Present! 3.0.0

Sep. 21, 2020

Dear FRONT friends,

After a summer trying to recuperate and heal (despite the daily damage of the new cycle), we’re back and planning the next steps of our journey.

From the start, we’ve thought about FRONT 2022 as a “slow exhibition,” where process is an essential part of the show that unfurls in July 2022. This is also how we interpret the poem “Two Somewhat Different Epigrams” by Langston Hughes, which inspired the title of our show, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows. Pain and travails, as difficult as they are, can sometimes function as waystations to learning.

Langston Hughes, “Two Somewhat Different Epigrams” (1957)
Over the coming months, we will be testing out new formats and ways to engage with our communities, both in Cleveland and farther flung, as ways to gather together for exchange, healing, and collective joy.

The first format we’ll be prototyping is the new “season” of Present!, the hybrid virtual workshop, talkshow, and Sunday sermon (with some group karaoke and dancing thrown in!) that our Artistic Director Prem Krishnamurthy has been producing along with an international group of artists, designers, curators, and other folks since the onset of the pandemic. This eclectic and wide-ranging program will give us a way to commune — virtually for now, though hopefully in person soon enough — every month.

The first Present! event will take place on Sunday, September 27, 2020 from 11am–1pm EST on Zoom, and will be free and open to all. It will explore the role of the individual artist, collective action, and the healing potential of creative practice with special guests FRONT Artistic Team member Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Cleveland-based poet and musician RA Washington, and clinical psychologist (and former artist) Tamara Sussman. Please register for the event here.

RA Washington, “What I Learned from Nikita Gale” (2020)
The upcoming fall season follows on a series of exciting grants that FRONT has received from the Ohio Arts Council, GAR Foundation, the Richard and Alita Rogers Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, The Harry K. and Emma Rosenfeld Fox Charitable Foundation, the Italian Council’s Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity, and Frantz Ward’s 20 for 20 Program. This early support, which will fund initiatives ranging from artistic projects to our new programmatic collaboration with Cleveland Public Library, recognizes FRONT’s long-term investments in creative community in the region and beyond.

We hope you’ll get involved in our programs as they unfold and we'd love to hear your thoughts on the role that art plays in our transforming society — please feel free to send us an email here. We look forward to opportunities for mutual learning as we navigate the challenges of the world together.

All our best,

Allison, Fred, Prem, Sarah, Tina
FRONT International 2022