So You Think You CAN Sing? Sing to Support @CANJournal


Thu May 21 @ 6PM

The 3rd annual  Collective Arts Network (CAN Journal) benefit is back, and this time it’s with a singing competition! And the karaoke party is still accepting teams or individuals to participate in the fun.

We’ve created the karaoke event as an alternative to raising money with a silent art auction,” says Michael Gill, editor and publisher for the Collective Arts Network. “For years artists have been discussing the effect of fundraising auctions on the art marketplace. Artists are generous and love to support causes, and they have certainly supported CAN generously. However we also recognize that in auctions, their work commonly sells for a tiny fraction of its gallery price. This creates the expectation that art can be purchased at bargain prices if you do it not from the artist or the gallery, but from a charity auction. So it lowers the value of the individual artist’s work, takes sales away from galleries, and generally drives the market down. We are listening to feedback, and therefore doing something different.”

And what better way to do it than with a singing competition? All the song and dance will benefit CAN in two ways. One is that it gets people together. A broad cross-section of the NEO art community gets together for fun. In previous years, attendance has exceeded 200 people. This is the kind of networking that is very important to CAN. The other is direct financial support. All proceeds support the sustainability of the Collective Arts Network, which is a group of approximately 80 Northeast Ohio galleries, museums, schools and other art institutions that are working together to create their own media, as well as other projects.

The Collective Arts Network (CAN Journal) was launched in 2011 and began with 28 galleries that pitched in a small amount of money and a bit of work (writing articles, eventually distributing the magazine) to create their own publication. They recognized that what they accomplished was a remarkable thing, and decided to take advantage of the momentum by continuing the efforst as a quarterly magazine. It has grown into a regular quarterly with more than 80 organizations involved.

“Since then we have published nearly 400 articles by member organizations,” Michael shares. “We also publish independent reporting and commentary on the Northeast Ohio art scene. That has included a year-long debate over whether the Cleveland Museum of Art should revive its esteemed exhibit, the May Show; coverage of the liquor licensing issue for opening night receptions; coverage of the cigarette tax; profiles of people doing interesting things on the scene, critical reviews and more. Some of our contributors have included CMA interim director and Transformer Station director, Fred Bidwell; CWRU Professor of American Art and former CMA curator Henry Adams; critic and curator Marianne Berardi, PhD; Cleveland Arts Prize winning artist and critic Douglas Max Utter and more.”

“The team karaoke competition is a little like a bike-a-thon, with teams filling pledge sheets to help CAN raise the money we need to keep providing this voice of the Cleveland art scene,” says Michael. “Having teams will help singers do that. Not everyone on the team has to sing, although any number can do so. Non-singers can help a team by filling pledge sheets on their behalf.  Raising money helps teams advance in the competition.

This is the first time we have had a karaoke competition, but we expect a broad range of talent,” Michael continues. “We aim to support participation! We promise you a night of art and music you will never forget.”

Tickets for the event are $35 and can be purchased here. Winners of the competition will receive trophies by local artist Dana Depew, an artist whose installations using recycled materials have recently drawn attention and acclaim. Trophies by him will be works of art in his style, reclaiming pieces of the city.

Judges will include Scene art critic Josh Usmani and artist Arabella Proffer. Pulled pork and other summer barbeque-type fare will be served, plus beer and wine (one drink ticket) are included with the price of admission. Additional drinks can be had at the cash bar. Free parking is available in all the usual lots around 78th Street area.

CAN Journal

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