Announcing the 2023 Arts and Culture Honor Roll

Assembly for the Arts recognized U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ohio Senator Matt Dolan (R-24) and Cuyahoga County District 7 Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell during its annual Public Officials Recognition Breakfast. Brown, Dolan and Conwell were recognized for their contributions to arts and cultural policy and their advocacy for the creative economy in Cuyahoga County.

The Public Officials Recognition Breakfast is an annual tradition for arts and culture supporters that began in 2015. The event is an important recognition of public-private partnerships throughout creative industries in Northeast Ohio. Arts leaders, corporate representatives, artists, and community members of all kinds attend to connect and build relationships with government officials. KeyBank sponsored this year’s Public Officials Recognition Breakfast.

More information at

Mayor Keith Ari Benjamin, Village Of Bratenahl
Mayor Annette M. Blackwell, City Of Maple Heights
Jake Sinatra, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
Donna Collins, Ohio Arts Council
Councilman Kevin Conwell, City of Cleveland
J Bradley Deane, Office of Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senate
Mayor Benjamin Holbert III, Village Of Woodmere
Peter Lawson Jones, Ohio Arts Council
Councilman Judson Kline, Orange Village Council
Councilman Nathaniel Martin, City of East Cleveland
Jill Paulsen, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
Tarra Petras, City Of Cleveland
David Razum, Office of Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne
Councilwoman Sandy Spinks, City of Bedford
Mayor Kim Thomas, City Of Richmond Heights
Councilmember Meredith Turner, Cuyahoga County Council

View Photos from the Breakfast

Meet Moises Borges

Meet Moises

Based in Cleveland, Ohio for over two decades, Moises Borges is a gifted guitarist and vocalist born in Bahia, Brazil, He grew up experimenting with rhythms such as Bolero, Baião, Xote, Afoxé, Frevo, Forró, especially Samba and Bossa Nova which are basic to his performances. His soothing voice and charm make for a wonderful evening of entertainment for all lovers of Brazilian Jazz. Moises has performed in numerous countries, venues and events, he often performs at area outdoor festivals and Jazz Clubs on a regular basis. Just back in town from a few international tours Moises is preparing to release a new album of original work with renowned international guests such as Ken Peplowski, Diego Figueiredo, Chuchito Valdez, among others. Borges has become a prolific performer in the Northeast Ohio scene in the last decade. In 2023 Moises was nominated as Best Jazz Band for the Cleveland Music Awards; In 2022 he scored the second place at the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit-Sport Song Competition during the All Star Games; In 2020 he was a finalist of the BDOLive Song Festival, a nationwide original music contest scoring the fourth place. He had 3 nominations to the Brazilian International Press Awards in the last decade. Borges is a good storyteller, vivid and funny performer who plays mostly in the Samba and Bossa Nova tradition, interpreting his original songs besides classics by Jobim, Gilberto, Bosco and many others. Far away from his native Brazil, the music of his homeland is very much alive when he is on stage. As a local artist and founder of the ABCAI-Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative in 2018, Moises has made cultural presentations at universities and schools. He has presented photography exhibits, and has appeared on radio and TV shows. Lately he has done a series of Zoom panels through the Karamu House of Residency speaking about “Afro Brazilian Culture”, Capoeira, percussion, culinary, religion (Orishas), and includes a samba dance class. All the online video materials are available on his YouTube channel to serve all audiences for free.

Creative Impact Fund Project: ABCAI Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative

The Afro Brazilian Culture Appreciation Initiative is a series of interactive educational experiences aimed at spreading awareness and excitement about Brazilian culture to students. It envisions that the youth will discover music and dance as an empowering force in their lives, it also seeks to provide an alternative mode of learning, especially for children who may not respond to traditional modes of teaching and learning.

The event will be performed for a group of anywhere in between 150 to 300 students in elementary/secondary schools serving in the Red Lined Cleveland neighborhoods. It will feature 5 components: Live samba music with a 5-piece band demonstration; A workshop on samba dancing.

A Capoeira presentation and workshop (a Brazilian body movement technique with 5 practitioners); An Afro-Brazilian Drumline presentation and workshop; One Keynote Speaker who will speak on Brazilian culture at the event, discussing Brazil’s history, its African roots, current affairs, the arts, customs and more. The students will be requested to do research on Brazil’s history and geography by two weeks prior to our presentation, developing acknowledgement for discussion with the Keynote Speaker on the event’s day.

The 3.5 hour event will also include activities that engage in an interactive, playful manner, giving the students a first hand experience of Brazil’s unique cultural heritage. Attendees will have the opportunity to join event activities, playing instruments, dancing and learning Capoeira techniques. This interactive approach brings Brazil to Cleveland’s youth like never before.

Racial Equity

Strengthening Support for the Region’s Creatives

Equity is at the center of everything we do. Through our advocacy, cultural policy work and funding opportunities, we seek to redress systemic racism through building an anti-racist organization that serves artists, business owners and nonprofit leaders. We want to help them move to action to create a more equitable arts community; this includes advocating for more equitable funding to BIPOC artists and organizations and removing perceived and real barriers that currently limit all residents from participation. 

In the last year, Assembly armed creative businesses, artists and non-profits with tools to help them forge cross-sector connections, expand their knowledge and find opportunities to share their artistic point of view – all the while enriching neighborhoods across the region. 

Powered by Huntington’s Entrepreneur in Residence program, Assembly welcomed its first cohort of Arts Leadership Residents with the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC). The program was also supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, and The George Gund Foundation. In keeping with Assembly’s mission, the program was delivered through a racial equity lens and provided management support, coaching, tools and $1,000 each to 25 artists.

Meet the 2023 Arts Leaders

With a $140,000 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Assembly for the Arts launched the Creative Impact Fund (CIF) to support the investment and growth of transformative arts projects in redlined communities in Cleveland and East Cleveland that lack arts investment. More than 140 creatives applied for 16 spots. In addition to a $6,250 stipend, each CIF awardee receives access to professional development and marketing support, industry connections, and an Assembly membership. 

CIF provides professional development, marketing support, and the opportunity make network connections. 

Meet the Artists

The Cleveland Foundation asked Cleveland Institute of Art and Assembly to lead a collaborative design project for a mural that would benefit the Hough community, CIA students and MidTown Collaboration Center stakeholders. CIA student Aniyah King’s “Growth From Within,” a mural that symbolizes growth and progress in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood and represents Hough residents’ pride and passion, will be installed at the Cleveland Foundation’s MidTown Collaboration Center when it opens in 2025.

Assembly supported 10 fiscal sponsorships totaling $170,000 in FY2023. Our fiscal sponsorship program opens access to foundation and donor funds that solely fund tax-exempt organizations. We aim to support BIPOC-owned or led nonprofits and businesses and those managed by and serving individuals with disabilities. 

View Projects and Donate

Creative Impact Fund Grantees 2023

About the Creative Impact Fund 

The Creative Impact Fund, which was established by the Assembly for the Arts, awarded a total of $6,250 to sixteen (16) artists, art collectives, and informal groups. The fund was designed to provide flexible funding and support for transformative arts projects aimed at redlined communities, developing areas with significant arts activity, and promoting increased walkability. The fund aimed to lay the groundwork for the City of Cleveland’s Rescue & Transformation Plan, which prioritized arts and neighborhood amenities.

Individual artists or art collectives of all expressions, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, film/motion pictures, dance, ballet, theatre, music, comedy/improv, writing/literature, architecture, design, and fashion, were welcome to apply to the Creative Impact Fund. Along with funding, CIF offered professional development, marketing support, and connections to creative, business, and institutional networks. The Creative Impact Fund was funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Let’s Meet The Artists:

Creative Impact administered by Assembly for the Arts and funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture considers November '24 levy to expand cigarette tax

Source: ideastream

Date: September 13, 2023


Cuyahoga Arts & Culture made several moves at its Wednesday board meeting aimed at addressing consistently declining revenue. The agency is funded by the county cigarette tax. It’s slated to bring in just over $10 million this year, down almost 50% from its inception in 2007.

Area arts leaders have been working for more than two years to get permission to expand the tax. State lawmakers finally agreed this year to allow CAC to ask voters to increase the tax from its current rate of 30-cents-per-pack.

Read Full Article

Support for Artists Campaign Findings

Outcomes of the Support Artists Campaign

Assembly is excited to receive a $500,000 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to administer support for artists programs in 2024.  This is a 25% increase in CAC funding over last year. 

Chosen as the sole grantee for CAC’s Support for Artists funds, Assembly will run an artist support grant program in 2024 in addition to regranting funds to Cleveland Public Theatre, Julia de Burgos, Karamu House and SPACES to continue their successful work with artists who have been previously funded by grants from CAC.  Assembly will work to ensure artists of multiple disciplines are represented, including musicians.  

 More information will be shared in the first quarter of 2024. 

Assembly will structure the 2024 programs in response to feedback from Greater Cleveland’s artist community through four listening sessions and online surveys conducted August to September, 2023. Assembly engaged Dr. Brea Heidelberg of ISO Arts Consulting to facilitate these discussions to generate community feedback and recommendations to inform future programs and services. The research was funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and The George Gund Foundation.  

