Rapid Action Grant

Applications Now Closed

Applications were reviewed in the order they were received.  2024 Program funds have been depleted.

ABOUT

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.

FAQs 

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. 

Questions?   

Please contact grants@assemblycle.org 

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Rapid Action Grant is supported by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


2024 Creative Impact Fund

Applications Now Closed

Submission Deadline: Friday, May 31, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Guidelines

Attend an Information Session 

Join Assembly for the Arts for an information session to learn about the 2024 Creative Impact Fund and how to apply. The session will cover eligibility, review selection criteria, what’s required in the application, and more. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions.  

Register for an Info Session

About

Artists and creatives positively affect our lives and our region every day. Their work has the power to transcend barriers and unite people, to promote healing, and to highlight social injustices leading to just and equitable change.  

Introducing the 2024 Creative Impact Fund (CIF), an unrestricted grant designed to support the growth of an artist’s creative practice and advance their impact on our region. The CIF will award seventeen (17) artists and creatives with $10,000 in unrestricted funds in addition to business development support.

Forward-thinking artists who have been creating impactful and inventive artistic work for three or more years in the disciplines of craft, dance, design, film, interdisciplinary work, media, music, theatre & performance, traditional/folk arts, visual art, and writing/literary art are encouraged to apply. This funding opportunity is open to artists and creatives who live and work in Cuyahoga County.   

Awarded Artists Receive:   

  • $10,000 in unrestricted funds  
  • Business and professional development support opportunities, including marketing  
  • Dedicated support from Assembly staff including advise on achieving creative goals for the grant year  
  • Networking opportunities, including connections to institutional partners, thought partners or potential collaborators  
  • Promotion of the as a Creative Impact Fund awardee on Assembly’s website, social media 
  • Special access to opportunities as they arise throughout the year  
  • An Assembly for the Arts membership  

Apply here

Questions?   

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.

MANY THANKS TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS

America SCORES Cleveland

Art House, Inc

Art Therapy Studio

BAYarts

Beck Center for the Arts

BorderLight Theatre Festival

Breakthrough Sounds LLC

CAN Journal

CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra

Cleveland 48 Hour Film Project

Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers

Cleveland Institute of Art

Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future

Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises)

Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble

ENCORE Chamber Music Institute

Future Ink Graphics (FIG)

Get The Bag.

Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival

Grog Shop

Ingenuity Cleveland

Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center

Larchmere Arts

LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Maelstrom Collaborative Arts

Morgan Conservatory

MorrisonDance

Plexus LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce

Spread the Love Foundation

The Music Settlement

Valley Art Center

Zygote Press


Bibb Administration Launches Transformative Arts Fund, Nearly $3 Million in Grants Now Available to Local Artists

Source: Clevelandohio.gov

Date: Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024

Abstract:

Between 6 to 12 Cleveland-Centric Projects Will Receive Awards Ranging from $250,000 to $500,000

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 — Cleveland — Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced nearly $3 million is now available for local artists through the City’s Transformative Arts Fund (TAF) grant program.  The program will provide funding for projects and initiatives led by Cleveland-based artists.  The application portal opened today and those who are interested have until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 to apply.

“Our local creative community provides the heartbeat that keeps our neighborhoods vibrant and alive – they inspire our children, bring difficult societal challenges to light, and empower us to take action,” said Mayor Bibb.  “This transformative-level of funding we will be providing is designed to award artists who propose projects that will have a sustained, positive impact in the community long after they are completed.”

The TAF is dedicated to empower artists, creators, and communities to collaborate and create art that reflects the diversity and richness of Cleveland.  Grant amounts will range from $250,000 to $500,000 – meaning that at least 6 and up to 12 projects will be awarded.  The application must be completed by the lead artist(s), with a commitment from a partnering institution who will provide organizational support and administrative assistance for the project.  As a Cleveland-centric program, the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to receive an award:

·  The lead artist must be 18+ years old and live in the City of Cleveland
·  The partnering institution must be located in the City of Cleveland
·  The proposed project must be based in the City of Cleveland

Artists across the various types of creative disciplines – painting, music, film, culinary, fashion, and others – are all encouraged to apply.  Applicants can collaborate with any institutional partner – which could include community development corporations, social service agencies, nonprofits, schools, religious groups, or private businesses.  Special consideration will be given to project proposals that amplify/address vacant land reutilization, the environment, food insecurity, violence prevention, safe spaces in the city, social determinants of health, and matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Applicants will be required to provide work samples, a detailed budget, an institutional partner letter of commitment, and other documentation when submitting the application.

“Arts is all about nurturing creativity, and innovation while providing entertainment outlets for people of all ages.  As a child, I played instruments for hours after school.  This sparked a creative fire in me and kept me out of trouble,” stated Councilman Kevin Conwell.  The arts are a catalyst for innovation, pushing boundaries, and challenging the status quo.  This is a big deal for Cleveland.  It’s cool beans that we were able to get this up!”

Those who are interested in learning more about the eligibility requirements, necessary documentation, application process, and overall program can find additional information on the TAF webpage.


ARTIST FUNDING AND RESOURCES

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS


Assembly for the Arts works to expand resources for artists in Greater Cleveland.  From grants, fellowships, and awards, here are a variety of local, state, and national artist funding opportunities to help you grow and sustain your creative practice.

Current and Upcoming Artist Grants

SPACES Urgent Art Fund Cycle two applications accepted from May 20, 2024 – July 22, 2024. 12 artist awards to Cuyahoga County artists/collectives for the creation of “urgent art” that is socially, politically, and/or culturally responsive. $4,000 each will be awarded to artists along with on-site art production facilities, mentorship and network opportunities, an artistlevel SPACES ArtsPass membership, and an Assembly for the Arts membership. A Support for Artist program funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and administered by Assembly for the Arts.

SPACES – Satellite Fund. Applications open May 6, 2024. Administered by SPACES and supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, this is a grant opportunity for established and emerging visual artists, cultural producers creative professionals, and any Cuyahoga County resident with a strong vision and demonstrated ability to complete the proposed project. Awardees will receive a cash award, a SPACES membership, and professional development opportunities.  

Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Awards – a variety of awards that recognize excellence, preserve cultural traditions, and offer developmental support. Award programs include Individual Excellence, Artists with Disabilities Access Program, Traditional Arts Apprenticeship, and Artist Opportunities (Professional Development and Project Support).

Spark Grants provide easy-to-access funds with a quick turnaround time to artists, arts & culture non-profits, and creative businesses in need of funding (up to $1,000) to pilot a public initiative or event that “sparks” from a conversation at a monthly Creative Meetup or from the Neighbor Up Arts & Culture Network Night Gatherings.

Additional Artist Resources

The following organizations offer resources that help artists write grant proposals, find opportunities, and apply for competitions, grants and residencies. 

  • Opportunities for Visual Artists in Northeast Ohio. A comprehensive list of opportunities (art calls, funding, jobs, and spaces) for visual artists.  
  • ClevelandArtsEvents.com. A website jointly managed by Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture for sharing and finding artist profiles, events, and opportunities for artists (grants, fellowships, jobs, calls for art, other).  
  • Candid.  A national organization with easy to find scholarships, fellowships, and awards for artists, students, and researchers.  
  • Creative Capital.  A national organization, that offers educational support for artists on the topic of funding (view the Applying for Grants section).   
  • Springboard for the Arts. A national organization with grant seeking and writing resources. Individual consultations are also available. 
  • Artwork Archive | Guide to the Best Artist Grants and Opportunities in 2024. A list of top artist residencies, calls-for-entry, grants, competitions, and more to benefit artists in 2024.
  • ioby Clevelandioby (“in our backyards”) is a crowdfunding and support platform that empowers leaders to plan and develop projects that lead to positive change in neighborhoods across the city.
  • Request fiscal sponsorship: Leverage Assembly’s nonprofit status to apply for funding from corporations and foundations.

Archive Grants

Assembly for the Arts – Creative Impact Fund. Applications open April 5 – May 31, 2024. The Creative Impact Fund is designed to encourage the growth of an artist’s creative practice. Open to individual Cuyahoga County-based artists of all creative expressions, 17 artists will be awarded $10,000 each, professional and business development opportunities, mentorship and networking opportunities, and an Assembly for the Arts membership.  A Support for Artist program funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Assembly for the Arts – Rapid Action Grant. The Rapid Action Grant provides 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.

