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Assembly For The Arts Unveils Plan To Unite Local Cultural Sector

People march in the longtime community arts event Parade the Circle in Cleveland in 2019. [Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com]
People march in the longtime community arts event Parade the Circle

A new arts organization revealed its plan today for area non-profits, businesses and artists to work together. 

For all the ways that area artists, performers and museums enrich Greater Cleveland, the local arts community is still learning how to work together in its own interest as a sector. The new advocacy organization Assembly for the Arts is hosting meetings this weekaimed at meshing the strengths of different players.

The group plans to focus on four areas: political advocacy, racial equity, services to help the sector and marketing. Assembly for the Arts CEO Jeremy Johnson said he’s looking to use the multi-billion-dollar impact of Northeast Ohio’s arts economy as leverage for more support from local and state leaders.

"We're going to make sure that Cleveland, Greater Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, will be respected for its arts and cultural industry as we are with other industries, and that we will be at the table," Johnson said.

Plans are to work out the details of that future in a series of monthly meetings scheduled through the end of the year.

Assembly CEO Jeremy Johnson and Happy Dog's Sean Watterson take questions at a State of the Music Scene forum at the Grog Shop on August 4th. [Assembly for the Arts]

Johnson is a Cleveland native and most recently served as the executive director of Newark Arts, a New Jersey arts advocacy organization.

Assembly for the Arts formed with foundation financial support and will work in coordination with the political advocacy organization Arts and Culture Action Committee as well as the public funding agency Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), which Ideastream Public Media receives financial support from. Assembly for the Arts also replaces the former advocacy group Arts Cleveland.

David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.