View Results Recording

The key learnings from the listening sessions and survey that will guide our work in 2024 and beyond are: 

  • Prioritize unrestricted funds and increase and the amount awarded to each artist   
  • Increase overall support for artist funding by seeking sources beyond Cuyahoga Arts & Culture  
  • Create a central virtual space for finding grant opportunities, deadlines, and resources to help artists navigate and utilize the funding ecosystem  
  • Simplify and streamline grant application processes to reduce administrative burdens.  
  • Prioritize funding and resources for historically underrepresented or marginalized artists 
  • Increase opportunities for artists to be included in discussions on conversations about civic and social issues by facilitating connections between artists and civic leaders.   
  • Facilitate more artist listening sessions 
  • Establish an Artist Advisory Board that:   
    • Has diverse geographic representation from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County 
    • Is comprised of artists representing a wide variety of arts disciplines  
    • Has term limits that allow for a regular rotation of artist advisors 
    • Is comprised of members who are selected through an application process and is open to interested applicants who identify as artists  
    • Is compensated for their time and expertise 
    • Advises Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture on their programs and policies  


Working Together as One Community 

Assembly and CAC acknowledge restorative work in the artist community will be foundational to the success of our future efforts. We look forward to working together and with all of you in the arts community to heal harms of the past, expand the pie of resources to our vitally important creative sector, and create a robust artist funding mechanism that includes sustained funding from private and public resources. 


Past Programs 

Assembly recognizes that the healthiest mix of artist support comes from a variety of sources.  Previous artist support programs through Assembly have included: 

  • ARPA Rescue Funds  $1.65 million to artists and creative for-profit businesses through American Rescue Plan Act funds from Cuyahoga County. 
  • Arts Leadership Residency in partnership with Cleveland Leadership Center and Huntington’s Entrepreneur in Residence program. 25 artists received $1,000 each and 6 learning sessions to help them grow their creative businesses. 
  • 2023 Creative Impact Fund 16 artists, collectives and informal groups received $6,250 each for flexible (unrestricted) funding and project-based placemaking in redlined communities that lack arts investment. Funded by a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 


Other Resources for Artists 


Visit our Business of Art section for tools to help you make your creative endeavors a sustainable venture.

Looking for a Fiscal Sponsor? Skip the process of becoming a nonprofit organization in order to access grant funds by having Assembly become your fiscal sponsor. Not all community projects or artists can afford to or need to become their own nonprofit. The process of becoming a nonprofit requires time and resources that could otherwise devoted to the project itself. Assembly can help by acting as your fiscal sponsor 

Sign up for Assembly’s newsletter to stay informed of upcoming workshops, community meetings and funding opportunities.  

Check out and use So much more than just events, this is a central website to create and find artist profiles, events, venues, and opportunities (jobs, grants, fellowships, artist calls). Create a free account today to join the monthly email list.  

Still have questions? Email us at  

Learn about Artist Funding Opportunities

This effort is made possible by generous support from the George Gund Foundation and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Artists Funding Opportunities

Assembly by the Numbers  


Did you know….Cleveland is one of the Top 20 most vibrant large arts communities in the country and in the top 1% of communities on measurement of arts dollars, per SMU Data Arts. Cleveland ranked best in the Midwest for the amount of total compensation paid to arts and culture employees per capita and in earned revenue from artistic programs.   


Thank You to Our Funders 

Assembly held its first Art Ball fundraising gala in May 2023. More than 230 art lovers attended as Assembly honored arts supporter Tony Panzica. Creativity threaded throughout the evening with face painting, Brazilian sambas, Djapo’s dance performance and spoken-word artists.  Assembly raised more than $100,000 at the Art Ball to support our work through 37 event sponsors as well as individual contributions. 

Assembly for the Arts thanks the following funders for their continuing general operating support for its programs and services: 

mosaic of faces of Assembly's Board of Trustees

Board and Staff  

Assembly Staff

Jeremy V. Johnson, President & CEO

Jeanita Blue, Marketing and Communications Manager 

Abby Del Río, Chief Finance & Operations Officer 

Melissa Leuenberger, Finance & Operations Associate 

Meg Matko, Director of Community Relationships 

Deidre McPherson, Chief Community Officer 

Kristin Puch, Senior Researcher and Development Officer 

LeAundra Richardson, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, Board Liaison 

