Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Center for Performance and Civic Practice Announce Learning Lab Program Participants

CLEVELAND (November 28, 2018) – Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice (CPCP) announced today a cohort of 12 Cuyahoga County artists and 12 nonprofit partner organizations who will participate in CPCP’s Learning Lab program (list follows).

With funding from CAC, CPCP is offering Learning Lab, a professional development program designed to train and support artists in civic, social, public and placemaking practices. The program also connects artists to local nonprofit partners and provides funding so they can conceptualize and implement projects together.

Artists submitted applications and were selected by Center for Performance and Civic Practice. People who have been historically marginalized or underrepresented were strongly encouraged to apply. Participants will receive a $500 stipend to attend three full days of workshops to learn about a civic practice framework and to build partnerships. Upon completion of the training, artists will be eligible to partner with a nonprofit and receive up to $7,500 in funding to develop projects informed by the Learning Lab’s practices. Projects will take place between March and November 2019.

“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is committed to supporting Cuyahoga County artists in many ways,” said Jill M. Paulsen, interim CEO + executive director for CAC. “Over the years, we have come to appreciate that artists have different needs and interests. Artists told us they want professional development and help to build connections with community organizations, in addition to funding. We chose to bring the Learning Lab program here to Cleveland because we know artists have a unique potential to shift power, solve problems, and use their creativity to transform our community.”

Rebecca Martinez, CPCP program director, said CPCP is encouraged by the number of applicants for the Learning Lab program in Cuyahoga County. “We had more than 60 artists apply for the Learning Lab, which shows the enthusiasm and need for this program in Cuyahoga County. We look forward to working with this group of passionate artists and nonprofit partners to explore how artistic tools and partnerships can be utilized for meaningful community-led change,” Martinez said.

The 12 artist participants (and their artistic/creative discipline) include:

  • Isabel Axon-Sanchez (painting, education)
  • Michele Crawford (design)
  • Archie Green (music)
  • Mr. Soul (visual artist)
  • Elaine Hullihen (performance, conceptual, fiber)
  • Lexy Lattimore (dance, ballet)
  • Tom Masaveg (outdoor education, drawing and digital art)
  • Will Sanchez (mixed media)
  • Oluremi Ann Oliver (storytelling)
  • Gina Washington (photography, ceramics)
  • Gary Williams (fine art)
  • Kenya Woods (dance)

The nonprofit partner organizations selected are:

  • Burten, Bell, Carr Development
  • Campus District Inc.
  • Cleveland Seed Bank
  • Eliza Bryant Village
  • FrontLine Service
  • FutureHeights
  • Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
  • Hispanic Alliance
  • Lexington-Bell Community Center
  • MidTown Cleveland
  • Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corporation
  • Shaker Heights Development Corporation

The program will be enhanced by the expertise of a cohort of local mentor organizations who participate alongside the artists and nonprofit representatives. They include: Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Cleveland Public Theatre, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute, LAND studio, and Twelve Literary Arts.

To learn more about the artists, see their photos and short biographies at:

More information about the Learning Lab is available at

This is one of CAC’s various investments to support Cuyahoga County artists. To learn more about our Support for Artists partners and programs, visit

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest local public funders for arts and culture in the nation, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2006, CAC has invested more than $181 million in 400 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit