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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

How is the Cuyahoga County Arts Levy Spent?

Karen Gahl-Mills - Executive Director, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Friday October 8, 2010
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

In November of 2006, Cuyahoga County voters passed an initiative that created a tobacco tax totaling 30 cents per pack of cigarettes. Modeled on a previous, smaller tax that was dedicated to some of the costs of new stadiums for the Browns and Indians, the Cuyahoga County Arts and Culture Levy was expected to provide about $20 million per year to support the arts – and, in some views, promote economic development through the arts.

Should the money go, however, to help preserve established institutions or build new, "cutting-edge" ones? Should the awards be crafted to support culture that interests as large a number of voters as possible? We'll learn and talk about how decisions should be made and the decisions that have been made.

Attention: Parking will not be available in the visitors parking lot next to Crawford Hall on October 8th, October 22nd and October 29th. On other Fridays a few spaces are available for visitors with mobility concerns. Parking options for visitors from beyond campus include the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard, the small lot on Adelbert Road just uphill from Euclid Ave, and other lots on campus.

More About Our Guest....

During her two decades in arts administration, Karen Gahl-Mills has been widely recognized for her innovative perspective on the role that arts institutions can play in building vibrant communities. A proven communicator and strategic planner, she has built a reputation for a stellar combination of leadership, artistic vision, and financial responsibility.

Ms. Gahl-Mills was named executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in November, 2009. She takes the reins of CAC at a critical time for an organization that, in fewer than three years, has become one of the nation's top five sources of local public funding for arts and culture. To date, 145 Cuyahoga County organizations have been awarded CAC grants worth a combined total of more than $33.5 million.

Most recently, she served as president and executive director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the largest cultural organization in Central New York. With a $7.5 million annual budget and a 39-week season, the orchestra reaches over 225,000 people through nearly 200 full-orchestra and ensemble concerts that take place in 18 counties throughout the state.

Ms. Gahl-Mills launched her career in arts management in 1990 in Los Angeles, where she worked for an award-winning cinematographer as part of a team creating national and international advertising for Philip Morris, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, General Motors, and other global brands. Her work soon led her to Chicago and back to her roots as a musician, first as a development officer for the celebrated Ravinia Festival, summer home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and then as Managing Director of The Rhythm Cafe, an award-winning advertising music production company. Prior to her arrival in Syracuse in 2006, Ms. Gahl-Mills was the executive director of the Westchester Philharmonic in suburban New York City, Westchester County's only professional symphony orchestra.

Ms. Gahl-Mills holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. A vocalist and former cellist, she currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, Laurence Mills-Gahl, a software developer and trombonist.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 15: Kathryn C. Lavelle, Ellen and Dixon Long Associate Professor of World Affairs: Sovereign Debt and Sovereign Default: International Institutions in the Developed and Developing Worlds.

October 22: Professor Karen Beckwith, Assistant Professor Justin Buchler, and Adjunct Assistant Professor Andrew Lucker, Department of Political Science: Midterm Elections Forecast.

October 29: Special Inamori Center Event, as part of International Peace and War Summit: see

November 5: Max Mehlman, Professor of Law: Why We Need Death Panels.

November 12: Kelly McMann, Associate Professor of Political Science: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan and Its Implications for the War in Afghanistan.

November 19: Jessica Green, Assistant Professor of Political Science: Global Responses to Greenhouse Gases.

December 3: Paul Ernsberger, Associate Professor of Nutrition: Health At Any Size.

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of Crawford Hall. Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made. On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. Overflow parking is also available in the Severance Hall parking garage on East Boulevard.

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building. The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch. On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

October 4, 2010

Upcoming Events

The Good Friday Agreement: Dynamics of Conflict and Movements Towards Peace

October 15, 2010, 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Moot Court Room, CWRU Law School, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH

Panelists will focus on the dynamics of moving toward peace over time from various "points of view," the (mostly Catholic) Irish Republican paramilitary opposition and the broader, Irish Nationalist community as well as the (mostly Protestant) Loyalist paramilitary along with the broader Unionist community, and, finally and hopefully – the Irish government perspective.

As the speakers discuss the unfolding dynamics of the conflict's end and movement toward peace in light of their own experiences or analyses, the focus will account for how different groups' goals, reasoning, and (in)ability to overcome any internal divisions affected the prospects of peace and of drawing violent parties into mainstream political institutions. Such a focus will help to reveal and highlight the dynamics of dissention within groups that have been conventionally treated as monolithic political actors, as well as how these internal divisions affected the broader conflict between groups that played out more openly over time.

These divisions are particularly and acutely salient to both Northern Irish and Irish politics today, with the recent decommissioning of Loyalist groups, the first security force member killings in more than a decade (by Republican 'dissidents'), the growing number of Republicans and Nationalists becoming disillusioned with Sinn Fein's ability to effectively negotiate its agenda through Stormont, and the scandal that threatens First Minister Robinson's position – and therefore the Executive itself.

"America's Exhibit A" Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History and the Genres of Authenticity

Dr. Sidonie Smith, Ph.D., Martha Guernsey Colby Collegiate Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, 5:30 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2010, Moot Court Room, CWRU Law School, 11075 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio. Free and open to the public

In the early 21st century, memoir culture, celebrity culture, and U.S. political culture have converged as Presidential wannabes publish memoir after memoir, thereby converting "a life" into money, message, and conduit for voter attachment. Hillary Clinton's best-selling autobiography Living History (2003) implicitly announced her Presidential bid, mobilizing personal storytelling to convince readers that this Senator and feminist First Lady could be President. Dr. Smith will explore how the genres of Clinton's Living History produce, or not, the authenticity effect of a "real Hillary," the convincing persona that is always at stake in the political field; and how both the narrating and narrated "Hillarys" do and undo the gendered idioms of political power.

Dr. Sidonie Smith is Martha Guernsey Colby Collegiate Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, and President of the Modern Language Association of America. She has published widely in the areas of human rights, women's studies, the study of autobiography, and feminist and postcolonial literature and theory. Her many books include Human Rights and Narrated Lives: The Ethics of Recognition (2004) and Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives, 2nd ed. (2010).

Thie program is sponsored by the Friends of the CWRU English Department and the CWRU Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. For more information please visit the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities web site.

October 2010













































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