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Governor's Awards Spotlight: Raymond Bobgan


Organization: Cleveland Public Theatre | Executive Artistic Director

Location: Cleveland | Cuyahoga County

Bio: This is Raymond Bobgan’s 11th season in the leadership position at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT). Under his leadership, CPT has eliminated significant debt, doubled in financial size, and completed a $7.5 million capital campaign. This financial advancement was the result of mission-focused programming, which places strong emphasis on supporting new works and local artists, a bold aesthetic vision, and CPT’s educational and engagement programs. In the past 10 seasons, Raymond has produced 42 world premiere plays—including 35 by Northeast Ohio playwrights—and over 150 readings and workshop productions through CPT’s new play development programs. In 1994, Raymond initiated the Student Theatre Enrichment Program, a job training program that engages urban youth in producing and touring original plays. Raymond was the first director of CPT’s Y-Haven Theatre Project a theatre program for homeless men in recovery. In 2013, Raymond launched Teatro Publico de Cleveland (TPC), which has since grown into a 35-member ensemble of Latino theatre artists. TPC has been featured at national conferences and, recently, in American Theatre magazine. In 2014, Raymond created Station Hope, an acclaimed multi-arts event, which annually involves over 50 artistic partners in celebration of the Underground Railroad, while exploring contemporary topics of freedom, equity, and justice. In 2015, Raymond was named “Ally of the Year” by Equality Ohio in honor of his public advocacy and support of LGBTQ equality. Raymond serves on the Executive Committee of the National New Play Network as Treasurer and as Co-Chair of the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee. 

Raymond Bobgan Headshot Nominated By

Carrie Carpenter | Gordon Square Arts District | President and Executive Director

“Raymond Bobgan is an arts administrator and leader who transforms lives through theatre. His impact is felt by the actors he teaches and directs, by the audiences who see and hear and feel his words come to life on stage through his original plays, and by the playwrights who he enables to reach new audiences through their original work and premieres.”

Support from:

Jeffery K. Patterson | Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority | Chief Executive Officer

“…This partnership would not be possible if it wasn’t for Mr. Bobgan’s constant advocacy and drive to keep the program running while connecting us with the right staff and educational tools/activities that provide real benefit to the children.”

Kalim Hill | Student Theater Enrichment Program | Former Member

“I then knew I would respect Raymond forever because I personally observed the head of the body of Cleveland Public Theatre role his sleeves up and get dirty.”

Thomas B. Schorgl | Community Partnership for Arts and Culture | President and CEO

“The STEP [Student Theatre Enrichment Program] program embraces writing, producing and performing plays conceived and brought to realization by its members. What was started 20 years ago as a project by Raymond, is today a proven way to build young people’s confidence and employment opportunities. Over 1,000 disadvantaged young people have benefited from the STEP program since its inception.”

Letitia Lopez | Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center | Executive Director

“The birth of TPC [Teatro Publico de Cleveland] has given the Latino community something beautiful, something that we can all be proud of. We have a new voice that allows us to tell our stories, share our culture, unify and celebrate our diversity all through the gift of art… What Raymond has created within this group will impact lives for generations to come.”

The Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio is a statewide program that showcases and celebrates Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts patrons, and business support of the arts. The public is invited to nominate individuals and organizations in seven awards categories. A selection committee, made up of Ohio Arts Council board members and three individuals selected by Ohio Citizens for the Arts, chooses the winners. The program is presented by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. The 2017 Arts Day & Governor's Awards Luncheon will take place Wednesday, May 17, noon, at the Columbus Athenaeum. Visit for more details.

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