Celebrating the Soul of Cleveland

ATBOSH Media Ltd.
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Celebrating the Soul of Cleveland summarizes a life in Cleveland, a city whose very identity provides sustenance and support to all who welcome it into their heart. The project started with a simple discussion. The premise of this book and for the projects described in it is: Evolution.
Community Arts Leader Nina Gibans loves our collective "aha" moments, when we "get it" and roll along - excited - together. Using images, stories, poems, interviews, reflections, and reminiscences Nina weaves together a new gestalt, a whole that is often present long before the pieces are put into place. A lifetime of experiences, encounters, discussions, are the parts of this, a multi-tasking of the mind, combined until they find the parts make sense and there is a city - a community.

"Here is to all of the men, women, and children who have stuck with me through my life of joyous adventures and to the support of a loving caring husband and friendly critic whose bloodstream ran in the same direction as mine." - Nina Gibans
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About the author

 Nina Freedlander Gibans’ biography from her 2009 Cleveland Arts Prize Award as a Community Arts Leader.

Peruse Nina Freedlander Gibans’ résumé, and it’s fairly obvious that she was put on earth to raise everyone’s arts awareness. During the past several decades, this arts visionary and assiduous arts advocate has influenced many of northeastern Ohio’s cultural institutions or initiatives. Moreover, her comprehensive book, film and website projects represent a priceless archive that will inform generations to come.

Gibans first began to effect positive change in her hometown while majoring in art, literature and music at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She engaged the national leadership of Young Audiences to start a chapter in Cleveland.

That was just the beginning of an unprecedented career in strategic arts leadership characterized by her uncanny ability to marshal her multiple talents to maximize the impact of each project she develops. She especially likes to bring educational systems, artists, arts organizations and the public and private sector together to provide arts experiences to students of all ages—whether in universities, museums, schools or the community at large.

In other words, Gibans doesn’t just start projects: She builds the collaborations necessary to ensure their success and sustainability. Finally, she fully documents the effort, leaving a legacy for others to study and follow.

For example, in the ‘70s, she launched the Cleveland Area Arts Council and, as executive director, guided its pioneering efforts to enhance the city’s urban environment through a variety of public art initiatives, some of which can still be seen in today’s cityscape. In 1976, she received the National Arts Management Award from Arts Management magazine for this work. Her book, “The Community Arts Council Movement: History, Opinions and Issues”, remains the definitive study of the arts council movement in America.

Many consider her tour de force project to be her role as curator of a series of public forums entitled “Cleveland’s Creative Essence, 1900-2000, The Distinctive and the Distinguished,” which culminated in her book, “Creative Essence: Cleveland’s Sense of Place.” Gibans once received a 6 a.m. phone call from the Queen of Jordan inquiring about another of Gibans’ books, Children’s Museums: Bridges to the Future, based on her experiences as a founders and director of special programs of Cleveland’s Children’s Museum.

As a 25-plus-year board member and past president of the Cleveland Artists Foundation, she has worked diligently to help the organization achieve its goals of serving as an intellectual force in preserving and telling the remarkable story of the region’s artists, past and present.

Her work as a poet and with the community of poets is a major priority. To commemorate the life and contributions of Daniel Thompson (1935–2004), Cuyahoga County’s longtime poet laureate, she spearheaded a campaign that saw West Second Street renamed “Daniel’s Way.” With the support of a Martha Holden Jennings Foundation grant she directed the development of a website on the history of the region’s poetry to accompany her “Cleveland Poetry Scenes” project. She has also developed websites on regional architecture and art that feature history, units of curriculum, glossaries, bibliographies and links to other relevant websites.

Working with the Cleveland area schools is always a key component of any project Gibans undertakes. “Research should not just sit on the shelf,” Gibans observed. “It should become a vital part of learning for everyone, but specifically for schoolchildren.”

In 2008, Gibans received awards from the Cleveland Restoration Society/AIA Cleveland and from the preservation office of the Ohio Historical Society for her curatorial work on “Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home 1930-1970,” an exhibition of mid-century modern residential architecture in northeastern Ohio.

One of her greatest influences and sources of inspiration has been her 50-plus-year marriage to architect James D. Gibans, FAIA, retired principal of Herman Gibans Fodor, Incorporated, whom she refers to as a “true ally.”

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Additional Information

ATBOSH Media Ltd.
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Published on
Aug 24, 2018
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History / United States / State & Local / Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Places
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Eligible for Family Library

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In May’s debut collection, poems buzz and purr like a well-oiled chassis. Grit, trial, and song thrum through tight syntax and deft prosody. From the resilient pulse of an abandoned machine to the sinuous lament of origami animals, here is the ever-changing hum that vibrates through us all, connecting one mind to the next.

“Linguistically acrobatic [and] beautifully crafted. . . [Jamaal May's] poems, exquisitely balanced by a sharp intelligence mixed with earnestness, makes his debut a marvel.” —Publishers Weekly

“The elegant and laconic intelligence in these poems, their skepticism and bent humor and deliberately anti-Romantic stance toward experience are completely refreshing. After so much contemporary writing that seems all flash, no mind and no heart, these poems show how close observation of the world and a gift for plain-spoken, but eloquent speech, can give to poetry both dignity and largeness of purpose, and do it in an idiom that is pitch perfect to emotional nuance and fine intellectual distinctions. Hard-headed and tough-minded, Hum is the epitome of what Frost meant by ‘a fresh look and a fresh listen.’” —Tom Sleigh

"Jamaal May’s debut collection, Hum, is concerned with what’s beneath the surfaces of things—the unseen that eats away at us or does the work of sustaining us. Reading these poems, I was reminded of Ellison’s ‘lower frequencies,’ a voice speaking for us all. May has a fine ear, acutely attuned to the sonic textures of everyday experience. And Hum—a meditation on the machinery of living, an extended ode to sound and silence—is a compelling debut.” —Natasha Trethewey

"In his percussive debut collection Hum, Jamaal May offers a salve for our phobias and restores the sublime to the urban landscape. Whether you need a friend to confide in, a healer to go to, or a tour guide to take you there, look no further. That low hum you hear are these poems, emanating both wisdom and swagger.” —A. Van Jordan

From "Mechanophobia: Fear of Machines":

There is no work left for the husks.
Automated welders like us,
your line replacements, can't expect
sympathy after our bright
arms of cable rust over. So come

collect us for scrap, grind us up
in the mouth of one of us.
Let your hand pry at the access
panel with the edge of a knife,
silencing the motor and thrum.

Jamaal May is a poet, editor, and filmmaker from Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His poetry won the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and appears in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, The Believer, NER, and The Kenyon Review. Jamaal has earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College as well as fellowships from Cave Canem and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University. He founded the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Press.

A magnificent poetry collection spanning 1979 to 2013, revealing the incomparable genius of “a poet, his window, and his poems.”
For more than thirty-five years, Wendell Berry has been spending his sabbaths outdoors, walking and wandering around familiar territory, seeking a deep intimacy that inspired poems in which “Thoreau would be gratified” (Lexington Herald-Leader). Each year since, he has completed a series of these poems dated by the year of its composition. This Day, “a book well worth reading, on a Sabbath or any other day of the week” (Marginalia Review of Books) collects Berry’s Sabbath Poems from 1979–2013
Filled with spiritual longing and political extremity, memorials and celebrations, elegies and lyrics, alongside the occasional rants of the Mad Farmer, pushed to the edge yet again by his compatriots and elected officials, Berry’s Sabbath Poems have become the very heart of Berry’s grand work. And these magnificent poems, taken as a whole for the first time in This Day, have become one of the greatest contributions ever made to American poetry.
“Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life, be they those of composing a poem, preparing a hill for planting, raising a family, working for the good of oneself and one’s neighbors, loving.” —The Bloomsbury Review
“[Berry’s] poems, novels and essays . . . are probably the most sustained contemporary articulation of America’s agrarian, Jeffersonian ideal.” —Publishers Weekly
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