Valerie Schumacher, Director of Strategic Initiatives



VEES Consulting 

Compelling Communications 


Assembly 2022-2023 Board of Trustees 

Fred Bidwell (Board Chair), FRONT International 

Kathy Blackman, Grog Shop

April Miller Boise, Intel 

Lenora Inez Brown, Independent Consultant, Dramaturg 

Talise Campbell, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute 

Mordecai Cargill, ThirdSpace Action Lab 

Carrie Carpenter, Huntington National Bank 

Paul Clark, Retired 

Kelly Falcone-Hall, Western Reserve Historical Society 

Chann Fowler-Spellman, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation 

Phyllis Harris, LGBT Community Center Greater Cleveland 

Sandra Madison, Robert P. Madison International Inc 

Clyde Miles, The Adcom Group 

Christine Nelson, Team NEO 

Chinenye Nkemere, Enlightened Solutions 

Nahomy Ortiz-Garcia, OverDrive 

Tony Panzica, Panzica Construction Company 

Barbara Robinson, Retired 

Vince Robinson, Larchmere Cultural Arts 

Marika Shioiri-Clark, SOSHL Studio 

Tony Sias, Karamu House 

Paul Westlake, DLR Group 

Shanelle Smith Whigham, Keybank 

Leonard Young, Morgan Conservatory 

Zulma Zabala, The Center for Community Solutions 

Ex Officio 

Nancy Mendez, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture 

Michele Scott Taylor, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture 

Charna Sherman, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (2021-2023) 

Aseelah Shareef, Cleveland Arts Prize 

Board Transitions. Assembly gratefully acknowledges the service of out-going board members Nahomy Ortiz-Garcia, and ex officio Charna Sherman of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Assembly was saddened by the passing of founding board member Barbara Robinson, a beloved regional and national advocate for arts and culture 


Button membership

Become an Assembly Member 

Your Assembly membership supports our work in advocacy, activism, racial equity, and bringing more creative resources to the arts. As a member, you’ll receive benefits like our Cadence e-newsletter, free or discounted event, one-on-one meetings with our staff, and promotional support for your events. You’ll also have access to resources like artist profiles, the Rapid Action Grant, the Membership Directory, and participation in unique Affinity Groups, in addition to other benefits.  

Join us today at to become a member and contribute to Greater Cleveland’s thriving arts community. 

Learn More connects you to Cuyahoga County’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Cleveland Arts Events is supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, in collaboration with Assembly for the Arts.   

With, you can easily navigate through a wide range of events and opportunities. Whether you’re an artist looking to exhibit your work or a musician seeking grants and funding or an audience member seeking the latest events information, this website covers it.  

Launch Site

2022-2023 Members of Assembly for the Arts

Corporate, Small Business, Nonprofit Members

  • America SCORES Cleveland
  • Art Therapy Studio
  • Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
  • Arts Impact
  • ATNSC: Center for Healing and Creative Leadership
  • Avidity Art Development
  • Barbara's Fiber Art
  • Beck Center for the Arts
  • Borderlight Festival
  • Broadway School of Music & the Arts
  • Chagrin Arts
  • City of Shaker Heights
  • Cleveland Arts Education Consortium
  • Cleveland Clinic Arts & Medicine
  • Cleveland Institute of Art
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
  • Cleveland Print Room
  • Collective Arts Network
  • Culey Design
  • Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
  • Dance Evert
  • Dobama Theatre
  • Foundry Project Arts Incubator
  • Gray Panther Media
  • Greater Cleveland Film Commission
  • Greater Cleveland Urban Film Foundation
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater
  • Happy Dog
  • Heights Arts
  • In Harmony Therapeutic Services
  • Janus Small Associates
  • Julie Schenkelberg
  • Kings & Queens of Art
  • LAND studio
  • LatinUs Theater Company
  • LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
  • Margaret Reardon Marketing
  • moCa Cleveland
  • Mojuba Dance Collective
  • Palmer Event Solutions
  • Pinwheel Gallery
  • RBI Sound
  • resolute, LLC
  • Rhythmic Art Studio Inc
  • T.E.T. Entertainment LLC
  • The 961 Collective
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • The Cleveland Orchestra
  • The Cogent Company
  • The Dark Room Co.
  • The Sculpture Center
  • University Circle Inc.
  • Vanessa Faith Art LLC
  • Waterloo Arts

