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

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

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CultureForward Blog

"Super Storm Sandy" Spurs Savvy Solutions

It’s been three weeks since ‘Super storm Sandy’ hit and communities all along the east coast are regaining power and rebuilding their communities. Here in Cleveland, we saw record breaking winds resulting in fallen trees, damaged houses and downed power lines.  CPAC, we are still catching up after our office closed for almost a week due to power outages. Now, one presidential election later, many of us are back in business as usual. But what is going on with the many artists and arts organizations in our community whose work was impacted by floods, power outages and wind damage?

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Categories: Artists, Best Practices, Emergency Prep, experience, management, plan | comments

Introducing CPAC’s Reading Roundtable

How many times has this happened to you? You hear a radio interview with an author and think “That sounds like a really great read!” You read an article that reviewed a new book and think “If I only had more time…” Or, you receive a book recommendation from a friend and think “I really should read that.” Your “to read” list becomes long, while your, “have read” list is virtually nonexistent. Perhaps  you actually read the book being recommended and think “I wish I had someone to talk about this with.” Or, you’re so excited about the book and want to share that excitement, so you reach out to the first available person only to find that she can’t relate because she hasn’t read the book. 

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Categories: Arts Education, Best Practices, books, collaboration, management, public policy | comments

The Right Plan, The Right Time, The Right Action

A few years ago our sector had reached a fiscal impasse. It threatened the future of the County’s arts and cultural assets. We organized and developed a community plan. We formed alliances with other community-building sectors to support our cause. These were a few of the actions that led to Cuyahoga County voters adopting a cigarette excise tax to sustain and develop the community’s cultural resources. Various organizations and entities outside the arts and culture community rallied to our cause. Among the groups that joined in the campaign were public educators, teachers and administrators.

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Categories: Arts Education, Education, public policy | comments

Mickey Mouse and Transformational Experiences

Over the Labor Day weekend, my family and I attended a barbeque at a friend’s house. Good food, spirited company, and lively conversation made the event a truly enjoyable one. Reflections on the end of summer – with kids bemoaning the return of school and parents rejoicing in it – gave rise to the discussion of vacations. My friend commented that since knowing us, he couldn’t recall one vacation we had taken that didn’t involve Disney. I laughed, commenting that in the past five years, we have taken one vacation that was decidedly Disney-free. In the days that have followed that exchange, I’ve thought a lot about why Disney figures so prominently in my family’s vacations. For my husband and me, it really comes down to experience.

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Categories: marketing | comments

The Power of the Collective


I know I’m not alone when I say that for the last several weeks I found myself nerding out over all the Olympics coverage.  After all, I recently saw a headline that some 219.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the Games this summer making it the most watched event in U.S. television history. For me, I especially love watching all the team events – 

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Categories: collaboration, Collaborative Marketing Database, marketing | comments

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Some tips on selecting just the right work samples

With grants deadlines looming, I have been asked by many artists lately how to select the best and most appropriate work samples to include with a grant application.  A lot depends of course on your creative process, discipline and how you choose to document your artwork. While there is no “one size fits all” solution; here are some general tips to help demystify the process:

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Your Virtual Reality (part 2)


Picture your perfect website. You can find everything you’re looking for. You can access all the information you need. While you know nothing could replace seeing your work in person, you are as close as you can get to that experience. Now, how do you turn that arts and culture vision into a virtual reality? Last week we offered tips for detailing and planning all of the features you want on a new website. After developing our two new sites designed to support, strengthen and unify greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector, we thought we would offer some of our experience to transition from concept to site launch.

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Categories: audience, Best Practices, evaluate, experience, internship, metrics, Storytelling, website | comments

Your Virtual Reality (part 1)

Websites … Critical marketing tools? A necessary evil?  Welcome distractions? We all view them differently, especially when we are the ones developing them. While it helps to have great web designers, building a new website can be daunting. CPAC just launched two in April, and we are thrilled to share them. The process of building these sites has been about five years in the making, give or take a few other programs and research occupying our time. Here are a few things we learned along the way:

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Categories: audience, experience, marketing, plan, Storytelling, website | comments

Application Narratives, Work Samples and More: What to include, what to skip and how to know the difference

Has this happened to you? You are completing a grant application relieved to find it is easier than anticipated. The first questions ask for contact information and take little time to complete. You are feeling confident and “on your way.”  You answer “yes” and “no” to questions, occasionally finding a drop down box and choosing an answer from one or two options. The minutes fly by – you upload your digital images and label each appropriately. You are feeling a sense of accomplishment; you are applying for a grant! 

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Categories: funding, grant, grants writing | comments

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