Since 2008, the Cleveland Foundation has brought more than 90 accomplished or rapidly rising artists from around the world to Cleveland as part of an international arts residency program. Each year, artists from Creative Fusion cohorts are hosted by local cultural institutions during a three-month residency.


Creative Fusion artists collaborate with local Cleveland artists on a commissioned project during their stay, and engage directly with the community, making strong connections and exchanges. Beginning in 2016, the program strengthened collaboration between local Cleveland artists and the visiting artists by focusing each Creative Fusion cohort along a theme. 

Creative Fusion: Waterways to Waterways Edition

Spring/Summer 2019

As part of the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga River catching fire on June 22, 1969, the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion: Waterways to Waterways Edition will bring together a group of six international and six local artists to focus on projects that connect the regenerative efforts for the Cuyahoga to global waterways. This two-pronged initiative will incorporate works that artists are doing in other parts of the world that inspire continuing progress in Cleveland and around the globe while providing lessons Cleveland can share with the rest of the world about how to revive and reimagine a river. Creative Fusion: Waterways to Waterways Edition artists include:

  • John W. Carlson (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Mariá Eugenia Dávila (Venezuela)
  • Sharon Day (Minnesota)
  • Malaz Elgemiabby (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Erahlea Harnett (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Lukas Kronawitter (Germany)
  • Doug Paige (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Eduardo Portillo (Venezuela)
  • Sophie Schwartz (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Squidsoup Design Collaborative (United Kingdom)
  • Michael Tsegaye (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Check out the news release on Creative Fusion: Waterways to Waterways Edition.

Creative Fusion: Data Edition

Fall 2018

Hosted in partnership with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), Hack Cleveland (HackCLE), ThirdSpace Action Lab, and DigitalC, Creative Fusion: Data Edition brings together three international and five Cleveland-based artists to focus on new ways to use and visualize Greater Cleveland neighborhood data through art. The artists will challenge us to think differently about who we consider to be an artist, a data scientist and/or an activist. Creative Fusion: Data Edition artists include:

  • Angélica Dass (Madrid, Spain)
  • Malaz Elgemiabby (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Gwendolyn Garth (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Daniel Gray-Kontar (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Myoyoung Kim (Seoul, Korea)
  • M. Carmen Lane (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Azziz Muhammad (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Alsino Skowronnek (Berlin, Germany)

Learn more about Creative Fusion: Data Edition here.

Creative Fusion: Composer Series

Spring/Summer 2018

Presented in partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s longstanding, year-round performing arts series, this Creative Fusion residency brings six diverse composers from around the world to the Cleveland Museum of Art, where they will draw inspiration for original compositions to be performed in Cleveland over the next two years. During their time in Cleveland, the composers will immerse themselves in the city and the museum’s collection.

The composers include:

  • Luciano Chessa (Sardinia)
  • Cenk Ergün (Turkey)
  • Aya Nishina (Japan)
  • Sophie Nzayisenga (Rwanda)
  • Henry Threadgill (USA)
  • Aleksandra Vrebalov (Serbia)

Learn more about these composers and the Creative Fusion: Composer Series residency here.

Creative Fusion: The Madison Residencies

Fall 2017

In collaboration with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, the fall 2017 Creative Fusion cohort includes local, national and international artists who will live and/or work in the newly developed PNC Glenville Arts Campus as they research projects that will be unveiled as part of the inaugural FRONT Triennial, titled An American City. During the residency, the artists have the opportunity to work closely with city institutions, interact with the local community and explore Cleveland. The Madison Residency program is named in honor of Robert P. Madison, Ohio’s first licensed black architect and designer of the residency building at the Glenville Arts Campus. Madison Residency artists include:

  • Juan Araujo (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Dana Awartani (London, United Kingdom/Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • A.K. Burns (New York, USA)
  • Juan Capistran (Los Angeles, USA)
  • Johnny Coleman (Oberlin, USA)
  • Sean Connelly (Honolulu, USA)
  • Elizabeth Emery (Cleveland, USA)
  • Harrell Fletcher (Portland, USA)
  • Dale Goode (Cleveland, USA)
  • Lin Ke (Beijing, China)
  • Guillaume Leblon (Paris, France/New York, USA)
  • Adriana Martínez (Bogotá, Colombia)
  • Michael Oatman (Cleveland, USA)
  • Julie Ezelle-Patton (Cleveland, USA)
  • John Riepenhoff (Milwaukee, USA)
  • Indrė Šerpytytė (London, United Kingdom)
  • Cally Spooner (London, United Kingdom)
  • Lauren Yeager (Cleveland, USA)

Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition Creative-Fusion-Logo-Cuba-Edition

Spring 2017

The spring 2017 residency, Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition, was 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 included internationally renowned artists showcasing the best in architecture, design, printmaking, photography/mixed media, the written word, ballet and modern dance. Learn more about Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition here.

Creative Fusion: Cuba Edition in the News 

Cover image of CAN Journal Spring 2017 issue

Creative Fusion: Street Art Edition 

Fall 2016

Read about the 2016 Creative Fusion Hingetown project here, and see the murals here

Additional Resources


  • Learn more about Creative Fusion by listening here.
  • Read about the partnership between Creative Fusion and CAN Journal here