Global Artists at Home in Cleveland
Home is where the art is
Did You Know?
Since Creative Fusion started in 2010, more than 50 international artists have worked in-depth with more than 20,000 elementary, high school and college students in Cleveland.
Artists represent a variety of art forms, including multimedia installations, print-making, sculpture, ballet, experimental dance, and photography. This year’s artists made an immediate impact not only for their host organizations but also for those in the community with whom they interacted. This element—the relationships formed within the community—is unique to Creative Fusion.
This year, organizations including the Cleveland Print Room, Ingenuity Cleveland, Inlet Dance Theatre, The Sculpture Center, Verb Ballets, Rainey Institute, Waterloo Arts, and Zygote Press exchanged artistic and cultural expression with their resident artists. In addition to focusing on individual work, artists conducted workshops and interviews, taught classes and enhanced Cleveland’s art scene.
Outside the Box
Beatriz said, “I believe this exchange and dialogue among artistic disciplines and cultures enrich the community and afford resident artists the occasion to create and to forge connections.”
One such connection occurred when Beatriz met Luis, a resident of the Eliza Jennings Nursing Home. Luis never left his room, and spoke only Spanish. “Luis was a lonely man,” Beatriz said. “His family was in Puerto Rico, his wife abandoned him when he became ill.” Through a series of interviews in their shared language, Beatriz was inspired to share his story which, at heart, was also a love story: “a man and woman deeply in love, very passionate and sensual, but eventually separated because they cannot understand or support difficult times.” Luis ventured outside his room for the first time to watch the performances. “He loved all of them,” Beatriz said.
Margaret Carlson, producing artistic director of Verb Ballets, said “working with a writer made us, as dancers, think outside the box. When you do that, that’s where the creativity begins.” For Carlson and her staff, Creative Fusion is a triple win: for the artist, the host organization, and the community. “We look at what we do differently, and the artists enjoy a tremendous freedom to work on their craft. As artists go back to their homes, we believe the word will spread that Cleveland and the Cleveland Foundation are building a creative society. The implications of that are being felt on a much broader scale.”
I remember the sea.Luis, a Spanish speaking male resident
Every Friday we went to the sea. The beaches were long and sunny. I laid on the sand and hugged her. She threw her arms back and dozed. Then we got up and went into the water. We swam in the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, across all the seas, spending hours in the lukewarm and refreshing water. We ran along the edge of the beach, her dress was moving with the wind. She swore 'I would always be with you'. And I believed her.
But when I told her the bad news, she just went away. Without a word. She just turned around and walked out of our house, which was since then so empty and alone and I saw the future as winter looming clouds.
Talk of the Town
“Creative Fusion is a hallmark program of the Cleveland Foundation—it reflects the many ways in which we support arts & culture for this community— supporting individual artists, bringing arts programs to the community, and investing in the arts & culture organizations that make our city so great.”
—Lillian Kuri, Program Director for Arts and Urban Design, Cleveland Foundation
Where would you like to see Creative Fusion artists working in our community?