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2015 ArtCares Icon – John Farina

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John Farina has more than 25 years of experience in management, fundraising, marketing, public policy, banking, and sales – as well as working with nonprofit organizations as a volunteer, board member and staff person.

John Farina has served in leadership positions and has raised more than $4 million for several social service and arts organizations including the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Beck Center for the Arts. Farina has managed successful levy campaigns for the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Cuyahoga County Public Library and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities along with leadership roles in the effort to reform Cuyahoga County government in 2009 and the Arts & Culture levy in 2006. John has also held crucial positions in many individual campaigns, including running on his own. John has also served as a consultant to many small and mid-size nonprofit organizations.

Currently John is the Executive Director of ARTneo, the museum of Northeast Ohio art and will once again have a leadership role in the campaign to renew the Cuyahoga County Arts & Culture levy.

John is a graduate of the Cleveland Bridge Builder’s Flagship Program (2002). He recently completed a four year term as President of the Board of Directors for SPACES, and holds a leadership position in the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats. Farina has also served on the boards of Equality Ohio, GLSEN and NAMI and on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign as well as a former board member, President and Interim Director of the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland. In 2014, he was the co-chair of the highly successful six-day Festival Village for Gay Games 9 and is an active participant in many area organizations including the Print Club of Cleveland and the Cleveland International Film Festival.

John Farina was the Grand Marshall of the 2004 Cleveland Pride Parade, recognized for his leadership in the HIV/AIDS and LGBT community. In 2012, he was the recipient of the City of Cleveland LGBT Heritage Day Advocacy Leadership Award. In 2015, the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland will honor Farina with the ‘ArtCares Icon’ award for his commitment to the HIV/AIDS and arts communities.

Born and raised on Long Island in New York, Farina came to Cleveland in 1991 and now resides in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland with his fiancé, Adam Tully and their two cats, Emma Peel and Hex. They are avid art collectors with more than 350 objects in their collection and are the owners of the Maria Neil Art Project, an art gallery in the Waterloo Arts District in Cleveland.