2018 Creative Fusion Data Visualization Edition: Environmental Justice
In 2008, the Cleveland Foundation created an unprecedented international artist residency program that has brought more than 85 foreign artists to Cleveland. This year, Creative Fusion has invited three accomplished and/or rapidly rising artists from around the world and from under-represented cultures to Cleveland. In recent years, Creative Fusion welcomed incredible international artists from Cuba, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Chile, Iran, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil, Senegal, Egypt, Pakistan, and South Africa from a variety of art forms, including painting, multimedia installations, printmaking, sculpture, ballet, experimental dance, and photography.
Over the past year, staff has made a few strategic changes to Creative Fusion to build on the strengths of the program with the goal of creating higher visibility, alignment in the community and additional lasting impact. The four major changes are:
Creating more visibility for the program and the artists;
Providing more flexibility in the selection of the type of host organizations that can participate;
Including local artists; and,
Designing each cohort for more impact in Cleveland.
One of the biggest changes to the program is that we now develop concentrations for each cohort that centers on opportunities emerging in the Cleveland community, issues, and opportunities globally. For example, staff looks for opportunities to:
Select artists all from one country;
Have artists all in one medium (all theater, visual arts, photography, authors, dance, etc.);
Locate the artist all in one neighborhood (place based); and,
Select the artists based on a theme or a current global issue (for example: all refugee artists or artists dealing with social justice).
Throughout the residency, Creative Fusion artists receives support in doing their own creative work, but they are also asked to engage in cultural exchanges with local artists and to provide workshops, lectures and/or master classes for young people in our community to broaden Cleveland residents’ cultural perspective. The host organization, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress arranges these cultural exchanges for the visiting and local artists.
The 2018 Creative Fusion Data Visualization Edition: Environmental Justice is the latest version of the Creative Fusion program focusing on the intersection between data and art. The purpose of 2018 Creative Fusion Data Visualization Edition is to link art, data, and technology to help illuminate Cleveland’s complex social problems. Leveraging data visualization tools, expertise, and software, three local artists, and three international artists will examineEnvironmental Justice/Health Data in Cleveland, and craft compelling visual art from the data to strengthen the bonds between the technology, arts & culture, and civic sectors in Cleveland.
Technology has made the world smaller, and in some ways, more connected. In practical terms, we hope to capitalize on a unique opportunity to broaden our network across national (and natural) boundaries. This year’s cohort of Creative Fusion artists will critically interrogate how well we understand and use neighborhood data—its relevance, its functionality, reliability—and its limitations. By so doing, we will inspire a robust and timely discourse that will catalyze a movement towards environmental justice throughout our community. Furthermore, we anticipate that this partnership will galvanize a multidisciplinary coalition of designers, technologists, civic innovators, activists, and community builders (of all varieties).
Yet in aspirational terms, this partnership has the potential to accomplish much more. We believe The Artist’s responsibility—in every community—should be to challenge the status quo; to propose audacious ideas; to imagine a world of new possibilities; and to inspire us to follow their example. Whether the problem is environmental vulnerability, health disparity, or housing insecurity, the solutions we seek will emerge from the creative collision of new ideas, talents, and perspectives. We hope that the Creative Fusion 2018 cohort will force us to question how well we understand the capacity of data—its relevance, its functionality, reliability—and its limitations. We hope that this experience will also challenge us to think differently about who we consider to be an artist, a data scientist, and/or an activist. Finally, we hope that this experience will encourage our community to reimagine the boundless potential of data to make our city smarter, more equitable, more inclusive and even more beautiful.
The 2018 Creative Fusion Data Visualization Edition: Environmental Justice led in partnership by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Digital C, Hack Cleveland, ThirdSpace Action Lab and The Cleveland Foundation
*click on artist picture for bio and portfolio*
*click on artist picture for bio and portfolio*