Arts & Economic Prosperity 6

Change the Conversation About the Arts

Becoming an AEP6 Volunteer with Assembly is a great way to meet new people, show your support for our arts communities and get some great perks!

Volunteers will help with survey prep and on-site survey collection at arts and culture events of all kinds. You’ll also get to:

 

  • Talk with other arts-minded people
  • Advocate for the arts
  • Help others learn about Assembly for the Arts programs
  • Expand your network

Email volunteer@assemblycle.org to sign up and learn more!

What is the study?

Assembly is excited to partner with Americans for the Arts on Arts & Economic Prosperity 6 (AEP6).

AEP6 is an economic impact study of the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. It’s the largest and most inclusive study of its kind ever conducted, with a specific focus on 387 participating communities from across the country.

For the first time ever, this study includes Cuyahoga County as part of the more than two hundred regions surveyed nationwide. View the Press Release.

Nonprofit Partners

Assembly is working with nonprofit organization partners to survey their audiences at arts and culture events of all kinds across the county. These surveys will provide important information on how much people are spending at arts events, what neighborhoods are participating and their investment in and connection to the arts.

Sign Up to Help Distribute SurveysView the Survey Questions

Why is This a big deal for Cuyahoga County?

In short, Economic impact studies like AEP6:

  • Can help organizations like Assembly advocate for more resources for arts and culture, including future funding
  • Illustrate the major economic impact of the arts in our region
  • Influence where tax dollars are invested
  • Help change how people view arts and culture

Download 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in Cleveland.

Download 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in Cuyahoga County.

Thank You

To our friends that have partnered with us on this!

RidAll Green Partnership
GLAAWC
12 Literary Arts/ThirdSpace Action Lab
Musical Theatre Project
Museum of Creative Human Art/FIG
Dance Cleveland
Oh Sew Powerful
Western Reserve Historical Society
The Cleveland Orchestra
Karamu House/Cleveland Playhouse
The Maltz Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Cleveland Orchestra
Dancing Wheels
Cleveland Public Theatre
Dobama Theatre

Get Involved and Become a Partner

AEP6 in Cuyahoga County, can’t be successful without you. Help Assembly reach our goal of 800 surveys for Cuyahoga County and Sign up to become an organizational partner today.  This year QR codes make it even easier to distribute. They have also translated the audience survey into 24 languages! Even surveying ONE of your events makes a difference!

Watch the Webinar to learn more about AEP6 and what you need to know as a partner.

Download Social Media Graphics

2022-23 Arts Leadership Residency Cohort

“We are thrilled to launch this cohort to strengthen a talented and diverse group of artists through the Arts Leadership Residency, part of the Entrepreneur in Residence program powered by Huntington. These artists, nonprofits and creative businesses are already impactful in their work, but the coaching with an equity lens from Cleveland Leadership Center will help take their work to the next level. The program was designed to help artists, especially artists of color, break down barriers to success through access to business resources, networking and dedicated time. ” – Jeremy Johnson, president and CEO of Assembly for the Arts.


Partners

Assembly is proud to partner with Cleveland Leadership Center. Assembly received support from the Entrepreneur In Residence Powered by Huntington and The George Gund Foundation for the development of this program. The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation and the ArtsNEXT program of the Ohio Arts Council provided additional support to the Arts Leadership Residency.


Arts Leadership Residency

A DIFFERENT KIND OF RESIDENCY

view press release

Expanding on the model of traditional artist residencies, Assembly, in partnership with Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC), is offering 20-25 artists some headspace to plan for growth on their own terms. The Arts Leadership Residency offers a $1000 stipend and 6 dedicated learning sessions to address a self-defined business goal or objective. Participants will have access to entrepreneurial experts, mentorship from the CLC alumni network, and skillsets of the other artists and small creative businesses participating in the program.

In keeping with Assembly’s mission, the program will be delivered through a Racial Equity lens and provide management support, coaching, and tools to a cohort of 20-25 artists and small- to mid-sized creative businesses including both nonprofits and for-profits.

