Arts and culture can define a community, creating a critical mass that translates into jobs, business opportunities and, ideally, sustained economic prosperity. These were the words of Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium Initiative (NEOSCC
) director Hunter Morrison during a January 25 roundtable hosted by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC
These also are words that CPAC president and CEO Tom Schorgl likes to hear. The focus of the roundtable event was sustainability, and how the arts and culture community can assist the region as it evolves through population and land use shifts. The local arts sector becoming engaged in these issues can help keep Northeast Ohio resilient, vibrant and sustainable, said Morrison, a notion that the CPAC president shares.
"We have cultural clusters throughout the region, and the ability to communicate on a larger basis with the population about those clusters," says Schorgl. "We need to continue to reach our audience."
The roundtable, which drew over 50 attendees to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
's main gallery, was CPAC's first such event of the year. The nonprofit will sponsor similar forums through November, with an overall aim of connecting the arts and culture realm with professionals from sectors including community development and health and human services. Past roundtable speakers have included Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon, and City of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
"The idea is to provide a forum for new ideas around a common cause," Schorgl says.
SOURCE: Tom Schorgl
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth