Through his new role with The Fund for Our Economic Future, Watterson is hoping to help Cleveland in both the short- and-long-term.
For the past two years, Sean Watterson has helped the live music industry navigate challenges brought about by COVID-19 through his role as the vice chair of the National Independent Venue Association.Last month, Watterson was given an avenue to bring that knowledge to Cleveland with his appointment as senior consultant of hospitality talent and strengthening workplaces The Fund for Our Economic Future, a Northeast Ohio collective of local leaders and philanthropists working to create economic growth and positive systemic, long-term change.
Watterson is no stranger to the Cleveland’s entertainment ecosystem. Along being the co-owner and president of Happy Dog in Gordon Square, he’s also served on several local commissions and boards for Cleveland’s arts community. This new position gives him the responsibility of identifying and short and long-term problems and then implementing solutions to benefit Cleveland’s hospitality industry, those who work within it and those looking for jobs in the field.
For Watterson, the role allows him to continue to be an advocate for the city’s working class by working to improve Cleveland’s entertainment, arts, and service industries by drawing people in and improving the city’s existing entertainment amenities.
“You see places where housing prices have spiked, and income inequality has led to situations where you’ve got places like San Francisco or Austin, Texas where housing has gotten so expensive that the people who work as musicians or waitstaff can’t afford to live near these places. Cleveland has an ability to address that before it happens,” Watterson says.