Community Revitalization Fellowship . Applications close Monday, April 8th, 2024. A learning opportunity to help cohorts of grassroots community leaders revitalize neighborhoods that are struggling with serious challenges related to vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment.

The City of Cleveland Transformative Arts Fund. Applications close March 30, 2024. Opportunities for Cleveland artists in collaboration with a city-based institutional partner. 6 to 12 projects will receive $250,000 to $500,000 to create innovative, thought-provoking, and inclusive Cleveland-centric public art projects. Administered by Assembly for the Arts.

Dobama Theatre – Fostering Opportunity for Communities Underserved on the Stage (FOCUS). Applications close April 15, 2024. A mentorship and training program to direct paid professional opportunities for early career theater designers, technicians and stage manager from underserved and underrepresented communities including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Disabled, Deaf, and neurodivergent theatre practitioners.  
 

Karamu House – Room in the House Fellowship. Applications open in March and close May 3, 2024. The Room in the House Fellowship will award 5 visual artists and 5 performing artists with $5,000 in unrestricted funding, inclusion in a digital exhibition on Karamu’s website, participation in curated Karamu events that will feature artists in exhibition or performance, and access to shared workspaces. Artists may be in any phase of their career and align with Karamu’s vision of culturally and socially relevant work that celebrates the Black experience. No project is required. In partnership with Assembly for the Arts and supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 

Zygote Press – PROOF: Print Residency of Ohio’s Future. Applications close April 20, 2024. A 6-month fine art printmaking residency program for Northeast Ohio artists from historically underrepresented communities. PROOF offers non-printmaking artists from BIPOC communities the opportunity to learn a variety of printmaking techniques including silkscreen, monoprint, relief, intaglio, lithography and RISO.

Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center – Unidos por el Arte. Applications open March 1 – March 30, 2024. Unidos por el Arte is a project-based grant opportunity focused on uniting artists to celebrate the diversity of Cleveland’s Latino community. Ten artists will be awarded $5,000 to complete their project. Artists will have access to dedicated workspace and supplies. Their project will culminate in an art showcase as part of the Center’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in September 2024. Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to apply. In partnership with Assembly for the Arts and supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 

Cleveland Public Theatre – Individual Artist Fund. Applications open March 1 – April 14, 2024. Provides 3 artists with $5,000 in unrestricted funds for actors, dancers, and designers who demonstrate artist excellence and innovation

Cleveland Public Theatre – Premiere Fellowship. Applications open March 1 – April 14, 2024. Provides 4 artists with a $7,000 in unrestricted funds and $3,000 in support towards a project support by CPT. Also includes access to rehearsal and performance space, mentorship, networking opportunities, and additional support (production, marketing, and front of house management).

SPACES – Artists Forward Fund.  Applications are currently closed. Supported by the Cleveland Foundation and administered by SPACES, this fund awards $2,000 in unrestricted funding to Cuyahoga County artists. Adapting a pay-it-forward structure, recipients of this microgrant are selected by past awardees letting local artists support local artists. 


CLEVELAND-ELYRIA RANKED 12th AMONG 20 MOST ARTS-VIBRANT LARGE COMMUNITIES IN THE NATION

The 8th Annual Arts Vibrancy Index from SMU DataArts Compiles List of 40 Most Vibrant Arts Communities Across the U.S., Based on Measures of Per Capita Supply, Demand and Government Support for the Arts

CLEVELAND, OH, November 13, 2023 – SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, released its 8th Arts Vibrancy Index, which identifies Cleveland-Elyria as number 12 in the list of 20 large communities in the United States through an analysis of the level of supply, demand, and government support for the arts in more than 900 communities across the country. Organized into three separate lists based on community population size, totaling 40 communities across the country, this year’s Arts Vibrancy Index is the first to include numerical rankings since 2020, a reflection of arts organizations returning to in-person activities and performances following the easing of pandemic restrictions. Cleveland, along with neighboring Elyria, has consistently appeared on the Arts Vibrancy Index since its debut on the rankings in 2018. 

