Fred Bidwell is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, art collector and thought leader engaged in strengthening communities and institutions as an advocate for the arts, creativity and innovation. In 2011, Bidwell and his wife, Laura, established the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation to share their extensive art collection and foster creativity and innovation throughout the city of Cleveland. The Bidwell Foundation’s major project is the Transformer Station, an arts and exhibition space in the Ohio City neighborhood that opened in early 2013. In a unique private/public partnership, the Bidwell Foundation operates the facility and lends the space for half of each year to the Cleveland Museum of Art to stage contemporary art exhibitions and projects.
Bidwell also serves as a trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and was the museum’s interim director and CEO in 2014. He previously spent three decades in the advertising business, serving as CEO of Malone Advertising and as executive chairman of JWT/OgilvyAction, a joint venture of J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather.