ArtsOhio Blog

The ArtsOhio Blog is the Ohio Arts Council's way to share stories that highlight the arts in Ohio, feedback from the field, interviews with artists and staff, and more. Sign up for the ArtsOhio newsletter to receive a curated selection of posts each month.

2020 Governor's Award Winner Joan Perch

Governor's Awards 2020: Joan Perch, Community Development & Participation Award Winner

Joan Perch began her career as an arts educator and owner of several successful art galleries in downtown Cleveland. Recognizing the opportunity to combine and implement cutting-edge approaches to the fields of art, technology, business, and civic and economic development, Joan has pioneered programs that embraced innovation to further the impact of the arts. Drawing from her experience in STEAM education, entrepreneurship, creative placemaking, and the intersection of arts and technology, Joan has contributed to the development of programs such as Cleveland’s Sparx in the City; the Ingenuity Festivals of Art and Technology; and the FireFish STEAM Maker Teen Academy, a year-round apprentice program for culturally at-risk urban teens developed in partnership with the FireFish Festival in Lorain, Ohio.

A staunch advocate for artists in communities, Joan also founded RED Dot Project, a social enterprise that utilized web-based technologies to market the art of Northeast Ohio artists; and the Future Artist Lab at Lorain County Community College’s Campana Center for Ideation and Invention, where she is currently the program developer and outreach coordinator at Lorain County Community College’s Patsie C. and Delores Jené Campana Center for Ideation and Invention.

Since its beginning in 1971, the Governor's Awards has recognized individuals and organizations who have been vital to the growth and development of Ohio's cultural resources. One of the most prestigious arts events in Ohio, the Governor's Awards showcases and celebrates exceptional Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts leaders and patrons, and business support of the arts. Governor's Awards recipients are honored at a luncheon ceremony in Columbus, where they are presented with the only arts award in the state that is conferred by the governor. Each award winner receives an original piece of artwork created specifically for the event by an Ohio artist and the opportunity to share their story with other arts supporters statewide.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Video by the Ohio Channel

Comments are closed.


Sign Up for the Monthly Newsletter

From deadline reminders to artist interviews--sign up to receive the monthly ArtsOhio newsletter directly to your inbox.

* indicates required
OPTIONAL-Select additional opportunities: