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Art museum creates task force to link its collections to local ethnic communities

Posted October 01, 2012 in Articles

Author: Michael O'Malley

One of the region's world-class cultural institutions plans to make a big effort to tap the global diversity at its doorstep.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is getting ready to introduce its International Cleveland Communities Advancement Task Force, a committee of more than 50 people representing much of the region's cultural mosaic.

The task force, an initiative of museum Director David Franklin, is designed to enhance the museum's standing in the ethnic and immigrant communities of Northeast Ohio and to add insight and maybe new elements to its collections.

"The museum represents every culture known to mankind," said August Napoli, the museum's director of development. "We want these communities to know they are part of the museum. We want them to tell us what's needed and wanted in their communities. How can the museum play a role?"

The international task force met for the first time Friday, when members were welcomed into the museum by Franklin and Dr. John Collis, a Greek-American who has helped to advance ethnic programming.
The Dr. John and Helen Collis Lecture, named for the Hunting Valley couple, brings in experts in ancient Greek and Byzantine art for special exhibits and programs.

The next installment in the Collis lecture series unfolds at 2 p.m. today in Gartner Auditorium. "From Byzantium to El Greco: Icon Painting in Venetian Crete" will feature a presentation by Maria Vassilaki, a professor of Byzantine art history at the University of Thessaly in Greece.

Original Article: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/09/art_museum_creates_task_force.html

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