Public meetings provide an inside look at process and decision-making. By attending meetings, you are in a better position to become informed and to have a say in the outcome. Knowing the history of Cuyahoga County’s economic development efforts, we can see the impact of arts and culture in the success of our local economy and back it up with research. Through our presence at meetings, we can showcase the arts and culture sector’s commitment to serving as an essential vehicle for reaching the goals of our larger community and region.
Hosted by Arts Cleveland, the Arts and Culture Roundtable meeting is one of the few events that bring leaders from the arts and culture community together. It is a place to hear about the current political environment, how it will impact our arts and culture sector and what we can do collectively to influence the outcome. As part of these roundtables we often host a speaker or panel of experts to discuss the current issues at hand. These meetings provide an environment to interact with each other, to ask questions and to come up with the best solutions possible as a sector.
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the public subdivision responsible for distributing the tax dollars generated by the cigarette tax to arts and culture organizations. Since 2007, CAC has invested millions of dollars into local nonprofits. Their quarterly board meetings are open to the public and anyone interested may attend. During these meetings, CAC discusses changes to program guidelines, staff and board, funding strategies and more. In addition, CAC provides an annual Report to the Community each spring.
The Cuyahoga County Council is responsible for making a number of community decisions that directly affect the arts and culture sector. For example they ratify CAC board appointments and authorize the process for renewal of public funding for arts and culture returning to the ballot. The 11-member body is elected by Cuyahoga County residents. If you have an issue you feel strongly about, be sure to contact the official in your district, and let them know how it will strengthen the region.
Interested in more regular discussion? Take action at the Civic Commons. A project that started in 2010, Civic Commons’ mission is to build conversations and connections that have the power to become informed, productive, collective civic action. In 2013, Civic Commons joined forces with ideastream to strengthen their existing services and to "complement the local public radio and television content in a way that allows community members to not only consume information but to discuss it and turn it into action." Anyone can join, and getting started is easy and fun. Check out their threads on the arts to add to topics or create your own discussions.
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