SCHEDULE

The Arts Leadership Residency includes half-day learning sessions, one Wednesday per month, from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Breakfast will be provided. Sessions will be in-person. Location and information regarding safety precautions will be provided to participants in advance.

  • June 15: Application Opens
  • July 15: Application Deadline
  • August 31: Selections Made, Applicants Notified
  • Session Dates (8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
    • Sept 28th: Opening Retreat
    • Oct 19th: The Cleveland Ecosystem
    • Nov 16th: Finance and Funding Landscape
    • Dec 14th: Growing Customers and Donors
    • Jan 18th: Equity and the Artistic Community
    • Feb 15th: Taking Action

PARTNERS

Assembly is partnering with Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) because of its track record of success in positioning leaders at all levels and stages of life to be catalysts for positive change and its longstanding commitment to ensuring racial equity is central to all its civic leadership programs. CLC provides collaborative leadership training, civic education and connections to leaders of all ages, empowering them to identify and take action on issues that resonate with them and positioning them to become change agents in the community.

The Arts Leadership Residency is part of the Entrepreneur in Residence program powered by Huntington, and is additionally supported by

 

The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, and

Meet the Arts Leaders of 2023

Applicant Info

Assembly for the Arts is committed to increasing equity in greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. We know that Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC) often build creative careers without labeling themselves as artists or art businesses.  We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive program, and we are most interested in finding the best candidates for the cohort. That may include creatives that are not often considered artists or who operate a less conventional business model. We strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

Residency participants were selected to ensure a wide range of artistic disciplines with a commitment to entrepreneurship and racial equity. The Residency Cohort includes 26 artists, cultural nonprofits, and creative businesses. Assembly’s fiscal sponsorship projects, and, in partnership with FRONT International, the artists selected for the Art Futures Fellowship received special invitations to participate in the inaugural program year.

Assembly for the Arts is partnering with the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) in the Arts Leadership Residency powered by Huntington through the Entrepreneur in Residence program.


Assemblies

Assemblies: Quarterly State of the Arts

Designed to keep us accountable and keep you in the know.

The mission of Assembly for the Arts is to convene, coordinate, and collaborate with everyone who lives and works in Greater Cleveland to strengthen and support the arts and culture industry. With a vision of ensuring that everyone benefits from a diverse and equitable arts and culture sector, we invite the people of Greater Cleveland to assemble for our quarterly state of the arts. Stay current on how Assembly is working to “expand the pie” and increase equity in Cleveland’s arts and culture scene through advocacy, cultural policy, racial equity initiatives, research, and programs for nonprofits, artists, and creative businesses. Share your voice and join the discussion by sharing feedback, ideas, and asking unfiltered questions.

2023 Assembly: State of the Arts events

(Thursdays, 10:00-11:00AM):

  • March 9
  • June 8
  • September 7
  • December 7

Quarterly meetings are free and open to all. Topics of each Assembly vary as we shift direction, services, advocacy, and organizational output to meet community needs.

View Calendar

ARPA Funding Program

Funding Status Notifications were emailed on November 8, 2022 to all applicants of the Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts program through Assembly for the Arts.

Notifications were sent to the email address provided in your application. Be sure to check your spam and junk email folders.

If you submitted an application and have not received a Funding Status Notification, please contact arpa@assemblycle.org

If you received your Funding Status Notification and have questions about receiving your relief funds, please carefully review the materials included in your award email. If your questions are still unanswered, please email arpa@assemblycle.org. Due to the influx of inquiries and attention to detail required to process funds responsibly, staff will not be returning phone calls unless immediate action is required.

Notes about receiving your ARPA relief funds

Watch this video to walk through completing forms and BILL.com.

