Arts and the Cleveland Mayor's Race

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Mon, 10/31/2005 - 10:19.

Both Mayor Campbell and Council President Jackson met with the arts community last week.  Attendance was low, both at the Play House on the east with Campbell and Cleveland Public Theatre on the westside with Jackson. The Campbell strategy was to identify a top 20 list of reasons Campbell has advanced the arts, with art summits, expansion of live/work zones and public funding through the "1% for arts" set aside that is a part of public construction contracts.  She says her track record merits her return to office for another four years.  Jackson said, through his leadership, he deserves credit for these initiatives as well, and his record in council deserves the public’s faith and confidence that he will work to represent them well.  But what would be an election without an added dose of cynicism? 

Jackson also said Cleveland has a cable review process (Adelphia is bankrupt and the franchise will apparently transfer to Time-Warner) going forward and could use that to raise money for the arts.  Hmmm?  This is the strategy Cleveland Digital Vision used to help generate $3 million for the Neighborhood Technology Fund in the last Council review of a cable deal.  The funds now sit over at the Cleveland Foundation, funding public computer centers and education and technology initiatives. The last cable process also raised money for community TV at entrepreneur/minister Sam Tidmore's Village Television, Cuyahoga Community College, as well as funds for theater jewels Cleveland Public Theatre and Karamu.  So the cable process is going to fund computer education, all of the prior arts activities and a new arts initiative, or is it just being repackaged as something new? I guess we'll have to wait until after the election to find out for sure. 

I wish I'd known...

Good insight, Kevin.

I wish I'd known about these arts forums as they sound interesting.

Do you have thoughts on how a mayor should help the arts community. I'd be interested to see that posted to the Community Forum as a topic for discussion - throw up your ideas and let's see how others respond.



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