This year, Cleveland is ranked 12th on the annual list of large communities in the nation -- the highest ranking it has ever achieved.     

Related research by SMU DataArts shows that Local Arts Agencies (LAAs) like Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture are powerful catalysts of arts vibrancy which ensure that the arts remain an integral part of community life. Fluctuations in a community’s ranking occur from year to year for a variety of reasons, including the opening of an arts district or closing of a performance space as well as local economic conditions. 

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the region’s largest funder for arts and culture. Since 2006, CAC has invested $230 million in over 470 organizations, including SMU Data Arts, to gather and share local nonprofit arts data through CAC’s grant application process.

“It’s important to have data to demonstrate the strength of Cuyahoga County’s creative community,” said Jill M. Paulsen, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “Each year, CAC-funded organizations contribute information to SMU DataArts to help us tell the story of the sector’s impact and shine a light on their work.”

Jeremy V. Johnson, CEO and president of Assembly for the Arts, said, “Cleveland is now ranked 12th in the nation in terms of Arts Providers, Arts Dollars, and Government Support, joining the company of arts-heavy cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The Arts Vibrancy Index demonstrates the arts’ enduring importance, resiliency, and vibrancy in Greater Cleveland, which is why it’s essential to maintain public support for this important part of our economy.”

Arts-vibrant communities can be found in every region of the United States—a finding which arises from an objective analysis of the data, and not from selecting communities by hand to achieve geographic representation.

“The arts and culture sector was hit hard by the pandemic, and some organizations and communities are still recovering. The Index is an opportunity for communities to affirm and celebrate the individuals and organizations that are the sources of arts vibrancy in their region, whether that’s artists who have mastered a local craft tradition over generations, a cultural festival that families enjoy year after year, or a cherished historic theater, museum, or arts-education center. For organizations, funders, local citizens, and public officials, the Arts Vibrancy Index is a powerful resource that leverages data-driven evidence to illuminate how the arts contribute to an area’s economy and public life,” stated Dr. Zannie Voss, Director of SMU DataArts. “One way that public leaders can spark arts vibrancy in their communities is by expanding funding for local arts agencies, which spurs arts employment, stimulates more artistic activity, and increases the strength of geographically dispersed arts-vibrant cultural resources throughout communities.”

The Lists

In addition to the top arts-vibrant communities listed in the Arts Vibrancy Index, arts-vibrancy scores for every county in the United States can be viewed on an interactive map that identifies arts and cultural strengths that are present in every community. (Also known as Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Areas, these communities have boundaries that are defined by the United States Census Bureau.)

Large Communities (population: 1 million +)

On the list of the most arts-vibrant communities with populations of 1 million or more, one city is new to the list: Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, sits at the top of the list for the first time since 2018 and Philadelphia, PA, has moved into the top 5 for the first time ever. After debuting in the 20th spot in 2020, Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN, has skyrocketed to the 11th spot.

  1. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
  2. New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ
  3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Philadelphia, PA
  6. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  7. Frederick-Gaithersburg-Rockville, MD
  8. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
  9. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
  10. New Orleans-Metairie, LA
  11. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
  12. Cleveland-Elyria, OH
  13. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, MA
  14. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  15. Pittsburgh, PA
  16. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
  17. Seattle-Bellevue-Kent, WA
  18. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI
  19. Chicago-Naperville-Evanston, IL
  20. St. Louis, MO-IL

 

Medium Communities (population: 100,000 – 1 million)

Medium communities are home to populations ranging from 100,000 to 1 million people. Canton-Massillon, OH, is new to this list, while Santa Fe, NM; San Rafael, CA; and Pittsfield, MA, have appeared on the list of top medium communities every year since 2015. Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo-Portage, MI, are returning to this list following their 2022 debuts. 

  1. Pittsfield, MA
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Ithaca, NY
  4. San Rafael, CA
  5. Kalamazoo-Portage, MI
  6. Boulder, CO
  7. Missoula, MT
  8. Canton-Massillon, OH
  9. Burlington-South Burlington, VT
  10. Ann Arbor, MI

Small Communities (population <100,000)

Small communities are defined as areas with populations under 100,000. Jackson, WY-ID, and Bennington, VT, have made the list of small communities every year since 2015, with Jackson maintaining its ranking as first among small communities for the past four years.