Complete Your Forms

All artists and businesses receiving funds must complete and submit a W-9 form to process their payment. You can do this one of two ways:

Direct Deposit

  • Your ARPA funds can be received through direct deposit (ACH)
  • You must either complete the ACH Form or disable the form included with your electronic W-9 to move to the next payment step. To disable the form, click the Opt-out button at the bottom of the direct deposit instructions page.
  • All ARPA funds recipients will receive an email invite through Bill.com to process your payment as a direct deposit. PLEASE NOTE – you will not receive this invite until Assembly has your completed W-9 form

Other Options

  • You can choose to submit your W-9 by mail (see address above) and receive a paper check.
  • All paper checks will be processed after direct deposit payments
  • Paper checks can take up to two weeks to reach you, after Assembly has received and processed your complete and accurate W-9 by mail

Applications are now closed

The deadline to apply for these funds was September 30, 2022

View Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I applied but can’t find my funding notification email. Where is it?

All applicants of the Cuyahoga ARPA for Arts program were emailed a final funding status update on November 8, 2022 from Assembly. These notifications were sent to the email address you supplied in your application. If you’re unable to locate your email notification, please be sure to check your spam, junk and promotions folders. You can also search “ARPA” or “Assembly” in your email search bar. All notifications came from arpa@assemblycle.org.

I don’t have any checks. How do I include a voided check with my ACH form?

If you do not have any checks, please take a screenshot of your banking routing number and account number from your banking mobile app. You can also request starter checks from your bank, most banks will give those out for free.

If you’re still having trouble, please Disable the ACH form using the button at the bottom of the direct deposit instructions page included with your DocuSign forms.

I submitted my DocuSign documents. Did Assembly receive them?

If you were able to complete, electronically sign and click the submit button, your documents were successfully submitted! If you saw a pop-up confirmation when you clicked Submit, you’re all set. You may not receive a DocuSign confirmation email, but do not worry, it is likely your documents were still received successfully.

Please do not contact Assembly offices for a document receipt confirmation or submit a second DocuSign packet. Doing so will delay your payment. An Assembly team member will reach out to you directly if there is an issue with your payment information. So no news from Assembly is good news.

I submitted my DocuSign documents. Where’s my invite from Bill.com?

Please hang tight. Within approximately 7-10 business days your W-9 will be processed. Once processed, you will receive an email from Bill.com inviting you to create an account. All Bill .com invites will come from Bill. com, not Assembly. Please DO NOT create a Bill .com account without having received this invitation. Getting an auto-reply email from Assembly after emailing ARPA @assemblycle.org is not an invitation to Bill .com. Please monitor your inbox carefully.

Please also keep in mind that Assembly is a small staff and is processing hundreds of W-9s; Bill.com invites will be sent on a rolling basis as all applicant paperwork is processed.

When will I receive my ARPA funds?

Funding distribution timing will vary depending on when your payment information is received and processed. Please do not call Assembly offices to inquire about disbursement timing.

ARPA payments will be disbursed on a rolling basis depending on when your information is received and processed. We are working hard to ensure that all payments go out as quickly as possible.

When should I contact Assembly about ARPA?

If you have not received a Bill .com invite or further information to process your payment by December 1, 2022, email arpa@assemblycle.org. If you have not received your ARPA funds disbursement by December 15, 2022, please email us at the address above.

If you are having tech difficulties with any platform or require assistance due to a disability, please contact arpa@assemblycle.org.

About Rescue Funds

On March 28th, Cuyahoga County Executive, Armond Budish announced that $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds have been dedicated to arts and culture .

Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture partnered to distribute these dollars directly to the community through special relief funding programs for nonprofit organizations, individual artists and creative businesses. You can still Tweet, email and thank your County reps for their support and consideration.

Assembly will distribute $1.65 million of these funds to Artists and Creative For-Profit Businesses. Nonprofit Organizations were invited to apply for funds through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Visit CAC’s website for more information on their ARPA funding program.


