CAN's Annual Benefit Promises Engaging Fun, Artistic Thrills

Join the artists, galleries and nonprofits of the Collective Arts Network for the celebration of its CAN Journal. This year’s annual benefit, CAN CAN 2016, takes place this Saturday, April 2, from 7 p.m. to midnight at 78th Street Studios. The evening includes live music, open/cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a special silent auction for local art experiences and the return of CAN’s karaoke competition.

“It's a great time to support CAN: As we enter our fifth year, the magazine has never been bigger or more beautiful,” proudly boasts Michael Gill, Executive Director of the Collective Arts Network and editor and publisher of its CAN Journal. “It's an honor to have so many dozens of Northeast Ohio galleries contributing and collaborating on this project. We're now featuring coverage of the Cleveland Foundation's Creative Fusion program, and international resident artists from around the world will be at 78th Street for the party. I can't tell you how proud the whole thing makes me of our city.”

Continuing, he adds: “My favorite stories are when an artist has come back from San Francisco or Chicago or New York, and they tell me that while they were there they showed CAN to their friends in those cities. And their friends flip through the pages of our local art magazine, more or less slack jawed looking at all the activity here, and say things like ‘This is Cleveland?’ Hell Yeah.”

CAN CAN 2016 is billed as a two-stage party with a half-time silent auction. Admission from 7 to 8:30 p.m. is $75 and includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a Buy-It-Now Auction and live jazz from the Chris Vance Trio. Starting at 8:30 p.m., admission is $25 and includes a cash bar, pizza, silent auction and music from DJ Ape Bleakney, owner of Ape Made.

Instead of asking artists to donate artwork to the silent auction, CAN has worked with partners and sponsors to offer several exclusive arts opportunities. CAN hopes these experiences foster stronger relationships between local arts organizations and new and potential customers.

“Artists are generous, and they have been incredibly generous in their support of CAN,” Gill explains. “But we know that they are constantly asked to donate their work to silent auctions, to support all kinds of different causes. That's great, but it commonly means their work sells for bargain basement prices, which undercuts galleries and doesn't put anyone's best foot forward. Instead of doing that, we're creating a silent auction of art-related experiences. The idea is to put local organizations—especially art organizations—in the spotlight, and give them a chance to form deeper relationships with new and potential customers.”

He expounds: “For example, we're offering private tours guided by directors and curators of MOCA Cleveland and Transformer Station. We have a special guided, private tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's archives. We have a private whiskey tasting for 20 people, donated by Cleveland Whiskey. You could also bid on hands-on experiences, like a mono-printing party at Zygote Press, or letterpress broadside printing at the Morgan Conservatory with yours truly, or a fabric dyeing workshop for you and your friends or colleagues at Praxis in Collinwood. All these would be great activity for a group of friends or family, or a team experience for your office-mates.”

The highlight of the evening, the karaoke competition, begins at 9:30 p.m. Last year’s first place performance of Aquarius/Let the Sunhine In from the ladies of Zygote Press caused an impromptu dance party to break out.

“After the silent auction, we shift musical gears again for another round of artist karaoke,” Gill elaborates. It's open karaoke this year—so rather than pre-registered teams, we're going to keep things moving with open mic karaoke. So choose your tune and put your name on the list when you get there. We've got DJ Hot Carl of Burning River Sound working his catalog of tens-of-thousands of songs. And top singers, by audience support (both in dollars and applause) win special, custom trophies made by (renowned local artist) Dana Depew.”

Tickets are on sale now through CAN Journal’s website.

(CAN CAN 2016 at 78th Street Studios) 1305 W. 80th St.,

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.