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CUYAHOGA COUNTY ARTISTS. A new artist training program can help you learn skills to collaborate and codesign with community.

With support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP) is offering Learning Lab, a professional development program designed to train artists in civic, social, public and placemaking practices. The program also connects artists to local nonprofit partners and provides funding to explore and implement collaborative, project-based work. Learn more about Civic Practice at



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12 artists from Cuyahoga County will be selected through an application process to participate in CPCP’s Learning Lab. Participating artists must commit to three day-long training sessions followed by the opportunity to partner with a participating local nonprofit to develop a collaborative civic practice project. In-person and online coaching sessions support the conceptualization of projects. In addition to fully covering the cost of the Learning Lab program, CAC will offer $500 to each artist for their participation. Starting in November 2018, artists and civic partners:

  • Explore civic, social, and public artistic practices;
  • Examine how to build equitable and authentic community partnerships through a practice of listening;
  • Engage community partners in change efforts reflecting community-defined needs;
  • Learn how to successfully further expand their studio practice to include social and civic practices; and
  • Explore how their artistic tools can be utilized for community change processes.

Representatives of up to 12 Cuyahoga County-based nonprofits with a focus on community development will participate in trainings and sessions alongside selected artists. A cohort of local mentor arts organizations will bring additional local expertise and provide thought-partnership for participating artists and partners. 


Artists who complete the training will be eligible for up to $7,500 in funding develop public projects in partnership with a nonprofit and informed by Learning Lab’s practices. Projects must take place between March and November 2019.



Selected participants will be artists who are interested in moving their practice into community-based work and exploring partnership and collaboration. No prior public or civic practice work is required. Applicants may identify as any discipline. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Live in Cuyahoga County;
  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Actively be pursuing a career as an artist, creative, scientist or naturalist*; and
  • Not currently be enrolled in a full-time degree-granting program related to their creative practice.

CAC strongly encourages applicants who have been historically marginalized or underrepresented. Priority funding goes to artists that foster artistic expression deeply rooted in and reflective of historically marginalized or underrepresented communities. Informed by the Grantmakers in the Arts’ “Racial Equity: Statement of Purpose,” these communities include: African and African American; Latino/a; Asian and Asian American; Arab; Native American; Pacific Islander; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer; transgender and gender variant people; people with disabilities; and women.

*CAC defines artists as individuals whose practices include but are not limited to literature, theater, music, dance, ballet, painting, sculpture, photography, motion pictures, architecture, archaeology, history, natural history, or the natural sciences.

To be successful in the Learning Lab, an artist must have an existing creative practice or career; however, it need not be an artist’s only or full-time pursuit.


Artists will be selected by CPCP. The application process will be informed by the cohort of local mentor organizations. Participants will be selected using the following criteria: expressed interest in community and/or experience working in a community setting; openness to collaboration; demonstration of an established artistic practice; and commitment to equity. Selected artists will be notified by November 19.



To apply, artists must complete and submit the online application form along with examples of previous work
by Monday, October 22 at Midnight ET. Selected artists must attend all Learning Lab training sessions, no
exceptions. Please make sure prior to applying that, if selected, you will be able to attend during the following
dates and times:

  • Wednesday, November 28, 9 am - 4 pm (Session 1)
  • Tuesday, December 18, 9 am - 4 pm (Session 2)
  • Thursday, January 10, 2019, 9 am - 4 pm (Session 3)

Artists will also need to be available for phone and in person coaching sessions and meetings with their community partners between January and June 2019. These meetings and coaching sessions will be scheduled at a convenient time for all parties. Artist project funding opportunities will be made available after January 10, 2019, but are not directly connected to the Learning Lab sessions.



Learn more at an informational workshop, open to the public, at 9 AM on October 11, 2018 at Trinity Commons, 2333 Prospect Ave. E, Cleveland, OH 44115. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact Jake Sinatra at or 216-515-8303 x103. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.


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