Cleveland's arts community is fortunate that so many local political leaders understand the impact their creativity has on the community, maintains Karen Gahl-Mills, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
The relationship is a solid one, but there's no harm in reminding local officials that regional dream makers want to be part of the broader conversation when it comes to economic development in Northeast Ohio. In that spirit, CAC is co-hosting a free roundtable discussion featuring Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. The event, which CAC is anchoring with the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture
(CPAC), will take place Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Idea Center’s Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre.
During the discussion, FitzGerald will share the city's "Western Reserve Plan" for revitalizing the region. Plan initiatives include welcoming immigrants to the community and designing a locally run wellness education program. While these issues aren't directly related to the arts, Cleveland's cultural sector appreciates having an engagement with government, says Gahl-Mills.
"This roundtable is part of our role to strengthen the community and make it a more vibrant place for artists to come to together," says the leader of the arts grantmaking organization.
Following the presentation, attendees will be invited to participate in an interactive Q&A session. The FitzGerald roundtable is the third such event CAC has held with CPAC, with an audience usually comprised of leaders from both the political and cultural spheres.
"It's about what we can do to further the county's agenda," Gahl-Mills says. "How can we be part of the conversation?"
The intersection of arts and the economy can relate to anything from public artwork in neighborhoods like Tremont and Ohio City to artists working with suburban leaders on various projects, says CPAC president and CEO Tom Schorgl.
Events like the FitzGerald roundtable "gives the arts community a dialogue with local leaders," says Schorgl. "It leads to better understanding on both sides."
CAC, meanwhile, is expected to invest $14 million in the arts community over the next year, a reflection of benefits like job creation and neighborhood revitalization inherent in a community's overall growth.
"We're lucky we have enlightened leadership that understands what the arts can do," says Gahl-Mills.
for event info.
Writer: Douglas Guth