Jason Estremera, Director of Business Services with the Hispanic Business Center, knows from first-hand experience how important diversity in arts & culture is for a community. As owner of Trunk Collective clothing store in Gordon Square, board member of Cleveland Public Theatre, and an actor in Teatro Publico de Cleveland in Gordon Square, he has witnessed how theater has the power to comfort people and challenge conventional thought.
That’s why he volunteered his time to be part of the review panel to choose participants for Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Arts & Culture in the Square
program. “I wanted to do it because it is an amazing opportunity to learn about different groups and individuals who may not have had an opportunity to put their work and points of view on a prominent stage here in Cleveland,” Jason said.
Jason said the racial and cultural diversity of both applicants and review committee members was evident throughout the process.
“The review committee members were from diverse backgrounds and put a lot of thought into how this funding would showcase groups and individuals who would not otherwise have a chance to tell their stories,” he said. “We had a really healthy dialogue about what people in Cleveland would want to see and what would connect with them. Being part of the review committee was amazing for the simple fact that we took a really inclusive approach to selecting the artists and organizations.”
Jason said the artists chosen for Arts & Culture in the Square will change the way people see Cleveland and themselves. “These artists and groups now have a stage to showcase their culture and the social issues of diverse backgrounds. These arts events will help to change minds and bring people together. From a big picture standpoint, this summer series represents who Cleveland is, and that’s important for folks who visit our city to see an inclusive culture,” he said. “The diversity of the funded organizations represented is truly amazing and very authentic.”