CLEVELAND (December 16, 2011) – For the first time in museum history, the Cleveland Museum of Art is assembling distinguished business and government leaders in a symposium to discuss how Cleveland can learn and benefit from China's successful emergence as one of the world's leading economies in the 21st century; and how the expertise of the symposium's panelists can influence the development of an international business agenda for Northeast Ohio.
Complementing the museum's special exhibition, Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi, the Wednesday, January 4 discussion titled The Art of Reinvention: China, Ohio and the New Global Economy will take place from 9:30 a.m. – noon in the museum's Gartner Auditorium.
"I believe that one of the major roles of internationally significant institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Art is to serve as a convener of international discourse," said David Franklin, president, CEO and the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. "Because of the museum's exhibition and its own collaboration with the Nanjing Museum in China, it seemed an appropriate time to convene a group of corporate and government leaders to discuss the striking parallels between Cleveland and the story of modern China."
In a relatively short period of time, China has emerged as the world's fourth largest trading nation and the fastest developing economy on the planet, having grown an average of 9.5 percent annually for the past 20 years. With a population of more than 1 billion people, the sheer size of its economy has made China a leading player in global trading, manufacturing, consumption and a number of other categories.
The Cleveland Museum of Art's exhibition Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi, was curated in collaboration with the Nanjing Museum in China and runs through January 8, 2012. This scholarly exhibition examines the artistic career of the modern Chinese master, Fu Baoshi, through an overview of his work from the 1920s to 1965. The groundbreaking study reveals the complexity of Fu Baoshi's art and politics in China's turbulent 20st century. Just as Fu Baoshi successfully wed the classical traditions of Chinese art with the sensibilities of a complex modern world, China has moved forward to become a world leader and economic super power while maintaining and celebrating its 5,000 years of history, culture and traditions.
Ambassador James Keith, current leader of McLarty Associates' China practice, will give the symposium's opening address. From 2007-2010, Mr. Keith served as U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, and also became one of the U.S. government's top experts on China, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, National Security Council Director for China and Consul General in Hong Kong.
Alexander "Sandy" Cutler, chairman and CEO of Eaton Corporation, will be the keynote speaker. Eaton, a diversified power management company, began operations in China in 1993 and its Asia Pacific headquarters are located in Shanghai. In 2010, Eaton achieved its goal of reaching $10 billion in revenues in China.
Following the talks, Brad Whitehead, president of the Fund for Our Economic Future, will moderate a panel discussion, with an introduction given by R. Steven Kestner, executive partner of Baker Hostetler LLP, and chairman of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Board of Trustees.
Panelists include Joyce Barnathan, president, International Center for Journalists; Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH-14); Donald Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron; Barbara Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University; and Dennis Scholl, vice president, arts, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Art of Reinvention: China, Ohio and the New Global Economy is open to the public and free of charge, but reservations are required. Call the museum's ticket office at (216) 421-7340 or visit www.clevelandart.org  for reservations.