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Where Cleveland artists can affordably live and create is up for discussion Thursday

The ArtCraft Building, located at 2530 Superior Ave.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
A number of artists will be displaced when the ArtCraft Building is refurbished for use by Cleveland police. Similar situations have occurred with the Heller Building and Lakewood's Screw Factory.

Greater Cleveland’s creative sector, still recovering from the pandemic, is considering where it will live and work in the future. A recent survey of Cuyahoga County artists receiving ARPA funding found that 79% were concerned about having enough money to pay bills. A panel discussion Thursday brings together artists, community leaders and real estate professionals focused on ways to make housing and creative space more accessible and affordable.

Cleveland-based Assembly for the Arts organized the event in response to what they’re hearing from artists, said Assembly Chief Community Officer Deidre McPherson.

“Whether it's for rehearsals, for workshops, for educational purposes, for presentations, exhibitions - you name it - regardless of what your artistic practice is, you need space to practice,” she said. “There are things happening at a national level that have not yet happened here. For example, helping artists to actually buy property and not have to worry about the lease… and will they be at risk for losing their space and have to relocate?”

McPherson said the sale of the ArtCraft Building in the Superior Arts District last year has displaced artists. The building at E. 24th Street and Superior Avenue is slated to be refurbished and used as the new Cleveland police headquarters.

The panel also includes Cleveland Planning Director Joyce Pan Huang, Aisia Jones of MidTown Cleveland, Ajha Dean Phillips of the Cleveland Black Arts Movement, Julie Schabel with Wave Space Studio, Ismail Samad with Loiter East Cleveland and Sarah Paul, an associate professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

The discussion is the second program of Assembly's REvision series and takes place at SPACES Gallery on Thursday, 6-7:30 p.m.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.