Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture to Award More Than $12 Million to Local Orgs, But Artists Unhappy with Reductions

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:49 PM

  • Josh Usmani
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the organization tasked with disbursing funds from the 30-cents-per-pack county tax on cigarettes, has announced that it will award more than $12 million in grants to arts organization in 2018. The awards were unanimously approved by CAC's five-member board at its meeting Monday.

“We’re pleased to invest in a record number of organizations this year” said CAC's CEO Karen Gahl-Mills, in a statement. “Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is one of the largest public funders of arts and culture in the country. Because of our community’s commitment to arts and culture, CAC is able to help hundreds of organizations bring their work to life across Cuyahoga County.”

But the funding, which will go toward 257 organizations to provide general operating and project-specific support, is a sharp reduction from the last funding cycle. Sixty-one organizations will receive $10.2 million in general operating support, for example, which represents a 20-percent reduction from the $12.7 million that 57 organizations received last year. 

Another 196 organizations (including 25 new recipients) will receive $1.7 million in project support. That, too, is a reduction. Last year, 184 organizations received $1.9 million for the much smaller ($35,000 or less) project grants. This year, project grants were made in chunks of $30,000 or less.

At the meeting Monday, CAC board members characterized the cuts as a prudent response to the decrease in tobacco tax revenue, a decrease that's expected to trend in the same direction as fewer and fewer people continue smoking. But The Plain Dealer reported that opposition to the cuts was strong.

Artists packed the Western Reserve Historical Society for the public meeting to raise their voices against the cuts and to ask for more time to consider how best to dole out dwindling resources — CAC clarifies that attendance was on par with annual meetings in years' past, and that those who spoke were all representing organizations. They were not individual artists.

Artists were vocal in their opposition early this year as well, when it was announced that the Individual Artist Awards were to be significantly altered. At least one other commenter Monday supported the cuts, and thanked CAC for continuing to broaden the pool of recipients.

*This post has been updated with clarification from CAC regarding Monday's crowd size, and the proper number of 2018 grant recipients. Grants will be awarded to 257 organizations, not 254. 

Tags: , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation