Gibans, Nina Freedlander

Born: 1932

Ohio connection: Birth


Nina Freedlander Gibans was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Samuel O. (a surgeon) and Adeline (a teacher) Freedlander. She married James David Gibans in 1955 and they have four children and four grandchildren. She attended Wellesley College, 1950-52, and earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1954. Her M.A. was earned from Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1966. Nina Freedlander Gibans’ life has been spent as an arts advocate, administrator, author and teacher as well as a community volunteer. Professional and volunteer life become integrated as these activities have focused on the Poet’s and Writer’s League of Greater Cleveland, Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland Artists Foundation the Ohio Citizens for the Arts, Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Shaker Heights Public Library and as staff at the Cleveland Area Arts Council, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Children’s Museum. Nationally, she has served on the predecessor board of the Americans for the Arts. Poetry has been her art form since childhood. A poetry book,18 Gardens and their Gardeners was the result of an Ohio Arts Council Artists Project award. She has published and read poetry from early childhood days including a time in San Francisco during the Beat Era, once on the same stage as Allen Ginsberg. Other books are The Community Arts Council Movement (Praeger 1982, 2nd edition by New Academia Press 2006), Bridges to Understanding Children’s Museums (Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Case Western Reserve University, 1999), Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama and Anthology (with Mary Weems and Larry Smith, published by Bottom Dog Press, 2008) and Creative Essence: Cleveland’s Sense of Place (Kent State University Press, 2005).

Named arts manager of the year by Arts and Business Council of New York City, 1974; grant from AHS Foundation, 1980; fellow of Kaltenborn Foundation for Discussion of Arts Issues Over Radio, 1981. Ohio Arts Council Artists Project award,