Collective Arts Network is a nonprofit organization serving the visual arts industry in Cleveland through communication services, networking, and related projects including CAN Triennial.
CAN's origins date to a series of dialogs in 2011, organized by Zygote Press. Approximately 28 small to mid-sized visual art organizations met during the year to discuss mutually supportive strategies for stabilizing in difficult economic times. While the region was experiencing an outpouring of arts activity, including significant investment and revitalization of several neighborhoods, the deteriorating media environment had almost entirely abandoned coverage of visual art in Northeast Ohio. The need for communication was a constant topic in these conversations.
The organizations decided on a boot strap solution—to share the cost of producing their own publication. The first CAN Journal involved 28 organizations, supported by a matching grant from the Ohio Arts Council. It was published as a one-time newsprint tabloid in January, 2012.
CAN Journal was reborn as a quarterly magazine and website in June, 2012, with major support from Consolidated Solutions. Between the first and second quarterly issue, membership grew from 28 organizations to 40. By the end of the first year there were 65. Each issue includes dozens of galleries, museums, and related institutions previewing their own exhibits, as well as independent reporting, commentary, features, and reviews. CAN Incorporated in 2014 and was recognized as a tax-exempt nonprofit the following year.
In 2018 CAN begins its 7thyear as a quarterly, with a membership of more than 95 organizations. In addition to the quarterly CAN Journal and website CANjournal.org, the organization publishes a blog of critical reviews, and a weekly e-newsletter previewing openings, artist talks, and related events.
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