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This project was successfully funded on March 29, 2016

The Fixers

by Kate Sopko


What Could the RNC Mean to Greater Cleveland?

This July, my hometown of Cleveland expects 50,000 visitors as we host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Convention-goers will spend the majority of their time in a small section of Cleveland's compact, recently redeveloped downtown. 

The Fixers is a collaboratively-built public artwork asking what the rest of Cleveland—America’s 2nd poorest and most economically segregated metropolitan area—­ could tell RNC delegates about how public policy impacts the lives of urban Americans.

We are shooting a series of short films following Clevelanders invested in social equity on tours of the city they would give delegates if they had the chance.  In journalism, a fixer is a well-networked local who helps a foreign journalist find their way into a story quickly, by driving them around, translating for them and introducing them to people who are in the know.

We’ve asked Clevelanders who culturally act as fixers to take us into the middle of their stories:  stories on what it’s like to take public transit, on trying to shore up struggling public schools, on efforts to increase healthy food access in Cleveland’s food deserts, and on young people addressing violence in their neighborhoods.

These films (and more) will be released serially through national, local and social media between May 20-July 21, and we will host a series of screenings and public dialogues at venues around Cleveland.  The Fixers will ask if the RNC can be a moment for amplifying the political efficacy of regular people, by listening to what Clevelanders know about where we live, and sparking a city-wide dialogue about how political process is working (or isn’t working) here.

The Fixers will be exhibited at Cleveland contemporary gallery SPACES from May 20-July 29 and at Smack Mellon from June 18-July 31.

We have begun shooting on The Fixers, with generous support from SPACES and Art Matters. The $5,500 we aim to raise through Hatchfund will allow us to shoot and edit 3 films in the series, and cover per diem expenses for one visiting film-making team, remaining equipment expenses, graphic design and printing of maps for the series and cover perk production for this Hatchfund campaign. If we reach $8,500, additional money will be used toward facilitating and hosting a series of public screenings and dialogues in Cleveland May-July.

Your support will help catalyze a powerful conversation in Cleveland about how people most impacted by political decision-making can bring our stories to the table.

Visit for more information.

    • March 14, 2016 Kate Sopko Artist

      Stay connected with conversation around 'The Fixers' through the project's Facebook group:

    • March 14, 2016 Kate Sopko Artist

      Incredibly moved by the tremendous support so many people have been extending to ‘The Fixers’. As we work to complete shooting these films, it's heartening to know that this work is valued by so many Clevelanders (and beyond). Thank you! We have a ways to go on fundraising in order to raise what we need to finish filming this series. Please consider sharing the Hatchfund campaign with people who might value this work. Quite literally, every donation counts toward the success of this project! Trailer Link: Hatchfund Link: Fixers Website: