Cleveland Foundation recognizes Raymond Bobgan as Homer C. Wadsworth Award recipient at 2018 Annual Meeting presented by KeyBank
Release Date: 5.1.2018
CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation presented Raymond Bobgan, executive artistic director of the Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT), with its 2018 Homer C. Wadsworth Award Tuesday evening at the foundation’s Annual Meeting presented by KeyBank. The award is given annually to a local leader who has demonstrated creativity, innovation, risk-taking and good humor in a civic, volunteer, nonprofit or public sector role.
Held in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square in front of members of the community, the evening also included the Robert D. Gries Keynote Lecture by world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye and a community reception.
“Raymond’s compassion and commitment to artistic innovation and education are the epitome of what Homer Wadsworth stood for,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president, program. “He has spent nearly three decades lifting up the best and brightest in Northeast Ohio, while giving a voice to underserved communities. We are a better community because of his insistence on raising our collective social conscience and his relentless dedication to bringing people from the margins into the spotlight.”
Bobgan has been with CPT since 1991, serving in his current leadership role for the past 12 years. Under his direction, CPT has concentrated on mission-focused programming including a strong emphasis on supporting new works and local artists, as well as CPT’s education and engagement programs.
A 2017 recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, Bobgan has produced close to 50 world premiere plays – most of which were written by Northeast Ohio playwrights. In 1994, he initiated the Student Theatre Enrichment Program, a job training program that engages at-risk youth in writing, producing and performing new plays. Bobgan was the first director of CPT’s Y-Haven Theatre Project, a partnership with the Greater Cleveland YMCA bringing theater training to homeless men. Meanwhile, the organization’s Brick City program continues to grow under his leadership. Engaging children living in public housing, it is expected to serve upwards of 1,000 youth at six different sites this year.
In 2015, Bobgan received Equality Ohio’s Ally Award and in 2014 became the first recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize in the discipline of Theatre. He currently serves on the National New Play Network Executive Committee, Theatre Communications Group Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Board of the Gordon Square Arts District CIC.
Homer C. Wadsworth was executive director of the Cleveland Foundation from 1974 to 1983. He was known as a man of creativity, courage, commitment and innovation. Prior to his death in 1994, Wadsworth’s friends and family established the Homer C. Wadsworth Award to identify and honor those in the community who best reflect those qualities. Past recipients have included: Art Falco, president and CEO of Playhouse Square; Steven Standley, chief administrative officer of University Hospitals of Cleveland; John Zitzner, president of Friends of Breakthrough Schools; Jim Rokakis, vice president of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy and director of the Thriving Communities Institute; and Phyllis Seven Harris, executive director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland.