Dear Friends,

In just twelve months, Assembly for the Arts has elevated arts and culture as a major priority for greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the surrounding region.  During my inaugural year, it has been my honor to visit with hundreds of creatives to understand the needs and opportunities of one of the country’s most dynamic cultural ecosystems.

From the very beginning, Assembly set out to achieve two very broad goals:  Expand the pie of resources for the arts and culture sector, and increase equity within the field.  I’m pleased to share that, in partnership with individual artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative businesses, we are gaining ground.

In terms of expanding the pie, we get the biggest bang for the buck through public investment.  That’s why we worked hand in hand with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to secure $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the Cuyahoga County, endorsed by the County Executive and approved by County Council on July 5. Equally exciting is the commitment by newly elected Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and City Council to designate ARPA funds for “arts and neighborhood amenities.”  The arts community, through Assembly, urged a $10 million allocation. The Mayor has made this $10M a priority in his ARPA recommendations. We’ll continue to work with the administration and City Council to advance approval in the coming months.

In terms of increasing equity, we face probably our biggest opportunity and longest-range challenge. Statements in support for racial equity have been adopted by many entities. We want to go further. With our newly launched Arts Leadership Residency, we have committed to invest in over 20 organizations, individuals, and small businesses—the majority being BIPOC. This is a first step, with many more to come. We are pleased to be advised by Equius, a highly respected consulting firm in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Assembly is embarked on an exciting movement.  It will unite and elevate all of Greater Cleveland’s creative community and do so with a lens on equity.  I invite you to join us in this movement by becoming a member of Assembly.  Together we will stand in unity, aspiring to a build a more inclusive and equitable arts and culture community, representing all artistic disciplines, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and abilities – all for a better Greater Cleveland.

Enjoy this report of our burgeoning accomplishments and become part of the movement!

With gratitude,

Jeremy V. Johnson
President & CEO
Assembly for the Arts

Local & State Advocacy

Championing Public Investment in the Creative Sector: Our first year of work coincided with one of the worst economic periods for the region’s creative sector because of the COVID-19 pandemic.…

Read More


Engaging Community Leaders in Critical Conversations: When Cleveland received $511 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, Assembly activated the artist community to demonstrate why they should…

Read More

Racial Equity

Uniting the Community through Equity-Focused Work:   From the outset, inclusion and racial equity were woven into the fabric of Assembly. Our Board of Directors intentionally reflects our…

Read More

Creative Resources for the Arts

A Top Priority – Strengthening Support for the Region’s Creatives: When we launched, Assembly was charged with developing new programs and services for artists and organizations to help increase…

Read More

Become a Member

Join the Movement Assemble to empower all by creating a more inclusive and equitable arts and culture community. Members are gathering from all artistic disciplines, racial and ethnic backgrounds,…

Read More

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…

Read More