Funding for the Arts: Alternative SourcesA Conversation with Karen Gahl-Mills, Executive Director Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in Cleveland, OH
Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
Houston Arts Alliance, 3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 125
Recently, a wide margin (75%) of Cuyahoga County, OH voters approved the renewal of a 10-year, 30-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes that provides funds for arts and culture. Arts organizations across Cuyahoga County came together to wage a highly-effective campaign based on the importance of arts and culture to the area's economy, children's education, tourism, and Cleveland's world-class image and reputation. They raised more than $1 million for TV and radio ads and mounted a major grassroots effort that included yard signs, fliers, outreach on social media, and a major get-out-the-vote effort. This is a great example of effective arts advocacy in action.
Houston Arts Alliance welcomed Karen Gahl-Mills to Houston for this conversation about the structure of her organization, the strategy used to implement the cigarette tax, and the advocacy work to renew it 10 years later.
ABOUT KAREN GAHL-MILLS
Karen Gahl-Mills is the executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the local public funder of arts and culture activities in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 2007, CAC has invested more than $125 million into over 300 organizations who serve millions of area residents. A former orchestra manager turned grantmaker and teacher, she has worked passionately throughout her 25-year career to connect the talents of arts and culture organizations with the needs of the community. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and she still makes music, singing regularly in the community choir at Oberlin College.