Moises Borges

ABCAI-Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative by 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.

Creative Resources for the Arts 

Strengthening Support for the Region’s Creatives

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. 

Assembly welcomed its first cohort of talented and diverse artists in its Arts Leadership Residency in partnership with Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) as part of the Entrepreneur in Residence program powered by Huntington. The program was additionally 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 $6,250 stipends per participant, 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 2022-23. 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. 

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Creative Impact Fund Grantees 2023

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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

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 

Get Plugged in – Engage 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.  

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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 registration, 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. 

In 2022, we welcomed:  

  • 13 Corporate Members 
  • 153 Individual Members 
  • 68 Small Arts Business/Nonprofit Members 

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Executive Ronayne names 2 new members to RTA board


Date: July 25, 2023


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne on Tuesday recommended reappointing one member and adding two new members to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees. He nominated Deidre McPherson and Stephen Love to serve and recommended reappointing lifelong board member Karen Moss to keep her seat.

Assembly for the Arts awards grants for art in redlined communities

Source: ideastream

Date: July 17, 2023


Assembly For the Arts has announced 16 artists are receiving grants to create work in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Each award of $6,250 is for projects in redlined communities which traditionally lack arts investment. Artists will also receive professional development opportunities and support from Assembly for the Arts, an advocacy group for arts and culture in the region.

Some of the projects receiving support include an ice cream truck that’s been converted into a portable recording studio and an elderly visual artist whose work focuses on the impact of domestic violence. The grants are drawn from $140,000 in Cuyahoga Arts & Culture funding.

“You’re going to see neighborhoods that we don’t always associate with arts and culture,” said Assembly President Jeremy Johnson. Calling the areas “potential-bound,” he said that many of the artists have been living and working in the neighborhoods for years.

“I don’t want to say we’re bringing arts to communities,” he said. “We are ‘surfacing’ arts and culture that’s already there and helping it blossom even more.”

Cleveland Institute of Art student’s mural selected for Cleveland Foundation’s MidTown Collaboration Center

CLEVELAND—Cleveland Institute of Art 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.

In fall 2022, Cleveland Foundation asked CIA and Assembly for the Arts to lead a collaborative design project for a mural that would benefit the Hough community, CIA students and MidTown Collaboration Center stakeholders.

CIA devised a faculty-led project within an existing class taken by students representing multiple majors, and Assembly for the Arts organized a committee that would choose the final mural design through a transparent selection process.

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