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About the Right of Being Different: The Art of Diversity and Inclusion at Progressive
Carlos Vega, About the Right of Being Different, 2004.

CLEVELAND, OH.- What’s so disturbing about being different? How does fear of not fitting in shape perception and behavior? Do you think the rules of our society encourage or discourage interaction?

Explore your own feelings and emotions through About The Right of Being Different: The Art of Diversity and Inclusion at Progressive, opened April 1, 2011 for an exclusive three-month engagement at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Be the first to see this provocative show of contemporary art from the art collection of The Progressive Corporation, curated exclusively for the Maltz Museum.

Presented by Baker & Hostetler LLP, this stunning collection explores themes of diversity and tolerance, asking tough questions about our personal viewpoints and prejudices. Artworks range from traditional mediums such as painting and sculpture to the up-to-date technology of video installation. Works from well-established artists with international recognition share space with works from emerging artists, including local talent. All 39 of the artworks will challenge and enlighten visitors.

The Progressive Art Collection, conceived and nurtured by former CEO Peter Lewis, began in 1974 as a works-on-paper collection intended to beautify and stimulate the company’s Cleveland headquarters. In 1985, under the direction of Toby Devan Lewis, Progressive’s art acquisition philosophy evolved to include emerging artists working in a variety of media whose creativity and innovation reflected these same qualities in the company’s business vision. In that same year, Progressive established the Corporate Art Department, a full-time staff dedicated to the growth, management, and interpretation of the art collection. Today, the collection includes more than 7,500 artworks displayed in Progressive offices countrywide. For over 35 years, art at Progressive has continued to provoke and foster passionate discussion among its people.

“We approached Progressive two years ago,” says Judi Feniger, Maltz Museum’s Executive Director. “It was our dream that they’d partner with us to show a part of their phenomenal collection. People instantly recognize Progressive as an auto insurance giant and now by their ad icon, “Flo”, but even in their home town few realize that they are a major patron of the arts with a cutting-edge art program they use to spark dialogue and interaction.”

“Our art is intended to challenge and inspire people while serving as a visual reminder of the importance and necessity of risk-taking and innovation at Progressive,” notes Progressive’s Curator, H. Scott Westover. “It reflects respect for all people. Art at Progressive is provocative, and has fostered discussion and sometimes passionate controversy over the years.”

“A team of Progressive people wanting to learn more about the values of diversity and inclusion visited the Maltz Museum two years ago,” he continues, “and we immediately felt a strong connection between their work in diversity and tolerance and how the art collection works within Progressive’s culture. We had curated About the Right of Being Different for our people, hosting the exhibition at a variety of our corporate facilities around the country, and its diversity and inclusion theme seemed just perfect for the mission and beautiful exhibition space of the Maltz Museum. With the luxury of more space, we expanded the original exhibition to more than 25 works of art for this exhibition. Visitors to the Maltz are in for a truly memorable experience.”

Today's News

April 3, 2011

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About the Right of Being Different: The Art of Diversity and Inclusion at Progressive

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