Founded in 1948 as “Baycrafters,” BAYarts began a major volunteer-driven renovation and revitalization campaign in 2005. In 2006, the name was changed to reflect this revitalized attitude. Ten years later, the organization has become a westside oasis for the arts, and it attracts more than 65,000 visitors each year. Its campus is located on the Cleveland Metroparks Huntington Reservation, and includes formal exhibition spaces, classrooms and a new, state-of-the-art ceramics studio.
BAYarts hosts Moondance, its annual benefit, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 12. The event includes art, silent auction, live music from Cats on Holiday, a wine pull, open bars and food from a dozen local restaurants, vendors and food trucks.
"BAYarts Moondance benefit is just a really fun, big party; last year over 1,200 people attended,” says BAYarts Executive Director Nancy Heaton. “Live music, a dozen local restaurants, very casual and the setting of our Metroparks campus, with bonfires and big tents is awesome. The funds raised allow us to continue to offer excellent programming and free events the rest of the year."
Participating food vendors include Cabin Club, Carrabas, Ironwood Cafe, Michael Symon's B Spot, 87 West, Bamba Tacos & Rum, Marigold Catering, Rosewood Grille, Stewart & Clark Culinary Adventures, Taki's Greek Kitchen, Pearl of the Orient, Mojo's Coffee and Arrabiatas Italian Restaurant.
Additionally, this year’s Moondance includes a wine pull. (What’s a wine pull, you ask? Good question.) It’s like a carnival goldfish pond. For $20, guest can “pull” a random, paper-wrapped bottle of wine from 100 donated bottles. Bottles’ values range from $20 to $100. In this game, everyone’s a winner – and you won’t have to worry about flushing the bottle down the toilet in the morning like those carnival goldfish (RIP Goldie).
BAYarts’ Moondance benefit isn’t just an annual fundraiser; it is an opportunity to showcase the efforts of the individuals who promote and advocate for the arts in Northeast Ohio. With the upcoming renewal of Cuyahoga County’s art tax levy, BAYarts feels it’s even more important to highlight these individuals who fuel our growing, vibrant art community.
Therefore, this year’s honoree is the incomparable Liz Maugans, whose hard work and dedication have made her one of the region’s most respected and beloved members of the art community.
"Each year BAYarts honors an individual who has helped move forward the message of arts as a means to economic growth and engaging the communities,” Heaton says. “It is rare to meet anyone in the greater Cleveland art community who does not have a connection with Liz Maugans either as an artist, collaborator, teacher or supporter. Her efforts have definitely had an impact on BAYarts success and I know other arts leaders would say the same."
“I am so humbled to be honored at BayArts,” Maugans says. “When I was a kid, Baycrafters was one of those places that I went to and identified as being a vital center. It has skyrocketed since then through the leadership of rock star Nancy Heaton. I have taught at BAYArts, curated shows, exhibited and delighted in all of its offerings from concerts, open studio and many, many Moondances. Please come on out and celebrate the great arts that are happening in this region.”
Nearly 20 years ago she co-founded Zygote Press. Earlier this year, Zygote Press opened Ink House, a satellite location in Collinwood’s historic Waterloo Arts District.
“Liz's open invitation to join in Zygote's formation brought me from Seattle in 1996,” explains Zygote Press co-founder Bellamy Printz. “We have been building and tweaking ever since. Never one to take the credit herself, she has put together an amazing and focused team at Zygote, and works tirelessly to support, praise and challenge them. She is an endless idea source—bouncing with an inner fire and drive that has reached her community, colleagues and most importantly her family. She is nothing short of a dynamo with a huge heart. The momentum of Zygote and all the people who have brought us to this place is in no small way due to Liz's constancy. It has taken me years to realize that I can never match her level of optimism and buoyant energy – it is her gift. As we breathe on our 20th year together as partners-in-crime, I can only say that am so incredibly lucky to have been crazy enough to make the drive just to ‘see what happens.’”
For the past two years, Maugans has been the chief consultant on Slavic Village’s Rooms to Let Project. In 2014, through Zygote Press, Maugans created the Fluxus Project, creating materials advocating arts’ impact, both socially and economically, at local, regional and national levels. These materials are directed towards individuals outside of the art community; including legislators, schools and business owners.
Maugans also co-founded the Collective Arts Network (CAN) and its CAN Journal
. CAN recently released its Fall 2015 issue. With more than 80 pages, this issue is the biggest ever. Each season, CAN distributes 10,000 free, full-color copies to more than 200 venues throughout Cuyahoga County.
"Liz Maugans's way of being is to help other people succeed, and to find ways to make things work,” says CAN Executive Director and CAN Journal
editor/publisher Michael Gill. “Her genius is her boundless capacity to support others, to believe in others, and to give them the boost that makes something happen. This has certainly been the case for CAN, and the result has been a benefit to all of the Northeast Ohio art scene. She has been catalytic."
In 2013, Maugans received a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC). The Ohio Arts Council has recognized her work with both an Artist and Communities Grant and an Individual Excellence Award. In 2012, the Cleveland Arts Prize was presented to Zygote Press.
“The audacious Liz Maugans is a force to be reckoned with,” says Alenka Banco, Executive Director of the Cleveland Arts Prize. “She raises the bar with everything she does. I love her as a friend, I respect her as a person and I admire her devotion. Plus, she never seems to age and her passion is intoxicating.”
A graduate of Kent State University, Maugans has previous served as an adjunct faculty member at Cleveland Institute of Art and Lorain Community College. Additionally, she has taught classes and workshops at BAYarts. Her artwork is represented by Robert Maschke’s 1point618, and included in many public and private collections, such as the Glidden House and the Progressive Corporate Art Collection; as well as the new downtown Westin Hotel.
Tickets are currently on sale through BAYarts’ website (BAYarts.net) for $125 in advance. Organizers anticipate 1,200 guests this year. The event is expected to sell out, and BAYarts warns that no tickets will be available at the door. For group tickets, contact Mary@BAYarts.org
(BAYarts) 28795 Lake Rd., Bay Village, 440-871-6543, bayarts.net