Individual Members

  • Kamal Abdul-Alim
  • Andrew Bednarski, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Dar'Jon Bentley
  • Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts
  • Mansa Bey, Read.Write.Recite Literacy Guild
  • Odin Blak, Dark Blak Studios
  • Robin Blake, Creation: A Celebration of Art, Music, and Life
  • Moises Borges
  • Carolina Borja
  • Weedie Braimah, Weedie Braimah & The Hands of Time
  • Michelle Broome
  • Lenora Brown, Raising Results
  • Amy Budish
  • Frederick Burton, Gospel Music Historical Society
  • Kasey Butler
  • Talise Campbell, Djapo Cultural Arts Institute
  • Mordecai Cargill, ThirdSpace Action Lab
  • Tricia Chaves, Xirho Group LLC
  • Grace Chin, The Sculpture Center
  • Paul Clark, PNC
  • Paula Coggins, OSPI
  • Margaret Cohen, Rahilly Solutions
  • Jennifer Coleman, The George Gund Foundation
  • Dronet Danielle
  • Maria DeRyke, Cultivate Advancement
  • Deanna Dionne, Made Cleveland
  • Malik Fadzl, LFTG RECORDS
  • Kelly Falcone-Hall, Western Reserve Historical Society
  • Jennifer Feierabend
  • Chann Fowler-Spellman The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation
  • Kyra Frierson
  • Ed Gallagher, Beck Center for the Arts
  • Christopher Gelles
  • Stacy Geohaghan, Stacy-Nicole Geohaghan
  • Erma George, Amra Home Accents llc
  • John Gest
  • Ahlon González, LAND Studio
  • Dale Goode, Domestic Violence Is Not Pretty
  • Charlotte Gouveia, PwC
  • Tracy Greenberg
  • Sherrie Hauser-Simmons
  • Sonya Hayes
  • David Heller, The NRP Group
  • Jada Hobson, INDI Media
  • Genell Hudson
  • Patricia Hughes, Art House, Inc.
  • Andrea Jackson, CAP ACADEMY
  • Johnathon Jamison, THA League Management’s
  • Sheldron Johnson
  • David Kay, University School
  • Christina Keegan, Cleveland Natural Building
  • Martin Kohn, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College Of Medicine
  • Sandy Kreisman, University Circle Inc.
  • Josh Landis, United Way
  • Angelia Lee
  • Shawn Lee-Jones, The Creative Healing Foundation
  • Gregory Lockhart, A Source of Pride  - The Story of the East Cleveland Chiefs
  • Jazmin Long, Birthing Beautiful Communities
  • Letitia Lopez, Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center
  • Amanda Lott, Studio Lott
  • Allison Lukacsy-Love, Phone Gallery
  • Pat Meade, Creative Works, Inc.
  • Clyde Miles, Adcom
  • Jerry Miller, zone music inc. (humachine)
  • April Miller-Boise, Intel
  • Sharon Milligan, Case Western Reserve University
  • Scott Mueller, Dealer Tire LLC
  • Sylvia Munodawafa, Accessible Art for All Project
  • Christine Nelson, Team NEO
  • Chinenye Nkemere, Enlightened Solutions
  • AkuSika Nkomomackey, Africa House Enterprise
  • Tony Panzica, Panzica Construction Co.
  • Clarisa Pearl, Pearlystic Productions
  • Shayna Pentecost, srpglass
  • Karen Prasser, Chagrin Arts
  • Bellamy Printz, Deep Dive Art Projects
  • Sarah Raban, Pinwheel Gallery
  • Andrew Ratcliff
  • Cierra Rembert, SPACES
  • Vince Robinson, Larchmere Cultural Arts
  • Kole Robinson-Brooks, Kole Artistry
  • April Roth
  • Vanessa Rubin, Vocalist/Recording Artist
  • Georgio Sabino, Building Bridges
  • Kayli Salzano, artist
  • Julie Schabel, Wave Space Summer Camps at CPL
  • Charna Sherman, Sherman Law
  • Marika Shioiri-Clark
  • Tony Sias, Karamu House
  • Lena Simovic, Lena Atomika
  • Shanelle Smith-Whigham, KeyBank
  • David Snider,
  • Charmaine Spencer
  • Ngina Terrence, Bossantii Music Group
  • Veronica Thornton, Vee's Consulting LLC
  • Peter Tompkins, Yes: The Secret to Life
  • Diane Troyer
  • Pamelia Tyree
  • Susan Underwood, Robust Energies, Inc
  • Alicia Vasquez
  • Emanuel Wallace
  • Gina Washington, 2 Morrow's Blackhouse
  • Paul Westlake, DLR Group Westlake
  • Sandi White, Shaker Arts Council (SHAC)
  • Rebekah Wilhelm, Rebekah Wilhelm Studio
  • Sumica Williams, Inner Canvas,  and Reiki Infused  Journaling for Women
  • Regennia Williams, RASHAD Center, Inc.
  • Michael Wilson, Michael Wilson USA
  • Alexandria Woyton, Weigh Street Studios
  • Leonard Young
  • Zulma Zabala, The Center For Community Solutions