Cézanne J. Charles

Director of Creative Industries

Charles is director of Creative Industries at Creative Many Michigan. Charles co-leads the design and implementation of Creative Many’s creative industries research, reporting and supporting efforts to define public policy strategies, sector supports and investment priorities. Charles directs Creative Many’s programs providing the knowledge, funding, networks and advocacy needed to help empower the practices of artists, designers and designer-makers within the state.

From 2004 to 2007, Charles was Executive Director/CEO of New Media Scotland, the nation’s art and technology development organization. New Media Scotland provides production and commissioning funds, exhibition/performance, networking and dialogue and professional development opportunities to artists and practitioners. Charles worked at Culture Works, the local arts agency for the Greater Dayton, Ohio area from 2000 to 2003. Charles administered its programs and services.

Charles also co-directs rootoftwo, LLC, a hybrid design studio founded with John Marshall in 1998. rootoftwo, based in metro Detroit, makes hybrid design projects, social objects, experiences and works for the public realm to encourage interaction and engagement, typically at the scale of devices, furniture or small buildings. rootoftwo work nationally and internationally on projects that create a condition where we can perceive ourselves; the here and now; and perhaps the future, differently.

She is an active presenter at forums on creative industries research, design and new technology including the 2018 SXSW Cities Summit: Economic Growth for Everyone; 2017 Grantmakers in the Arts: Detroit Storytelling (Ford Fdn./Knight Fdn.) + Assessing Impact and Measuring What Matters (Emily Hall Tremaine Fdn.); 2017 Detroit Design Summit: Design + Race; 2017 TACA Perforum (Dallas, TX) Cross Sector Collaborations; 2017 Artist Thrive Convening (Berea, KY); 2017 Saint Etienne International Design Biennale (ShiftSpace + Universal Basic Policy Dialogues Curator); 2016 SXSW SXGoodHub Arts + Impact (moderated by Mara Walker, Americans for the Arts); 2015 and 2014 National Creativity Network Creative Economy Summit at the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington, DC); 2013 Creative Economy Summit – Promoting Michigan and Turkey Trade and Development Links (Istanbul, Turkey). She also serves on grant panels and as a nominator including Knight Arts Challenge Detroit, Knight Prototype Fund, and National Endowment for the Arts (Research/Research Labs, Our Town, Regional Arts Agencies, Partnership Grants), United States Artists, and Joan Mitchell Foundation, etc.

Charles has a Master of Public Administration from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan. She serves on Design Core Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design Stewardship Board, the Board of Directors of Allied Media Project and the Programming Committee of Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.