MISSION

SPACES is the resource and public forum for artists who explore and experiment.

WHAT WE DO

SPACES commissions artists from around the world—at all stages of their careers—to make new work that is responsive to timely issues. We use these projects as a jumping off point to create educational initiatives that help develop a more informed citizenry. We also distribute grants to artists outside of our residency and exhibition programs.

FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN

At the end of 2018 SPACES completed our most recent Strategic Plan

Spaces cleveland old documents and storefront


OUR HISTORY

SPACES has been challenging the status quo since its initial gathering of artists on May 25, 1978, by founder James Rosenberger. The typewritten invitation that brought together 35 artists appealed to those “with an interest in creating and presenting new art” and who needed “outlets for their creative energies.” It laid the groundwork for an organization that would support artists with unwavering dedication for the next 4 decades.

Early directors Rob Mihaly and Jane Farver codified SPACES’ artist-driven nature by developing an interconnected community through barrier-free access to—and production of—contemporary culture. During Susan Channing’s 21 year-long tenure as Executive Director, SPACES purchased our first building and expanded programming, including the international artist-in-residence program.

From 2008 - 2013, Christopher Lynn carried out a strategic plan, renovated the gallery, redesigned visual identities, and debuted an experimental video art screening program. Christina Vassallo led SPACES from 2014 - 2019, including directing a $3.5M comprehensive capital & endowment campaign, 2016 relocation to Detroit avenue, the addition of a new residency for art writers, and some of our most ambitious exhibitions to date.

In 2019, SPACES expanded artist-driven programming with the Urgent Art Fund and the Satellite Fund, which provided support for new projects beyond the gallery walls. In 2020, this support pivoted to Emergency Relief grants for artists in the region. In August SPACES announced the appointment of new Executive Director, Tizziana Baldenebro. Heralded by former Board President, John Williams, AIA as, “the right person with the right voice at the right time,” Baldenebro aims to redouble SPACES’ commitment to racial and social equity.

SPACES currently sits in a historically significant LGBTQ+ site. The corner of 29th and Detroit played an important role in the late 90s and early 2000’s as a haven for LGBTQ+ people. Relocation and displacement have profoundly transformed this neighborhood in recent years. SPACES is commited to supporting and affirming LGBTQ+ communities and their rights. We further reaffirm our commitment by providing space and opportunities for  BIPOC and low-income LGBTQ+ artists and art workers.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

SPACES recognizes the land upon which our building resides as the ancestral homeland of the Lenape or Delaware tribe, Shawnee, Wyandot Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Haudenosaunee and other Great Lakes tribes, including, but not limited to the Chippewa, Kickapoo, Wea, Piankishaw, and Kaskaskia. We further acknowledge the thousands of Indigenous people who now call this region home as a result of forced migration, dispossession of ancestral homelands and territories, or other reasons. We affirm their right as past, present, and future caretakers of this land. 

We make this statement recognizing that intentionally or not, we have participated in ongoing Settler Colonialism; a term that is generally recognized to mean the removal, erasure, and supplantation of Indigenous peoples. We commit to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of Settler Colonialism. 

ANNUAL REPORTS 

2018  /  2017  /  2016  /  2015  /  2014

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