Artist Engagement and Planning Update


Assembly for the Arts has received a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to help shape artist funding in the community. This means over the next several months, we will engage artists and residents and listen to their ideas on the best ways to support artists, both financial and non-financial.

Assembly is designing a focused listening, engagement, and planning effort with artists and residents that will result in a community-driven plan for how CAC’s 2024 Support for Artist funds will be spent.

Assembly and CAC are committed to expanding the pie and increasing equity in Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. We are excited for this next phase of our organizations’ work together.

Stay tuned for more soon. If you’d like to sign up for updates, make sure you receive our newsletter.

Cleveland creatives boost arts entrepreneurship as city looks to pump up arts economy

Source: The Land

Date: April 25, 2023


It’s a cliche that artists can’t make a living, but Cleveland creatives are ramping up efforts to help each other avoid that fate. As the city prepares to use a $250,000 Cleveland Foundation grant to hire a full-time senior strategist for arts, culture and creative economy to help foster an arts economy here, local artists are working to boost the entrepreneurial power of their creative community.

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Cuyahoga Arts & Culture approves $20,000 for feedback on artist funding

Source: Ideastream Public Media | By Kabir Bhatia

Date: April 19, 2023


Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) has seen contentious discussion at its recent meetings about how it distributes funding for artists with revenue from a cigarette tax. Currently, it provides money to four nonprofits, which then distribute the funding to artists. Now, CAC has approved $20,000 for one of those nonprofits, Assembly for the Arts, to hold listening sessions on the topic.

“This proposal is a move in the right direction, where Assembly can do what it was created to do: Be a unifying force for all the creative economy of our region,” said Assembly CEO Jeremy Johnson.

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At a fiery meeting, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture moves toward outsourcing a controversial grant program to Assembly for the Arts

Source: Steven Litt,

Date: April 20, 2023


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, the public agency that collects and distributes cigarette tax money for the arts across the county, appears to be moving toward offloading the management of a controversial grant program for individual artists.

During a fiery board meeting Wednesday at the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library downtown, the CAC board voted to award a $20,000 grant to the nonprofit Assembly for the Arts, Greater Cleveland’s new arts council, to “refresh’’ earlier research from 2017 about how best to provide grants to individual artists.

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Cleveland Scores Highest Among Midwestern Communities on Two Key Measurements of Arts Vibrancy

Analysis from the 2022 Arts Vibrancy Index reveals Cleveland, Ohio with a score in the top 1% of communities on measurements of Arts Dollars.

The city shows particular strengths in the amount of earned revenue generated from artistic programs and the total compensation paid to arts and cultural employees per capita – higher than all other large midwestern communities on these two sub-measures.

Assembly for the Arts is proud to have played a role in partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in providing important community context for the data.

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SMU Data Arts Top 20 Large Community Arts Vibancy Index 2022

Arts group hopes grants will spur change in long-ignored neighborhoods in Greater Cleveland

Source: Signal Cleveland

Date: April 14, 2023


Few people associate redlining and art. Assembly for the Arts says that redlined communities often lack arts investment, including “areas of significant arts activity” that can help make a neighborhood more walkable. Assembly’s Creative Impact Fund (CIF), which is accepting applications through May 7, will award $6,250 grants to artists and artist collectives to create “transformative arts projects” in 16 Greater Cleveland communities.

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City Hall seeks its first high-ranking advocate to boost arts and culture as a major economic driver

Source: Steven Litt,

Date: April 13, 2023


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland is widely known as a haven of the arts with strong local philanthropy and public funding through Cuyahoga County’s cigarette tax for arts and culture. The city’s government, however, has not been known for playing a consistent and highly visible role in supporting the city’s cultural riches. That could soon change. The city is now seeking applicants for a new high-level position in the office of Mayor Justin Bibb called Senior Strategist, Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.


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Where Cleveland artists can affordably live and create is up for discussion Thursday

Source: ideastream

Date: April 10, 2023


Greater Cleveland’s creative sector, still recovering from the pandemic, is considering where it will live and work in the future. A recent survey of Cuyahoga County artists receiving ARPA funding found that 79% were concerned about having enough money to pay bills. A panel discussion Thursday brings together artists, community leaders and real estate professionals focused on ways to make housing and creative space more accessible and affordable.

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Assembly Hosts Cleveland Planning Director and Community Leaders to Discuss Artist Space

Conversation to center on finding solutions for artists’ spaces to live/work/create  

CLEVELAND, OHIO — As development projects expand throughout Greater Cleveland, often pioneered by artists and creatives, there is a long-standing challenge in Cleveland’s creative community: where can artists affordably live, work and create? Assembly for the Arts will bring together the community to discuss this important economic issue on April 13 as part of Assembly’s REvision: Creative Spaces community conversation series.

Jeremy V. Johnson, president and CEO of Assembly for the Arts, said the scarcity of affordable space for artists is a genuine concern in the region. “We face a serious issue of artists not having the space they need to support their creative businesses, which are an important economic engine in the community,” he said. “This community conversation is designed to bridge communication among experts, including artists, to brainstorm real solutions to space access and ownership.

The ”Creative Spaces” discussion is the second of Assembly’s series REvision — pressing issues. real discussion. new possibilities. REvision is a series of thought-provoking presentations and community dialogues focused on re-envisioning the state of Greater Cleveland’s creative industries. Topics will address pressing issues in our arts and culture community, create points of discussion and offer possibilities for positive change and equity. REvision is free to attend.

The Thursday, April 13 session will feature:

The “Creative Spaces” discussion will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, at SPACES Gallery, 2900 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44113. To register for this free event, visit Assembly’s website at



Assembly for the Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a focus on advocacy, cultural policy, racial equity initiatives, research, marketing that elevates the region, and services for nonprofits, artists, and creative businesses. It is governed by a volunteer board with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Assembly by design operates in close partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, a government agency, and Assembly for Action, a 501(c)4 political action nonprofit to serve the entire creative sector. Assembly is supported through major funding from: The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ohio Arts Council, Huntington, KeyBank, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, Fred & Laura Beth Bidwell, and Barbara S. Robinson.