Kathleen Cerveny

Lecturer
M.F.A., University of Southern Maine

Kathleen Cerveny

Kathleen CervenyLecturer in Arts Management 

M.F.A., University of Southern Maine

Kathleen Cerveny is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast Creative Writing Program. She is an artist, poet and lifelong arts advocate.

Through the 1970s and '80s, Cerveny maintained a ceramic studio and exhibited her work locally and nationally. She was a founding member of the Hessler and Coventry Road Street Fairs and served on the board of NOVA (New Organization for the Visual Arts). She also served as president of Ohio Designer Craftsmen, a state-wide professional organization.

From 1988 to 1991, Cerveny was the first producer of arts programming at Cleveland Public Radio (WCPN), where she won more than 15 local and national awards. While at WCPN she produced numerous stories that aired on National Public Radio’s "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered" and "Performance Today."

Cerveny recently retired from the Cleveland Foundation where, between 1991 and 2015, she was the foundation’s director of arts grantmaking and initiatives. Among her major accomplishments was launching the foundation’s effort to secure local public funding for the arts through a cigarette tax. The success of Issue 8 made Cuyahoga County one of the largest regional public arts funders in the country. Issue 8 was recently renewed by an unprecedented 75% of the county’s voters. 

Also while at the foundation, Cerveny served on the national board of Grantmakers in the Arts and designed and managed three multi-year professional development and capacity-building initiatives for Cleveland area arts organizations. For three summers she conducted SmART in the City, a city-wide summer arts camp serving hundreds of inner city youth for which she was named Arts Educator of the Year. She also designed and managed Creative Fusion, a major residency program for international artists which brought more than 60 artists from over 30 countries to Cleveland for three-month creative residencies over a five-year period.  

Cerveny was the 2013-14 Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and twice was Cleveland’s Haiku Death Match Champion. Her poems have appeared in the Southern New Hampshire University Journal Amoskeag; the e-journal Shaking Like a Mountain; and in the Pudding House anthologies "While You Were Sleeping, I Dreamt a Poem" and "What I Knew Before I Knew." Her work has also appeared in other anthologies, including Future Cycle Press’ international anthology "Poems for Malala Yousafzai." Her first collection, "Coming to Terms," was published by Night Ballet Press in 2015.

In 2014 Cerveny received the Robert Bergman Award from the Cleveland Arts Prize. 

Having retired from the Cleveland Foundation, she now volunteers for several small arts organizations and writes poems and blogs. Her blog, "Paying Attention," can be found on her personal website.

Most recently, Cerveny joined the faculty of Baldwin Wallace University, teaching in the arts management program of the Conservatory of Music.