Associations serve a wide variety of roles for their local communities, their industries or the world at large. Sometimes, those roles represent yeoman’s work, doing things that are important to a culture’s preservation or broader growth but that the average person does not think about.
The Intermuseum Conservation Association, a Cleveland-based art preservation group, is very much in that role. Founded in 1952, ICA has played a key role in supporting artistic preservation in the Midwest and inspired other regional organizations supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Over the years, the organization has helped to preserve objects as important as a mural inside the lounge car of a Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train and as novel as the “meat dress” worn by Lady Gaga to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. (And it’s not the only piece of music history ICA has worked on, either: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is nearby, and the association frequently helps preserve rock memorabilia as a result.)
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