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Arts and Culture Public Officials Breakfast 2015

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

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National Organizations Examine Creative Intersections

We spend a lot of time analyzing the environment in which the arts and culture sector operates, both locally and nationally. We follow the news closely to understand what’s top of mind in our community and we meet with people outside of arts and culture to learn the same. We have conversations with artists and arts and cultural leadership to understand their priorities and challenges. Along the way, we identify those places where the priorities of the arts and culture sector serve the broader community. We call those creative intersections. It’s a model we’ve pursued since the start of CPAC back in the late 1990s – conducting research around them, building relationships and even investing in them. And, it’s a model that has served our community well. Together – for nothing we do at CPAC is possible without you – we have influenced the health of our neighborhoods, our people, our economy, and ourselves. Recently, there seems to be more recognition and support nationally to expand and deepen creative intersections.

'Snaps and Words'

'Snaps and Words' a project of the Cleveland Print Room in the St. Clair Superior Neighborhood of Cleveland. Photo courtesy of CPAC.

In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Americans for the Arts both launched initiatives to focus more closely on creative intersections. In the case of the NEA, the initiative is called Creativity Connects, which is designed to investigate how support systems for artists are changing and how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity. What I find encouraging about this model is their examination of the structure that supports artists as community assets. The project will revisit the framework developed by the Urban Institute in 2003 with the report Investing in Creativity, which defined the qualities of a community supportive of artists. We were proud to have participated in that study as a local partner, and to have secured funding from the national organization that arose from that report, Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC). Indeed, some of CPAC's concepts about creative intersections were tested through our explorations of artists and community development (From Rust Belt to Artist Belt and Artists in Residence), which were funded by LINC. Many of our longstanding community development partners (e.g. Northeast Shores Development Corporation and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation) have been recipients of national support for their innovative approaches toward artists and community development. Support for artists is a model that yields great returns for our community; so the connection between their well-being and the community’s must continue to be explored and cultivated.

Americans for the Arts’ initiative, called New Community Visions, is a “two-year effort to explore the future of local arts in America and the role of community-based arts enabling organizations, funders, cultural institutions, and artists in shaping that future.” The project is similar to the NEA approach, which includes research, community dialogues and resource sharing. We’re proud to represent you in those dialogues with Americans for the Arts, sharing the story of the work that everyone is doing here and raising awareness about greater Cleveland as model region for creative intersections – which includes another signature intersection here, the role of the arts in healthcare. We urge you to keep us up-to-date about your community-based efforts and to pass on your unique stories of this work. Some of you may already be applying to the pilot grant opportunity that has been made available through the NEA. We believe there could be other support for these kinds of activities; and, we’ll be searching those out and sharing them with you. In the meantime, consider sharing your projects with us by submitting a guest blog, and with the national community through Animating Democracy. Join us in March as we launch our new series Creative Intersections, where the focus will be the role of arts and culture in building safe communities. It’s designed to be informative and thought-provoking. Information about the program and how to register will be available very soon.

Categories: Artists, arts and culture, artsandhealth, creative intersections, Health, Neighborhoods

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