  1. Jackson, WY-ID
  2. Brevard, NC
  3. Steamboat Springs, CO
  4. Bennington, VT
  5. Easton, MD
  6. Glenwood Springs, CO
  7. Hailey, ID
  8. Juneau, AK
  9. Brookings, SD
  10. Oneonta, NY

The overall Arts Vibrancy Index is composed of 13 unique measures which cover aspects of supply, demand, and public support for arts and culture, and are adjusted for cost of living and population differences among communities. In this year’s index, the analysis approach was updated to weight the 13 inputs based on their relative explanatory power for the underlying concept of arts vibrancy. This approach improves measurement consistency in the face of data availability delays or other changes in individual datasets from year to year. All financial metrics have been adjusted for cost of living in order to level the playing field. The cost of doing business varies based on local conditions, so the same dollar goes further in some communities than others.

ABOUT ASSEMBLY FOR THE ARTS

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

ABOUT CUYAHOGA ARTS & CULTURE

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the region’s largest funder for arts and culture, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2006, CAC has invested $230 million in over 470 organizations, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. CAC is a separate government entity and a political subdivision of the State of Ohio. For more information, visit cacgrants.org.

ABOUT SMU DATAARTS

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, is a project of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. The mission of SMU DataArts is to provide and engage both organizations and individuals with the evidence-based insights needed to collectively build strong, vibrant, and equitable arts communities. Its research efforts range from academic papers published in leading journals, applied research undertaken with community partners, and actionable insights shared directly with arts practitioners. Its programs provide business intelligence tools and resources to help arts leaders leverage data to answer critical management questions and connect research analyses to their own work. Recent publications include research reports on emergence from the COVID-19 crisis; the alchemy that drives high performing arts organizations of color; audience diversity, equity and inclusion in large performing arts organizations; impact of investments made in diverse creative communities; and more. 

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Media Contacts:

Malissa Bodmann

216-536-7517


Meet Julia Rosa Sosa

Meet Julia Rosa Sosa

Julia Rosa Sosa is a performing artist and storyteller hailing from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas. Currently based in Cleveland, OH, she is a proud alumna of the University of Texas at El Paso, where she studied Theatre and Sociology.

Julia’s specialty lies in theatre, music, and storytelling. Through her work, she explores the magic of being ordinary and emphasizes how every individual has impactful stories to share. Growing up in a dangerous and unstable place, Julia endeavors to bring messages of hope to her audiences, even if her shows are heartbreaking at times.

In 2020, Julia received the Julia de Burgos Cultural Art Center and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture In-house Residency, which enabled her to produce the US premiere of Valentina y la Sombra del Diablo. This children’s play teaches kids about consent and sexual abuse disclosure. Additionally, Julia participated in the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice Learning Lab in partnership with Esperanza, Inc. In this project, she worked with a group of Latin American students living in the United States, collecting and sharing their views on various topics, including lifestyle, education, family, identity, hobbies, passions, and what it’s like to live during a pandemic. This podcast also serves as a time capsule, reflecting the present and preserving it for future generations.

Julia has contributed her skills as a songwriter and vocalist to the development of two albums for the Lunatic music project. Furthermore, she has performed across the border and bi-nationally during the Maelstrom Collective Arts window activation in 2022.

In addition to performing, Julia has also worked as a freelance theatre director, having directed and assistant directed shows in Oregon, Colorado, Arkansas, Cleveland, New York City, and Ohio. Her play, El Toro y la Nina, premiered as a radio play at the ReUnion rEvolucion | a Latinx new works Fest in 2020.

Overall, Julia Rosa Sosa’s work as a performer and storyteller seeks to share impactful stories that leave a lasting impression on her audience. Whether it’s through theatre, music, or podcasting, she is dedicated to exploring the beauty of the ordinary and the resilience of the human spirit.

Creative Impact Fund Project: El Romantico

El Romantico is Julia Rosa’s first musical. Intended to be a bilingual piece in Spanish and English, delving into the disconnect between fathers and daughters during their teenage years and how many times the ones holding their relationship together are mothers.

