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Performance Art Festival Archive collection

Identifier: Spec-Coll-00054

  • Staff Only

Content Description

The collection consists of office files, artists files, audio and video recordings, programs, posters, photographs and artifacts and ephemera relating to the Performance Art Festival (PAF) held annually from 1988-1999 in Cleveland, OH. Created and collected by festival founder Thomas Mulready, the PAF Archive was donated to Case Western Reserve University in 2015.

PAF was the largest event of its kind, attracting artists from around the world. Interested artists applied to be in the festival, sending materials which included a videotape that in some way related to their proposed work. Jurors evaluated the work based on artistic merits, cost, and feasibility.

Of note are the artists files containing application materials. To appear in the Performance Art Festival artists applied by sending an application form and a five minute video clip of either a previous performance or of the work to be performed at the festival. Files were kept on all of the artists who applied to be in the Performance Art Festival, whether they were accepted or not. These files contain application forms, photographs, newspaper clippings, books, and other textual explanatory material. They may also include audiocasettes, CDs and CD-ROMs, posters, correspondence between the artist and Mulready.

Also, of note are the festival performances that were recorded on video tape, usually from two camera angles, and which make up a large part of the archive. Over 100 performers would participate over the several days of the festival each year.


  • 1987-2013

Language of Materials


Language of Materials



189 Linear Feet


The collection is arranged in 11 series based on the order created by Thomas Mulready and later arrangements made while the collection was on deposit at Cleveland State University.
Performance Art Festival Archive
In Progress
Special Collections staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections Repository

Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland OH 44106-7151 United States