Councilman Cimperman has made the promotion of arts and culture a central focus of community revitalization efforts. Arts and culture serve as an integral component of the City of Cleveland’s economic development and contributes over $1 billion annually to the Northeast Ohio economy.
In 2003, Councilman Cimperman worked hand-in-hand with the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture to host two art summits during a three-year campaign for public funding for the arts. The art summits invoked civic momentum surrounding arts and cultural and lead to the passage of an arts and culture levy in 2006 and the creation of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, an organization than utilizes grant funding to promote arts and cultural organizations and projects in Cuyahoga County.
One of Councilman Cimperman’s favorite accomplishments is the creation and ongoing prosperity of Arts in August, currently being held in the Tremont Neighborhood’s Lincoln Park. For the last ten years, Arts in August has provided arts and cultural programing in one of Cleveland’s finest neighborhood parks and has enabled all residents and visitors to the City of Cleveland experience incredible arts and cultural assets. Arts in August has become a regional attraction each August, drawing thousands of residents and visitors to Tremont and enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of Ward 3.
Councilman Cimperman is also proud of the community effort that has gone into the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival. For over 14 years, Councilman Cimperman has been co-sponsoring the event and working with community partners to promote and sustain this successful event.
Arts and culture plays a significant role in the physical transformation of the City. Over the course of Councilman Cimperman’s tenure, countless buildings have been renovated and revitalized for the purpose of creating art and cultural amenities.
In 1998, Councilman Cimperman worked in conjunction with an organization devoted to helping artists find safe, affordable, and nurturing settings to live and work in the City of Cleveland. What resulted from this was the City’s Live-Work Overlay District zoning classification. By establishing the Live-Work Overlay District, artists were able to have shared occupancy by residential uses and work activities in suitable locations. This piece of legislation filled a niche for buildings with living and work space, while simultaneously assisting in revitalization efforts in areas containing underutilized and deteriorated buildings suitable for reuse.
The inclusion of art elements into capital improvement projects is an effective way to enhance exposure to arts and culture for all members of the community. Working with his fellow Councilmembers, Councilman Cimperman was one of the leading proponents to the Percent for the Arts legislation that requires 1.5% of the budget for every City project over $350,000 go to public art. Streetscape projects are included in this. The Percent for the Arts helps create unique artistic elements to projects, raise awareness for the arts, and promotes a sense of place.