The story is about a father and daughter’s relationship through music. The dad is a hardworking worker who plays his guitar at social gatherings and work. The daughter is in a new school, in a new city, in a new country. Little by little, their relationship becomes more distant. She starts to develop new interests, one of which is boys. Dad is not someone she can ask for advice about boys. Mom is the one to talk to about boys; she gives good advice. What happens to the good hobbies daughter used to have with her dad, like playing the guitar and singing?

Well, they are not enjoyable anymore because Dad only talks about how the music these days sucks (but daughter likes that kind of music, does that mean Dad hates the songs she has been making and uploading to YouTube?) Mom knows they need a relationship, so she sneaks a notebook into her daughter’s backpack. In this notebook, the daughter recognizes Dad’s handwriting. In the old crunchy notebook, there are the most beautiful songs about everything she relates to.

Julia’s father passed in 2021, and her creativity shut down. She wanted to create this piece with her father, but unfortunately, it did not happen. He was a songwriter who taught her so much about music. Stay tuned for performance dates.


Meet Linda Zolten Wood

Meet Linda Zolten Wood

Linda Zolten Wood brings arts and sustainability together to create solutions to environmental issues and raise awareness to practical solutions to our changing climate, while creating beauty in our communities. Rain barrels help keep pollution out of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, and give us free rain water for gardens, yard care and even car washes.

Cleveland Institute of Art graduate, LZW was inspired to make these ugly big plastic chunks more beautiful by applying her mural painting skills to improve their overall acceptance and wider use. She created The Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project in 2012. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Neighborhood Connections, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture Grantee, Zolten Wood wanted Cleveland’s efforts of water conservation to be celebrated, as approximately 400 free barrels have been provided by Mayor Jackson for all of Cleveland neighborhoods for the last ten years, proving to be a popular program, but these barrels are eyesores. Her project will beautify them and encourage long-term usefulness for families who need gardens most.

Zolten Wood’s Upcycled Arts Workshops are influenced by travels in India, which practices a national ethic of ‘no waste’, where practically everything is repaired or reused in some way: Conservation as a daily practice and long-term culture. We benefit fro mending and recreating objects into new useful objects or artworks to beautify our spaces. Our landfills need to slow in growth, and we need to review our consumption habits. Upcycling is a useful tool for communities to tidy up and share with each other.

These project have been brought into schools, libraries, garden clubs and farmers markets for educational programs to help communities beautify their gardens and homes with painted barrels and repurposed artwork. Stormwater and Landfill reduction benefit our fresh waterways, wildlife and drinking water resources and art improves our quality of life. Her philosophy “Art For All” offers creativity to anyone who wants to try, regardless of economics or education: She has experienced the healing of the Arts in all areas of her life.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Sustainable Arts with Zolten Wood Design & Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project

Three projects/locations at Senior Centers and a Community Garden who are committed to improving the quality of life for their residents. The audience ranges from senior citizens attending social day classes and helping to nurture their bonds of community, to the Community Garden including families of all ages, encouraging hands on creative expression with Upcycled materials and beautifying their rain barrels so they are encouraged in more consistent use, which helps keep the Lake and River cleaner, and supplies them free water for their garden and yard use.

One Wall Mural for Rose Senior Center in East Cleveland, A series of Skylight Banners to enliven and brighten the space of an old building for a Collinwood Senior Center, and a rain barrel painting and upcycled arts series of workshops at a community garden in Old Brooklyn.

Through her collaboration in these impactful projects, Linda Zolten Wood actively contributes to the well-being and enrichment of senior centers and community gardens. Her dedication to nurturing community bonds, fostering creativity, and promoting sustainable practices demonstrates her unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for all involved.


Meet Dale Goode

Meet Dale Goode

Dale A. Goode is a Cleveland-based artists and arts educator. He works primarily in photography, mixed media collage and sculpture. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College and pursued his graduate studies at Kent State University. Over the last 40 years, Mr. Goode has exhibited his work widely throughout the Midwest. His work is included in various corporate, university and institutional collections, Akron Art Museum, University Hospital of Cleveland, Hiram College and The Dalad Group. He was selected as one of the International artists to participate in Front International Triennial and has received a grant from Spaces Art Gallery.

