Known as one of the most popular art meccas in the country, Chicago has long been the home to a thriving and growing arts and music scene. But for those looking to branch beyond the Windy City to grow their business, the cost of travel and lodging can be prohibitive. That’s where the Artists in Residence Program (AIR) based out of Cleveland comes into play. This program aims to help prospective artists live affordably while growing their creative business.
Full-time Chicago artists and musicians are no stranger to the hours and miles put in traveling back and forth from Chicago to festivals all over the country. But as each starving artist knows, travel costs add up, especially when it comes to lodging. The AIR program allows artists the option and benefit of owning an affordable permanent location in the Cleveland area where noteable art festivals and events are held each year including the Tremont Arts Fest, Waterloo Arts Festival, Murray Hill Art Walk, Boston Mills Arts Fest, Cain Park Arts Festival and more. With AIR, the initiative sells homes to artists for as low as $6,500 in the North Shore Collinwood area. That’s less than a year’s worth of festival travel costs for many and a fraction of what Chicago residents pay for rent each year!
The AIR program is organized by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and Northeast Shores Development Corporation. The overall goal is to increase artists’ access to affordable space within Cleveland and to develop a replicable model for increasing artists’ participation in the revitalization of other neighborhoods and other industrial cities across the country. To date, Chicago’s artists are one of the top three markets currently exploring the Cleveland-based program.
“Offering affordable housing in a neighborhood that is up and coming is a great way for artists to keep their costs low and invest in their business, whether they are from the surrounding neighborhood or a few hours away,” said Brian Friedman, executive director of Northeast Shores Development Corporation. “North Shore Collinwood is the perfect opportunity for artists who do this as a full-time career. With a thriving arts scene and affordable living, it’s perfect for those who commute back and forth throughout the year to cut costs and increase their business exposure.”
For artists and musicians interested in learning more about the program, AIR will be hosting a “Welcome to Cleveland” weekend from August 1st- 4th. This event will be bringing artists from all over the country together to learn about AIR and the city. CPAC and Northeast Shores will also be assisting artists with hotel costs, ground transportation and meals. Participants will have the opportunity to check out some of the area’s most artist-friendly neighborhoods and meet a wide range of fellow creative spirits.
. Three nights at the beautiful, historic and centrally located Hyatt at the Arcade (http://cleveland.hyatt.com).
. Guided tours and programming, led by some of Cleveland’s most knowledgeable and passionate community development workers, cultural workers and artists.
. See cultural organizations, arts districts and artist housing, with time left over for artists’ own personal exploration.
. Complementary daytime and evening arts programming.
. Ground transportation throughout artists’ stay.
. Five meals giving participants a taste of Cleveland’s nationally celebrated culinary scene.
“Without a doubt it’s our hope that by introducing the Artists in Residence Program in the Collinwood area and working with other artists from around the country that we will be able to replicate this program and share it with other cities nationwide,” said Megan Van Voorhis, CPAC chief operating officer.
“By working together as artistic communities, we can grow our nation’s thriving arts scene one city at a time.”
For more information on the Artists in Residence program please visit www.welcometocollinwood.com. Details and tickets for Welcome to Cleveland Weekend can be purchased by visiting http://welcometocleveland.