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

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Set the Stage for More Young People to Thrive (guest blog by Marsha Dobrzynski)

We are born learners.  

Anyone who has watched an infant grow into a toddler can attest to that.  So what goes on when we get to school?  Boredom and the subsequent conviction that school is irrelevant has led high school students to drop out at the rate of 30% nationally; as much as double that in some demographic groups and geographic areas.

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Categories: Artists, Arts Education, Best Practices, Education | comments

5 Myths about the Creative Workforce Fellowship

Artists define the Creative Workforce Fellowship – through all aspects: the Fellowship year, the applications, the feedback... 

That last one is probably the toughest piece of the program for us on staff, but also the most interesting. We get some heated responses in the anonymous survey. We also hear directly from those who are not too shy to call us up.  I’ve been on the receiving end of many of these incredibly insightful conversations. The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) has revised the program every year based on these conversations…minus the curse words (totally kidding) and submits a new proposal for a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC). Along with the feedback, I’ve heard some less objective comments from the field over the years. I want to take a quick moment to address a few of the concerns that have popped up many more times than once.

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Categories: accessibility, Artists, creativity, Cuyahoga, funding, public | comments

Small but Mighty CPAC Staff

I have been at CPAC the least amount of time of any of us staff members. That said, I have gotten to know this organization pretty well in the last 17 months. I have learned that each of us 7 staff members are very different - we have

CPAC Staff

From left: Valerie, Meg, Adam, Tom, LeAundra, Kristin, Megan

different personalities, different work styles, different ideas, different ways of seeing things, etc. Though we are all different, we make a strong, cohesive team. We are always working together to complete the organization’s goals. And as biased as I may be, I think we do it well.

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State Advocacy Alert: Music Therapy Licensure Efforts Gain Momentum…Your Help is Needed Now!

House Bill 184 (HB-184) has been introduced in the Ohio House under the bi-partisan leadership of Rep. Dovilla of Berea and Rep. Antonio of Lakewood. Music therapists led a highly successful outreach day where they had contact with the offices of all 99 House members and 33 Senate members with personal visits with over 40 elected officials. At the end of the day over 20 House members, from both sides of the aisle, signed on to co-sponsor with Reps Dovilla and Antonio….and three senators signed on to co-sponsor once the bill goes to their side of the legislature.

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Categories: advocacy, artsandhealth, creative minds in medicine, music therapy | comments

#tbt #artsmarketing

This year marks the 18th year of CPAC’s existence as an arts and culture service organization in Northeast Ohio. Having served as a CPAC staffer for 2/3 of the organization’s existence – 12 years this year – I remember most of CPAC’s work with the exception of the planning process that launched the organization itself. Perhaps you recognize the image at right. It’s a photo of a kiosk poster advertising Culture4Me.org, one of CPAC’s first forays into marketing and communications on behalf of the sector – an arts and cultural event calendar. What ever happened to Culture4me.org? It’s a thrilling tale, but not one I’m going to tell today.

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Categories: audience, marketing | comments

Artist Stereotypes

A few weeks ago, I ran across a story titled “Artists Frustrated With Being Put in a Black Box”. The story, by David C. Barnett (WCPN), featured artist choreographer, Dianne McIntyre among other local talents. I met Dianne during her Fellowship in 2010. She is a world renown, Guggenheim-award-winning, trail-blazing choreographer. She is also welcoming, dedicated and all-around wonderful, as most of the other artists I’ve worked with. But I admit the concerns in this article never would have crossed my mind at the time.

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Categories: art therapy, Artists, creative placemaking, creativity, culture, innovation, Storytelling | comments

Why You Need A Feedback Loop (by guest blogger Darlene Montonaro)

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers,says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field (a daunting statistic for those of us who aspire to achieve mastery in the arts).  His comments have generated someinteresting conversations,  but Daniel Goleman adds a wry sidebar to the research.  InFocus,he points out that if you keep doing something badly, or making the same mistakes over and over, even thousands of hours of practice won’t improve your craft.  In other words, your hours must be devoted to increasing your skill level – pushing your limits, tweaking your practice, and including a feedback loop that helps you recognize errors and correct them.

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Categories: evaluate, writer | comments

Doing More By Saying Nothing

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a public official in a local community to discuss the city’s strategic plan. Before the meeting, I had written down a few notes and done some research to better prepare. I had also written down a few objectives for the meeting; bullet points for how I could measure the ‘effectiveness’ of my conversation. About half way through the meeting, I put my notes away... 

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Categories: advocacy, advocacy training, arts and culture, Best Practices, Connecting with Policy Makers, Listening, Policy Makers, research, Roundtable | comments

If your slides look like this, you better read on.

If your slides look like this, you better read on.  

Program Development-Elyria

Actually, if your slides look like this and you haven’t read my blog on declaring our independence from the bad presentation, you should read that first. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

So now you know there’s a whole lot of work you have to do on your presentation before you even think about opening up slide software. I also urge you to ask yourself one other question before doing so: Should you even use slides?

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Categories: design, presentations | comments

5 Things Artists Should Know About Getting Insured

No doubt about it, health insurance is a great thing to have. Unfortunately, navigating the world of health care can be overwhelming, intimidating and downright weird. The emergence of the Affordable Care Act has opened up a lot of opportunities for folks to get insured and get the care they deserve, but even with this new system there are still a lot of questions and uncertainties floating around. Luckily, you’re reading this blog. Here are a few tips you artists (or anyone really) should keep in mind when getting serious about getting covered.

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Categories: Artists, Health, health insurance, Money, resources | comments

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