Mr. Goode’s primary focus is spotlighting the issues and beauty of the community he represents and the people who share that community. His sculptures, paintings, and prints reflect the way he sees the world and wishes others could see it as well. His most recent bodies of work have been named RAW VISION, bodies of work which contrast what we see and what we call it. Women, Domestic Violence, Beauty, and Trash, all seen have been seen in exhibit locally and away from Cleveland over the past 2 years.

Good’s focus right now is on Domestic Violence. He thinks of domestic violence and wonders how much is carried out of our homes into the streets of our cities where it explodes in the unprepared relationships we have in our community. Patterns that we create through behavior and language shape out home as much as physical environment of doors, windows, furniture and costume. His art work reflects this by the construct of sculptures and the way he uses objects like shoes, handbags and doors to create symbolic understanding of this epidemic of violence.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Domestic Violence Is Not Pretty

This project will use doors from abandon buildings and houses to stand in as substitutes for people. Designed and built in abstract sculpture using things thrown away in the streets as we do overlooked and under served people in violent situations.

The hope is that people’s attitudes who view these sculptures that are dedicated to stopping violence will understand the impact that violence in general and Domestic Violence specifically has on a community.


Meet Mary Kay Thomas

Meet Mary Kay Thomas

Mary Kay Thomas has had a lifelong artistic practice, influenced by the women in her family who have been engaged in various artistic disciplines for multiple generations. While she has experience in jewelry and metalworking, printmaking, and drawing, Mary primarily focuses on photography-based oil/acrylic paintings as a means to capture the essence of memories.

Her inspiration stems from the experiences, people, and moments that have contributed to shaping her identity, which she seeks to immortalize in her artwork. Each piece is a gift to future generations and a tribute to her family’s artistic heritage. Mary’s family serves as her muse, and she employs a vibrant and expressive palette to celebrate the rich cultural fabric of Cleveland, deeply rooted in her lineage and connected to the broader history of Africa.

Having survived a ruptured brain aneurysm, Mary holds a deep conviction that while life can be fragile, healing comes through expression and paying homage to what is held dear. Her artistic practice extends beyond the personal realm and finds its place in the community as well. As an art educator, Mary’s work is informed by her interactions with individuals of all ages, exposing her to diverse viewpoints and enriching her creative process.

Mary actively engages with Cleveland’s art communities, such as Zygote Press and CAN Journal, which further strengthen her ties to the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland. Additionally, she has initiated her own public art project, The U and I of Euclid Ave, a Gateway to East Cleveland, and has collaborated with service-based organizations like Food Strong. Through these endeavors, Mary aims to foster a stronger connection to her community and utilize art as a medium for inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and healing.

Creative Impact Fund Project: U & I of Euclid Avenue

U and I of Euclid Avenue is an interactive arts education program for Cleveland area youth planned and installed by Mary Kay Thomas. The project is designed to work in partnership with other organizations, specifically existing youth programs to augment engagement with art education. The U and I of Euclid Avenue is a community mural and public art series envisioned by Mary Kay Thomas.

This project will help revitalize and renew energy along Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. Upon full program completion by 2025, over fifteen murals and public art installations depicting colorful scenery, African American heritage, and historical themes relating to East Cleveland’s past will permanently change the landscape of Euclid Avenue. For this specific grant opportunity, up to 15 Shaw High School students will engage with the mural project.

The end result will be weatherized and installed in one of the three vacant lots across from Shaw High School along Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. This original mural and art installation will be designed toward promoting hometown pride and East Cleveland history. This community-engaged art project is intentionally designed so that the incremental painting and developing of the work can happen almost anywhere.

Once the piece is completed, it will be weatherized and professionally installed at its permanent location. As this project continues to grow and add finished pieces, Mary Kay Thomas shares the new installations with the greater community via social media and efforts at earned media through press releases and other means. Of course, the residents of East Cleveland will be aware of these new art installations as Euclid Avenue is the busiest transportation corridor in the community. Many of the buildings along Euclid Avenue and in the surrounding neighborhoods are vacant and in a state of significant disrepair. It is widely known that East Cleveland is the lowest income community in the State of Ohio. A heightened emphasis will be on murals placed along the Euclid Avenue corridor that will reinvigorate an area once known as “The Grand Promenade of Cleveland”.