Workbench Series

 

Workbench Sessions    |     2022 Schedule

Session

Partner

Date

Link

Capitalization for Grantmakers and Nonprofits GIA January 11 learn
Accessibility Opportunity: Arts + Culture Partnership + Shared Virtual Communities Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities January 20 view recipients
Healthcare is not a Privilege The MetroHealth System March 10 view resources
Fiscal Sponsorship 101 April 14 watch
Business Basics for Creatives SCORE Cleveland May 4 watch
Marketing Basics for Creatives  SCORE Cleveland May 18 watch
Community CORE: The Superhero Project  Lisa Kollins July 21 watch
Legal Help Needed: Better Call VLA and Legal Aid  Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; Legal Aid August 11 learn more
A Conversation with W.A.G.E. W.A.G.E. November 3 WAGENCY

COMING SOON

Engaging New American Artists
Erie Arts & Culture advances opportunities and access to resources for creative and cultural professionals in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Learn more from the EAC team about best practices in building lasting partnerships with artists who are new to the States, particularly from immigrant and refugee communities. Adopt community organizing skills to build and offer resources to better serve BIPOC Creative Workers.

Street Performance Know-How
Destination Cleveland and ListenCLE will demystify the ins and outs of street and public performance, and how you as an artist can do this safely, legally and profitably. City ordinances will be simplified and explained during this session. Musicians and any artist interested in performing in public space will benefit from this dialogue.

Artist Career Consultants
Springboard for the Arts has a team of Artist Career Consultants, working and established artists with experience mentoring and teaching individual artists.

Context

In learning from Cleveland’s arts and culture communities, Assembly has seen the need for practical support, professional development and connections rise to the top as priorities for creative workers – from financial sustainability, accounting and health insurance to accessibility, equity practices and legal assistance.

Assembly worked in partnership with The George Gund Foundation and Grantmakers in the Arts to host an initial workshop focused on financial resiliency and capitalization for both grantmakers and nonprofit organizations.

With that and the observed priorities for creative workers, Assembly has devised Workbench Sessions: Useable Tools for Creative Workers

Who benefits?

The ultimate goal of this program is to boost the professional bandwidth and resiliency of our area creative workers and, in turn, grow the effectiveness of greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector and creative industries. Stronger arts and culture means thriving residents, vibrant and safer neighborhoods, more effective education and community well-being.

Additionally, the financial impact of COVID on artists and arts groups has been well documented. But even prior to the pandemic, small- and medium-budget nonprofits lacked sufficient financial cushions to do long range planning, weather unexpected emergencies, or beef up for expansion. Assembly is well-positioned to provide support and resources to our creative communities that address these issues.

By hosting this series of programs, Assembly for the Arts will gain more insight into future programming and uncover areas of deep need for the arts community.

Financial Sustainability for Creatives

While the overall Workbench Sessions are intended to address the needs of the full creative community, a specialized, separate track of entrepreneurship coaching will be offered for small to mid-size organizations, artists and small creative businesses. Participation will prioritize BIPOC communities, BIPOC-led organizations, and organizations devoted to development equitable business practices. This work is supported by Huntington Bank’s Entrepreneur In Residence program.

Community CORE: Creatives Offer Resources for Everyone

Community Core Sessions

Assembly recognizes that there are hundreds of untapped experts in our arts communities who are living, working and waiting to share their knowledge. That’s why we’re excited to launch Workbench: Community Core. An extension of the Workbench Sessions, Community Core feature arts community presented topics and conversations. We see the value in creating a flexible, community-centered space and platform for our local artists, business owners, nonprofit professionals and entrepreneurs to Teach, Connect and Provide their knowledge to the public using the virtual webinar format.

Topics can be

  • Knowledge-based; rooted in your expertise as part of the arts community and supportive to others
  • Collaborative in style, seeking the feedback of the community
  • Broad-reaching and beneficial for anyone in the arts community

Topics cannot be

  • Partisan political presentations or lobbying efforts
  • A sales pitch or event promotion
  • A lecture on a personal viewpoint

Submit your idea now!

