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Zygote Press Co-Founder Liz Maugans to Step Down

Liz Maugans is stepping down as executive director at Zygote Press more than two decades after she co-founded the Midtown artist workshop.

In recent years, Maugans has begun a number of side projects away from Zygote, which is dedicated to contemporary, fine-art printing.

"A lot of the ideas that I was coming up with didn't really have a lot to do with the direct mission of serving artists and the other fabulous things that are happening at Zygote," she explained.

One of those side projects is the annual art festival, Rooms to Let, in Slavic Village, where foreclosed homes are transformed into art venues.

"Many people I know, the first year, had no idea where Slavic Village was or how to get there," she recalled.

Since 2014, Rooms to Let has put the spotlight on the ongoing issue of home foreclosures in Slavic Village.

"I think there's five-thousand properties in Slavic Village, and at one time, when this project started, I think there was 1,000 vacancies," she said.

The event, which took place earlier this month, has become a boon to the artists who participate.

"Many of them for the first time told me that they've had deeper conversations at this event with people coming to see their art and talk about their art than any other event that they've ever had in their artistic lives," she said.

But Rooms to Let is only one of the many reasons that's led to her decision to step down from Zygote Press.

"I'm looking to do more work connecting art and artists in the greater community and trying to develop more opportunities for artists to sell their work and build connoisseurship," Maugans explained.

She's also very interested in Cleveland's upcoming mayoral election in the fall.

"It would be really, really interesting to see an arts and culture platform from the many candidates that are up there," she suggested.

Maugans will stay on as executive director for Zygote Press through the end of 2017.

Hear David C. Barnett's interview with Liz Maugans Thursday, May 24 at 12:33pm and 1:40pm on 90.3.


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