Cleveland, OH (August 22, 2022) —The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) today announced the appointment of Gabriel (Gabe) Pollack as director of performing arts. In his new role at the CMA, Pollack will be responsible for overseeing the internationally recognized performing arts program at the CMA and its satellite locations, including Transformer Station and Community Arts Center on Cleveland’s near west side. Pollack will join the CMA in October 2022. Under Pollack’s leadership, the performing arts program will continue to include concerts from classical to contemporary music, will feature global music traditions as well as dance and will expand to include a wider range of offerings. The CMA looks forward to sustaining local partnerships, which have become a feature of the performing arts program, and to fostering new relationships.
Since 2014, Pollack has been manager and director of Bop Stop at The Music Settlement, an extraordinarily vibrant music venue that was voted Best Jazz Club in America by readers of All About Jazz in 2019. Under Pollack’s leadership, nearly 20 live albums have been recorded at Bop Stop, including Terence Blanchard’s Blue Note Records release, “Live,” which provides musical commentary on police brutality in America. During the pandemic, Pollack launched the terrestrial radio program and podcast “Live at the Bop Stop.” Currently, the show airs on 25 stations nationwide and has two international affiliates, and it won “Best Innovation by a Club, Venue or Festival” from the National Independent Venue Association in 2022.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Gabe Pollack is joining the staff at the Cleveland Museum of Art as the director of performing arts,” said Director William M. Griswold. “In his work at Bop Stop, Gabe has shown extraordinary vision and leadership. In the past eight years, he has organized more than two thousand concerts on Cleveland’s near west side where he spotlit national and international artists—including more than 180 Grammy Award winners or nominees—as well as featured a broad swath of local talent. We are looking forward to the ways in which Gabe will augment the performing arts program at the CMA at our main campus and at Transformer Station to attract wider and more diverse audiences to the museum and help us achieve the goals of our strategic plan.”
A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, Pollack holds a bachelor of music in jazz entrepreneurship with a concentration in jazz trumpet performance. In addition to a degree in music, he also holds a bachelor of arts in environmental studies, focusing on sustainable cities, enterprise and education. Serving as director of Bop Stop has allowed Pollack to assist with programming events throughout Cleveland including the Ingenuity Festival, CAN Triennial and Concrete Concerts. Deeply committed to the future of the performing arts, Pollack is a CollegeNow Mentor and previously was an adjunct professor in the arts management and entrepreneurship department at Baldwin Wallace University. Prior to his role at Bop Stop, Pollack worked as an agent, administrator and sound technician at Jim Wadsworth Production Agency.
Pollack was the recipient of the Ida Mercer Community Impact Award in 2021, an honor that recognizes an employee of The Music Settlement who demonstrates dedication, commitment and creativity in advancing The Music Settlement’s mission and programming throughout the community. Additional awards won by Bop Stop include Scene Magazine’s Best Jazz Club, Cleveland Hot List’s Best Jazz and Blues, and Cleveland Magazine’s Best of the West “Live Music Venue.”
“I’m looking forward to bringing my collaborative spirit to the Cleveland Museum of Art and working with the community to program a diverse lineup up of multidisciplinary world-class talent,” said Pollack. “The Cleveland Museum of Art is uniquely positioned to enhance Cleveland’s cultural landscape while providing exceptional opportunities for performers. Reimagining and redefining what programming looks like at a world-class institution is an amazing opportunity that I cannot wait to be a part of.”
Pollack will begin his new responsibilities at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Monday, October 17, 2022.
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