Cleveland Meets Havana

Two dancers from Malpaso dance troupe pose with outstretched arms
Dancers from internationally renowned Cuban dance troupe Malpaso, one of the groups participating in the Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition residency.

We’re thrilled to announce our spring 2017 Creative Fusion residency, Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition. Since 2008, our Creative Fusion international artist residency program has brought more than 70 foreign artists to Cleveland. Beginning in 2016, the program strengthened collaboration between local Cleveland artists and the visiting artists-in-residence by focusing each Creative Fusion cohort along a single theme.

An unprecedented exchange

Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition, is likely the first-of-its-kind exchange connecting cultural institutions of a major Midwestern city with a selection of celebrated Cuban artists for an extended project-based residency.  The multidisciplinary cohort includes internationally renowned artists showcasing the best in architecture, design, printmaking, photography/mixed media, the written word, ballet and modern dance.

Visionary artists

The Cuban artists include award-winning artist Sandra Ramos; Fábrica de Arte Cubano architects Sofía Márquez Aguiar and Ernesto Jiménez; accomplished culture writer, poet and editor Laura Ruiz Montes, internationally renowned modern dance troupe Malpaso; and acclaimed ballet dancer and teacher Laura Alonso.

A group of local artists will partner with the Cuban artists during their residency. The local collaborators include Cleveland Institute of Art Metals + Jewelry professor Matthew Hollern, Interior Architecture Chair Michael Gollini, students in a Cleveland Institute of Art Interior Architecture studio and Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Urban Design and Landscape Architecture graduate studio,  photographer Greg Martin, Case Western Reserve University Modern Languages & Literatures professor Damaris Punales-Alpizar, Cuban-born and Cleveland-based painter Augusto Bordelois, and 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award winner Dianne McIntyre. Learn more about all the artists here.

Collaborative projects

Seven local arts organizations will host Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition artists, who will participate in a variety of projects. The host organizations include the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Print Room, the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the Collective Arts Network Journal, DANCECleveland and Verb Ballets. Get the details about the projects right here.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to build innovative partnerships between Cuba and Cleveland, centered on transformative art and artists in both communities,” said Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “The arts scene here in Cleveland has often been our calling card to the world. With Creative Fusion, we are able to bring the world to Cleveland to enrich our creative landscape while deepening our community’s appreciation for the local artists who define and design this cultural movement every day in Greater Cleveland.”

For more information about Creative Fusion and the spring 2017 residency, visit and follow #CLEvana and #CLExHAV across Cleveland Foundation and host organization social media properties.