is released. The narratives, when seen collectively, begin to answer questions about how the investment in individuals has benefited the broader Cuyahoga County community, as well as why new art is important for all of us as a society. As the artists approach the end of their year of support, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) will release 40 videos and collectible trading cards to further illustrate why this source of funds, made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), is benefitting all greater Cleveland residents. View the album on vimeo.
The unique range of work created by the Cleveland-area artists featured in the first group of videos, Christopher Auerbach-Brown, Christi Birchfield, Freddy Hill, Lauren Herzak-Bauman, Jimmy Kuehnle, Rebecca Leuszler, Annika Sheaff and Catherine Wing demonstrates the functional, economic and conceptual effects art has on its audience and the wider community. Their contributions span across sectors such as health and human services, community development, safety, economic development and overall quality of life.
For example, woodworker, Freddy Hill crafts minimalist, original furniture pieces seen in his video “using industrial material without centering on an industrial aesthetic.” He explains, “The objects in our house make it a home and I see my work as a way of developing intimacy with our immediate environment. I want my objects to become intensely personal with those that live with them.” Hill most recently presented his work with other local furniture designers in last week’s F*Sho. In stark contrast, sound artist and composer, Christopher Auerbach-Brown’s approach to his artwork is a little less tangible. In a collaborative effort with other artists, Auerbach-Brown encourages his audience to create “found sounds,” which he uses in improvisational compositions created on-site, blurring the line between audience and performer. “One of the key components to making music, is to ask deeper questions on why things happen in the world,” he says. On September 17 at SPACES, Auerbach-Brown is using music as a launching pad for discussion about whatever topics arise from those in the room, which could span from politics, to social belonging to education. In alignment with both of these artists, sculptor and ceramic artist, Lauren Herzak-Bauman crafts functional porcelain dinnerware, large-scale, conceptual ceramic installations and public works of art. Her latest work opened to the public on Monday in MetroHealth’s Brunswick location. The commission is part of the hospital’s new Arts in Medicine initiative, which is dedicated to integrating art into all of their operations for the benefit of patients, their families and staff.
Though it may seem the instrumental and intrinsic benefits of supporting new art are separate outcomes, they are inherently intertwined. While poet Catherine Wing and sculptor Jimmy Kuehnle use their skill in a lighter sense, using humor and playfulness in Kuehnle’s giant inflatable sculptures and through Wing’s more intimate methods of poetry, they’re also bringing national recognition to the greater Cleveland area with their work. Dancer and choreographer, Rebecca Leuszler and Dancer turned filmmaker, Annika Sheaff are hiring dancers at rates any trained professional deserves. The dancers in-turn are presenting at Leuszler’s Cleveland Dance Fest on November 4 and 5, and Sheaff is in post-production of her forthcoming dance film, which addresses human connections in unlikely and visually interesting vignettes. Further, Christi Birchfield could not provide installations to MOCA Cleveland and bring revenue through her studio in a lower-income neighborhood without the command over her craft, nor could she continue to create such beautiful work without the time and resources necessary to invest in that craft.
Notably, the 2016 Fellows are producing an impressive economic impact collectively. According to the group’s mid-term reports to CPAC, the 40 artists’ work in the first half of the Fellowship year has yielded $86,775 generated through sales of artwork, $30,483 of which was brought in from sales outside of Cuyahoga County. Eighteen businesses were registered or grew, 837 arts-related and 27 non-arts-related contractors were hired and 59 paid employees worked within Cuyahoga County.
Over the next three months, CPAC will release video interviews and collectible trading cards with all 40 Creative Workforce Fellows, starting with the artists above. Collect all 40 trading cards featuring your artists by attending their events and connecting with the artists. Learn more by following CPAC and CAC on Facebook and Twitter, or visiting the website, cultureforward.org/2016Fellow.
The Creative Workforce Fellowship is a program of CPAC that invests directly in Cuyahoga County artists. Funded disciplines include crafts, dance, design, literature, media, music, theatre and visual arts. Since 2009, 161 Cuyahoga County artists have received funding through the program. The Creative Workforce Fellowship is made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
Community Partnership for Arts and Culture 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.
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing in arts and culture. Cuyahoga County residents created Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in 2006 when they approved a tax on cigarettes to support arts and culture in our community. In 2015, the community affirmed its commitment to arts and culture by extending the tax through 2027 with Issue 8. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has invested more than $140 million in more than 300 organizations to deliver on the promise made to support thousands of enriching arts and culture experiences in every corner of the county. In addition, CAC supported 161 Cuyahoga County artists through the Creative Workforce Fellowship since 2009. For more information, visit www.cacgrants.org.
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