Support for Artists: What to Expect at CAC’s Feb. 13 Board Meeting

In 2017, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is committed to ongoing support of our community’s artists. We want to continue talking with you about those plans, but we want to be clear: this issue is not on the agenda for CAC’s February 13 Board meeting.

Why? CAC Board meetings are used to conduct the business of our public agency, and our small team is currently working to launch our primary grant programs: general operating and project support. We need to use this meeting to hold a discussion relating to those programs and other administrative matters.

At the same time, we recognize the importance of your work and welcome public comment about support for artists towards the end of our regular meeting, in line with our public comment policy. Even though support for artists isn’t on the agenda, the work is ongoing, grounded in CAC’s key elements affirmed by our Board at its December 2016 meeting. Here’s an interim update:

  • CAC is committed to supporting artists in 2017. In December 2016, CAC’s Board of Trustees clearly and unanimously voiced support for continuing to use public funds to support Cuyahoga County artists. To this end, the 2017 budget approved at that meeting includes funds to provide continued support for artists.
  • CAC continues to have informal conversations and learn. Since December, CAC staff and Board has responded to requests to join conversations with artists and residents, both those who have participated in CAC funding in the past and those who have felt left out of the process. We have continued to gather information about other programs that we might learn from, and staff met on February 7th to start to develop a plan to manage this work.
  • CAC seeks broad public input. We need to learn more about the artists in our community and how we can provide meaningful support, in line with our mission. In the coming months, we will convene groups of residents and artists in a listening session format, to begin to better understand the landscape. Also, we are grateful to Raymond Bobgan of Cleveland Public Theatre who has offered to work with us to bring together a community committee to help advise the process. We need many voices around the table to do this work, and Raymond’s partnership will help us be successful.
  • CAC welcomes feedback. Please contact us at info@cacgrants.org or 216-515-8303 with any questions or ideas, or to set up a meeting with CAC staff.

We look forward to sharing additional updates as soon they become available.

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