Cuyahoga County to Award $3.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts

Cuyahoga County to Award $3.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts

Funds will be distributed to support arts nonprofits, creative workers, and for-profit creative businesses

CLEVELAND (March 28, 2022) – Cuyahoga County has proposed an allocation of $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help bolster the creative economy, County Executive Armond Budish and County Council President Pernel Jones, Jr. announced today.

The relief funding was secured through a collaborative effort of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) and Assembly for the Arts. Following approval by County Council, funds will be evenly divided between CAC and Assembly for the Arts. CAC will develop guidelines for distribution to eligible CAC nonprofit grant recipients that have a primary mission of arts and culture. Assembly will similarly develop guidelines for distribution to arts-related small businesses and creative workers.

“The economic vitality of our region depends on the revival of creative workers–individual artists, cultural nonprofits and for-profit cultural businesses. The County’s investment will help bring us back from historic losses.  We thank the County Executive and County Council for channeling resources to strengthen the creative sector. As we have seen with prior investments in arts and culture organizations, each dollar invested increases the size of the overall pie” said Jeremy Johnson, president of Assembly for the Arts.

CAC’s Executive Director Jill M. Paulsen said the funding is critically important to the hard-hit arts and culture sector in the county. A CAC report on the impact of COVID on the nonprofit arts sector in the county shows 65 organizations that receive support from CAC have lost $171 million in revenue and more than 5,000 workers have been laid off, furloughed, or faced reduced hours since March 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the creative economy in the Cleveland MSA generated $9.1 billion annually.

“The creative economy is core to the identity of Cuyahoga County, and it has been slower than other industries to begin to recover from the pandemic. We appreciate County Executive Budish, County Council President Jones and other leadership at the county for recognizing the importance of arts and culture and for understanding the needs of nonprofit organizations of all sizes,” Paulsen said. “Every bit of funding helps nonprofits arts organizations recover so they can serve the community well into the future.”

Cleveland artists ask for a portion of ARPA funds from city council in a colorful way: postcards

Source: News 5 Cleveland


CLEVELAND — You’ll find no shortage of art from Cleveland’s West Side to its East Side, it enriches thoroughfares and fills the seats in local theaters. Painters, photographers, poets and performers showed up at Cleveland City Council’s meeting to tell city leaders that they need help and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

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Assembly for the Arts plans Cleveland City Hall rally advocating for $10M in federal COVID relief for the arts



CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Assembly for the Arts, the nonprofit umbrella group for Cleveland’s nonprofit and for-profit cultural industries, is pushing City Council to allocate $10 million of the city’s $511 million in federal COVID relief money to the arts.

They planned to deliver more than 500 artist-designed postcards representing constituents from across the city’s 17 wards during a Monday evening rally at City Hall.

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Cleveland artists lobby for ARPA relief funds with postcard campaign

Source: Ideastream


Cleveland-area artists plan to rally on the steps of City Hall Monday. This group of painters, photographers and others are using their skills to convince officials to allocate federal pandemic relief funds to support the arts.

The advocacy organization Assembly for the Arts tapped the talents of local artists to produce a series of postcards, each bearing an illustration and making the case for a $10 million share of the city’s $511 million allotment of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

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ASSEMBLE at City Hall


Thank you to all who helped make our Artists for ARPA campaign possible these past few weeks. We’ve made amazing progress in such a short amount of time! We’re gathering, one last time before the vote, in front of City Hall on Monday, March 28th at 6:30 PM in support of allocating 2% of ARPA funds for the arts. We invite you as well as all of our creative Clevelanders and supporters of the arts to ASSEMBLE with us. We would love to see you there!


  • Artists
  • Non-profit professionals
  • Creative business professionals
  • Arts & culture advocates


Rally in support of Artists for ARPA


Monday, March 28th at 6:30 PM

Personal View: A Rescue Plan for Cleveland's Creative Communities

Source: Crain’s Cleveland


What makes a neighborhood vibrant? A vibrant community is filled with jobs, creativity, art, music, theater, dance and voices that represent our diversity and experiences. In the coming months, Cleveland will have an opportunity to reinject vibrancy into communities harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a working artist in Cleveland, I’m joining hundreds of local artists to ask the Cleveland City Council and Mayor Justin Bibb to invest a portion of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds into arts and culture. Cleveland’s rebound from COVID requires an investment not only in public safety, health and human services, but also in the creative sector. Artists, creative businesses and cultural nonprofits form the backbone of Cleveland’s economic vibrancy.

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Two Cents: Creatives Campaign for a Slice of Cleveland's Rescue Plan Funds

Source: FreshWater


Before the pandemic, Ohio’s creative sector generated $9.1 billion for the economy and accounted for more than 65,000 jobs, according to Ohio Citizens for the Arts’ 2018 report, Ohio’s Creative Economy: The Economic Impact of Arts & Creative Industries.

When COVID-19 arrived in 2020, Cleveland’s creative community was the first to shut down and has been the last to return to any sense of normalcy. Even now, the region’s creative community continues to suffer, says Jeremy Johnson, president and CEO of Assembly for the Arts, the nonprofit organization focused on increasing equity in Cleveland’s arts and culture industries.

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