The reopening of Public Square inspired the photo essay on public spaces in Cleveland that is the centerpiece of The George Gund Foundation’s 2016 interactive annual report. It is now available on the Foundation’s website.
Matthew Pillsbury has won numerous awards around the world for his photography, including his imaginative use of long exposures, which he employed for his work in Cleveland. “For the past 15 years, I have made long exposure photographs using only available light,” Pillsbury commented. “Across several series and in many cities, I have focused on the passage of time and people within spaces both public and private. With the Cleveland commission, I was interested in examining the ways, both successful and not, in which public spaces can become a part of the fabric of city life.”
David Abbott, the Foundation’s executive director, discusses the importance of public spaces in his annual letter and notes that one of their virtues is how they remind us of shared democratic values.
In his letter, Geoffrey Gund, the Foundation’s president, pursues the democracy theme by reflecting on the obligations of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations to raise their voices on issues of societal importance. He notes the long history of the Foundation’s support for policy advocates and highlights the recent increased emphasis on that work because of threats to many issues that the Foundation has long supported.
The annual report also includes guidelines and procedures for applying for grants, a financial statement and a list of grants made during 2016.