Lakeland Community College has received a $10,000 grant from The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the college’s annual, women-focused art exhibit. The show will open in February 2021 and feature the theme of women’s right to vote.
Women’s suffrage will celebrate its centennial Aug. 18, the day that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920.
The grant funds will allow for the development of an online calendar guide and interactive map of all Northeast Ohio gallery and studio art exhibitions that will celebrate the milestone during National Women’s History Month which is recognized annually each March.
The project will bring Lakeland’s art gallery and geography and geospatial technology departments together to create an interactive, online guide that will provide a one-stop, online resource to exhibits with women’s suffrage theme. The plan calls for a web application map directory to be developed using a geographic information system to design a spatial data layer, that will collect and geocode data. Once completed, the map will be embedded on the college’s website for anyone to access publicly and share with others.
“We are excited for this project to bridge the arts and sciences, to provide teaching moments using art created by and about women,” said Dr. Adam Cloutier, dean for arts and sciences at Lakeland. “We hope to unite the Northeast Ohio art community around this central theme while also providing an educational opportunity about a landmark event in our nation’s history. We are extremely grateful to the NEA for this award.”
Lakeland held its first gallery exhibition celebrating Women’s History Month in 2008. Gallery coordinator and exhibit curator, Mary Urbas, recognized that there were numerous other galleries in neighboring communities that also had important exhibits celebrating women and developed the first exhibit directory in 2014.
“History has shown that women artists have not been promoted or represented as much as male artists,” said Mary Urbas, Gallery at Lakeland coordinator. “So, when I saw others also promoting female artists, it made sense to create something bigger so that art enthusiasts could do a type of ‘exhibit crawl’ but on a larger scale. This will provide the roadmap of must-see places to visit that are promoting women’s artwork.”
When completed, the project will connect Northeast Ohio residents to approximately 100 art exhibitions celebrating Women’s History Month.
“We celebrate organizations like Lakeland for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis.”
Carter recently approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Lakeland was one of 17 Ohio organizations that received an award.
More information available at arts.gov/news.