Rapid Action Grant

Applications Now Open

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received and on a rolling basis throughout 2024 until the program funds have been depleted.


The Rapid Action Grant is designed to help boost artists’ ability to fund their creative projects and fill in the gaps when immediate needs arise. Through this program, Cuyahoga County-based artists can request funds to help them with expenses for a public event, project or program or for unexpected costs that arise related to their creative practice. The grant provides rapid disbursement of funds up to $2,000*. Applications are reviewed in the order that they are received and on a rolling basis throughout the year until all program funds have been distributed. 

Who can apply?

  • Individual artists ages 18 and older who live and work in Cuyahoga County.  
  • Artists who need a funding boost to help cover costs for a public, arts-related project, event or program. 
  • Artists who need funds for an unexpected or emergency expense related to their creative practice.  
  • Artists cannot be board or staff members of Assembly, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture or Neighborhood Connections, or jurors of any Assembly artist programs. 
  • Nonprofit organizations or businesses are not eligible to apply. 
  • Artists can submit one (1) application to the Rapid Action Grant each calendar year.


What can I request funds for? 

Rapid Action Grant funds can help artists cover immediate project expenses. Any creative project, event or program can come with costs you weren’t expecting or may not have budgeted for. You might need additional supplies for a workshop, funds to pay artists at a showcase or an urgent need for a festival permit. Rapid Action can provide extra money to make your project possible.

Examples of eligible projects include, but aren’t limited to, artist-run festivals, exhibitions, fairs, performances, workshops, youth programs, public discussions and more. Projects and events should be open and accessible to the public and must take place in Cuyahoga County.

Emergency expenses associated with being a working artist do come up. Whether you find a water leak in your studio, discover you need another microphone or just can’t make the studio rent, the Rapid Action Grant is here to help. Examples of eligible urgent expenses include, but aren’t limited to, studio rent, maintenance, repair or utilities, replacing equipment or materials, unexpected exhibition or performance costs, contractor fees and more.

Ineligible expenses include personal needs such as medical bills, grocery bills, home utilities, or other personal expenses. For full details, please refer to the Guidelines selection criteria or contact Assembly at grants@assemblycle.org with questions.    

 How do I apply? 

Applying is simple! Artists can complete an online application by clicking the ‘Apply’ button on this page. Applications must be completed online through Submittable. Paper applications are not available for the Rapid Action Grant.  

If my application is approved, what’s the turnaround time to receive funds?  

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received and on a rolling basis throughout the year until all program funds have been distributed. 

Funding decisions will be made within approximately two weeks after an application is submitted, with funds distributed within 30-days upon approval and receipt of required payment documents. 

Are there any funding requirements? 

Artists will need to sign an agreement, submit a W-9 and include the Assembly and CAC logo on program materials. Rapid Action Grant recipients are also required to have a personal bank account to have funds directly deposited. 


Please contact grants@assemblycle.org 

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

The Creative Impact Fund is supported by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Ronda Brown (left) and Jeremy Johnson (right) at the City Club of Cleveland

Embracing the Power of Art: A Call for Change

Source: The Cleveland Observer, Vince Robinson

Date: April 19, 2024

Abstract: In a recent gathering hosted by the City Club of Cleveland, titled “The Changing Landscape of Arts and Culture in Northeast Ohio,” Rhonda Brown, Chief Strategist for Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, led a thought-provoking discussion alongside Jeremy Johnson, President and CEO of the Assembly for the Arts. This nonprofit organization, dedicated to advocating for and researching the arts, plays a crucial role in supporting artists, nonprofits, and creative businesses in Cuyahoga County.

Johnson highlighted a striking statistic from an economic impact study by Americans for the Arts: in 2022, Cuyahoga County’s nonprofit arts and culture sector generated over $533 million in economic activity. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Johnson emphasized the resilience of the industry and the urgent need to sustain its momentum.

Read Full Article

Leadership in Action

Source: Cleveland Magazine

Date: March 21, 2024

Abstract: Discover what it means to be a leader — and what issues they face — in Cleveland in 2024. By Jill Sell

Superman can lift cars over his head, bounce bullets off his chest and crush coal into diamonds with his hands. He’s capable of freezing people with his breath and melting objects with heat beams from his eyes. If the occasion warrants it, the superhero can even alter the orbit of the planets…

Cleveland’s arts and culture scene historically has been the envy of many other cities. In addition to the priceless contributions to education, creativity and the nourishment of our souls, the economic boost the region receives from museums, concerts, theater, etc., is impressive. According to the City of Cleveland Planning Commission, “the arts contribute more than $1.3 billion annually to the regional economy.”

“Cleveland also has one of the most publicly and privately supported arts communities in the country,” says Jeremy Johnson, who has been president and CEO of Assembly for the Arts, a regional arts council, since 2021.

Read Full Article


CLEVELAND, April 9, 2024  — Applications for two major artist funding programs under Assembly for the Arts will open this month. The application for the Creative Impact Fund is now open, and applications for the Rapid Action Grant will open on Tuesday, April 30.

The two programs are made possible by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and will provide flexible (unrestricted) funding and project grants to about 40 artists across Cuyahoga County. Both grant programs are open to artists of all disciplines.

Program Program Overview Eligible Disciplines # of Artist Awards $ per Artist Award Application Period
Creative Impact Fund Unrestricted funds Open to all creative disciplines 17 $10,000 Friday, April 5 to Friday, May 31, 2024
Rapid Action Grant Project-based funds Open to all creative disciplines 10-20 $500 to $2,000 April 30 to December, 2024 (or until funds are distributed)


The 2024 Creative Impact Fund has been redesigned from its inaugural 2023 version, and the changes are a direct result of a community engagement initiative that Assembly completed in 2023. This included hosting a series of discussions and a survey to hear directly from artists about their funding needs. The goal of this year’s Creative Impact Fund is to encourage the growth of artists’ creative practice and advance their impact on the region. Open to individual Cuyahoga County-based artists of all creative disciplines, 17 artists will each be awarded $10,000 in unrestricted funds (sometimes called flexible funds). In addition, they will receive professional and business development opportunities, mentorship and networking opportunities, and an Assembly for the Arts membership. Applications are due May 31, 2024.

Rapid Action Grants will range from $500 to $2,000. The goal of the Rapid Action Grant is to provide easy to access funds for Cuyahoga County-based artists. Artists and creatives may request up to $2,000 to support their arts-centered public projects, events or needs that are specific to their creative practice. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until $14,000 in funds have been distributed.

Deidre McPherson, Chief Community Officer of Assembly for the Arts, stressed that artists of all disciplines and in all corners of Cuyahoga County should apply for these funds. “Assembly for the Arts wants these grant programs to help a variety of creatives across Greater Cleveland. We have worked to make the application process as simple as possible, and our team is available to help any artist who needs assistance completing the application,” McPherson said. ”We’re asking all of our community partners to spread the word so we can reach as many artists as possible.”

Creative Impact Fund Information Sessions

Assembly will host a series of in-person and virtual information sessions for interested applicants to learn about the CIF application processes.

  • Thursday, April 11 (6:00-7:00 pm)
    B-Side at the Grog Shop: 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
  • Thursday, April 18 (12:00-1:00 pm)
    Virtual Session via Zoom
    The virtual session will be recorded and posted to Assembly’s website at https://assemblycle.org/cifprogram2024/.
  • Wednesday, May 8 (6:00-7:00 pm)
    Cuyahoga County Public Library, Warrensville Heights Branch: 4415 Northfield Road, Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
  • Wednesday, May 22 (6:00-7:00 pm)
    LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland: 6705 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102

Learn more about the Creative Impact Fund and register to attend an upcoming information session at https://assemblycle.org/cifprogram2024/. Details about the Rapid Action Grant and other funding opportunities for individual artists and creatives is available at https://assemblycle.org/artistfunding/.



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, and Fred & Laura Ruth Bidwell. www.assemblycle.org


Malissa Bodmann