FRONT International, Case Western Reserve University and The Assembly for the Arts to Host The Art Futures Forum on September 16 and 17

This first-ever summit will focus on equity in the visual arts from an academic, institutional and community perspective.

(Cleveland, OH – September 9, 2022) — FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University and Assembly for the Arts, is pleased to announce a two-day conference taking place September 16–17, 2022, to engage the public in conversations about how arts institutions can better reflect and fulfill the needs of their communities. The Cleveland Museum of Art will host the first day of the conference at Gartner Auditorium. The following day will occur at the Samson Pavilion, within Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic’s joint Health Education Campus.

“We are excited to launch this unprecedented gathering of leaders in our arts community,” said Fred Bidwell, Executive Director of FRONT International. “This partnership with Case Western Reserve University and The Assembly for the Arts is a promising opportunity for thought leaders in our community to collaborate on ways that arts and culture can better reflect and serve our communities. We hope to repeat the Art Futures Forum during the next edition of FRONT in 2025 so that we can benchmark our progress.”

Its first day serves as the 48th annual edition of The Cleveland Symposium—one of the longest-running yearly art history graduate symposia in the United States—organized by students in Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art’s joint graduate program. This year’s Symposium is entitled Recentering the Periphery: An Inclusive Future of Art History and will feature presentations by visiting scholars and graduate students from universities across the country. These presentations will explore how scholars and institutions can help reshape art historical narratives and recenter subjects long treated as peripheral, broadening the boundaries of the traditionally defined art historical canon and curriculum in an endeavor towards a more equitable future for the discipline.

The second day of the Art Futures Forum will focus on how cultural institutions can better share stories of creative expression and consider new models to serve and empower their communities. The day will start with a panel discussion with the leaders of major arts institutions in Northeast Ohio, moderated by Jennifer Coleman, Program Director, Creative Culture and Art for the George Gund Foundation. The panel will be Fred Bidwell, Executive Director of FRONT International; Bill Griswold, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art; Jon Fiume, Director of the Akron Art Museum; Kathryn Heidemann, President of the Cleveland Institute of Art; and Megan Lykins-Reich, Director of moCa Cleveland. After several years of turbulence and reflection in the museum field, these leaders will discuss what they have done and are planning to do to meet the heightened expectations of the communities they serve. Following the panel and lunch, attendees can choose to participate in one of a selection of Community Conversations. These Community Conversations aim to create a space for neighborhood-focused community leaders and artists to introduce their initiatives and discuss how institutions and individuals with access can leverage their power in support of initiatives in underserved communities as part of their equity efforts. By convening artists, arts administrators, funders, scholars, and creative entrepreneurs, the Art Futures Forum hopes to foster meaningful connections and inspire purposeful actions.

Day one programming is presented with support from the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Nancy and Joseph Keithley, and Friends of Art. Programming for day two is presented with support by the George Gund Foundation and The Terra Foundation.

About FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art
Launched in 2018, FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art is a free, public contemporary art exhibition comprising artist commissions, performances, films, and public programs. The inaugural edition brought over 90,000 visitors from more than 25 countries and generated $31 million in economic impact in the region. Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the second iteration of FRONT International will run from July 16 through October 2, 2022. Building on the first edition’s success, FRONT 2022 furthers the Triennial’s commitment to the belief that by supporting creative communities and stimulating new cultural encounters in the region, contemporary art can be an essential catalyst for positive social change. For more information, visit or follow @FRONTtriennial.

About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 5,800 undergraduate and 6,300 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

About Assembly for the Arts
Assembly for the Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a focus on advocacy, cultural policy, racial equity initiatives, research, marketing that elevates the region, and services for nonprofits, artists, and creative businesses. It is governed by a volunteer board with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Assembly by design operates in close partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, a government agency, and Assembly for Action, a 501(c)4 political action nonprofit to serve the entire creative sector. Assembly is supported through major funding from: The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ohio Arts Council, Huntington, KeyBank, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, Fred & Laura Beth Bidwell, and Barbara S. Robinson.

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