Meet Georgio Sabino

Meet Georgio Sabino

A highly acclaimed multi-disciplinary visual artist, photographer, designer, author and educator; “I have fostered connections with business pioneers to build and develop new talent and works of art.”

Twice an official photographer at The White House for President Obama’s invitation to photograph, Two National Champions, current director at Hector Vega Studio. Georgio Sabino III continues to consistently create magic. Virginia Marti, Ursuline College, Cuyahoga Community colleges, Cleveland Entertainment Coalition, the Visit and numerous community organizations’ have emerged under Georgio’s engagement and service as a chief visionary and prime strategist. His digital art searches for dramatic lines pushing vibrant colors but depicting strong contrast between the images in each work of art. An experienced artist, businessman and educator with current participation in the professional arts and business community, he fosters real life connections with business pioneers to build and develop new talent and with a collaborative approach to create new works of art.

Sabino’s art, photographs and graphic design work conveys polyrhythmic identities striving to be heard, but especially to be seen. By concentrating on the principles of design, a thorough understanding of the relationship between the visual arts and the future of art is conveyed but by adding the next level of augmented reality to show there are no bounds. Sabino shares, “I created art that stimulates the imagination and challenges the intellect using art and technology. The viewer can explore, discover and uncover their polyrhythmic identities through art and space.”

Georgio Sabino III is a man of many talents. He is a fashion designer, artist, and a true visionary in the world of fashion and art. He was born in a small town in Ohio, and from a young age, he knew that he wanted to create beautiful things.

Growing up, Georgio would often sketch designs for clothes and accessories in his notebook. His parents, who both recognized his talent and encouraged him to pursue his passion. They enrolled him in a prestigious fashion school (Kent State University), where he honed his skills and developed his unique style. After graduating, Georgio moved to NYC, the fashion capital of the world. There, he became an entrepreneur, learning everything he could about the industry. He soon launched his own fashion photography business (in Cleveland Ohio), “GS3 Art, Fashion & Photography”, which quickly became a household name.

His art and fashion were a fusion of classic and contemporary styles, with a touch of eccentricity. He was known for his use of bold colors, hand painting silks and unconventional textiles, which set him apart from other designers. He also incorporated elements of art into his collections, often collaborating with artists to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Georgio’s runway shows are always a spectacle, with models walking down the runway wearing sculptural pieces that were as much art as they were fashion. His dream is to have his designs were worn by celebrities, royalty, and fashion influencers, and GS3 has been featured in magazines and social media.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Artistic Jungle Series

Technology advances and changes so very quickly. Artificial intelligence, surveillance and privacy issues are pervasive negative news stories in the media. However, these technological advances also provide wonderful new ways for artists and creators to express themselves. Over the last few years, Georgio Sabino III has worked with adding a technological advancement to the static universe of two-dimensional visual art and fashion design. But these are not ordinary paintings and dresses. They are augmented reality (AR) painting and dresses that come to life when you point your smart phone at them.

The dragonflies, hummingbirds and butterflies fly around the dress and room in a realistic way, creating a magical effect that surprises and delights viewers. You can also interact with them by tapping on your screen or moving your phone closer or farther away. The proposed project will be an art and fashion show where the walls of the gallery space will be filled with art for attendees to view and engage. Once the fashion shows commences, models will wear the artist’s pieces and attendees can watch the show. Even without smart phone access, the show will be vivid and dynamic. Engaging with the augmented reality component of the show will only improve audience enjoyment and the “wow” factor. Fashion pieces will be made primarily of silk with the image screen printed onto the item of clothing.

The show will be scheduled for approximately three months after the project is fully funded. A gallery in the Cleveland area will be selected based on appropriateness and availability. The project will help allay fears about future technology by demonstrating how amazing these tools can be for making art and fashion design even more dynamic.

Please see current examples of how the augmented reality works at the following links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyAdGiA5eaQ&t=57s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alQvw4hNdXM&t=57s