    All Community Core presentations will be hosted on Assembly’s Zoom platform, supported by staff and promoted in our communications channels. Our regular Workbench Series will continue, with Community Core as a supplement depending on community interest and appetite.


    Request Fiscal Sponsorship

    ASSEMBLE FOR THE GREATER GOOD

    Not all community projects can afford to become their own nonprofit. The process requires time and resources that could otherwise devoted to the project itself. What’s more, this work is often ignited by members of the community who see a problem and are willing to create a solution out of their own pockets. We assemble for the greater good of the people. Through fiscal sponsorship, we can open access to grant funds for those incredible mission-driven projects. Foundations and some donors often solely fund tax exempt organizations for many important reasons—501(c)3 requires fiscal oversight of a board, public record-keeping, proof of public good, and comes with restrictions to certain activities such as lobbying.

    Fiscal sponsorship allows approved projects to come under Assembly’s fiscal umbrella so that you can get to work, and we can help with financial oversight. The relationships with funders, creative freedom, ownership of intellectual property and project coordination all remain with the project creators.

    If you have started a project for the greater good and are interested in applying for fiscal sponsorship, take a look at the process below.

     

    Process

    Step 1: Inquiry

    An artist, creative business or community group contacts Assembly to discuss the potential of fiscal sponsorship for a project. If the mission sounds aligned, they may be asked to fill in a survey as part of step 2.

    Step 2: Written Request

    The potential project will complete an application form to help Assembly assess capacity to implement the project and adhere to general grant and funding requirements. This includes a brief summary of the project, a projected budget and timeline.

    Step 3: Staff review

    Assembly staff reviews the written project (see new project criteria below). Projects are assessed based on the project criteria as well as alignment with Assembly’s mission as well as any potential risks that may be associated with sponsoring the project.

    Step 4: Meeting

    Assembly staff meets with project leadership to discuss the project and agreement in more detail. Assembly offers a high-level view of the arts and culture sector and may provide insights, suggest partners, help solidify a project or serve as a “thought partner” in other ways based on the project.

    Step 5: Signed Agreement

    Each party reviews and signs a written agreement. No funds will be distributed or requested for any new projects without a signed written agreement. The agreement requires the project entity to have a primary contact person, a physical address, and its own legal, tax and accounting identity (typically EIN or SSN).

    [To open a bank account in which Assembly will distribute funds, the project entity will be asked for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number. To apply for an EIN, the project may fill out IRS Form SS-4 (https://tax-irs-ein.com/). Responsibility for adhering to the appropriate legal, accounting and tax obligations lies solely with the project entity.]

    Project Funding Cycle

    Individual Donations

    Upon receiving a signed written agreement, Assembly develops a donation campaign page for the project to receive online, tax-deductible donations. The project entity will be given a discrete URL to distribute to potential donors. 

    Grant Applications

    Project entities are responsible for researching and providing application material for all grant proposals. If Assembly is required to submit an application, the project entity is asked to provide evidence that it is poised for successfully acquiring the grant. This will help Assembly deploy resources where they will be most effective. Potential evidence may be:

    • At least $500 procured or 25 distinct individual donations of $10 or more to the project through the donation page provided by Assembly
    • The project has been previously funded or has been directly invited to apply by the funder

    We simply ask for at least one week’s notice to apply for grant funding for existing sponsored projects and at least 3 weeks notice if you are requesting fiscal sponsorship with the intent to apply for a grant. The entity’s final materials must be provided at least 48 hours in advance of the application deadline.

    Reporting / Disbursement

    Once funds are available, Assembly can provide an initial disbursement to get things started based on the project needs. As those funds are spent down, we ask project entities to submit monthly financial reports with receipts. Assembly is required to maintain full discretion and control over donated funds. We use the receipts to account for all of the grant funds and as funds are spent down, Assembly continues to replenish project funds.

    Exit Policy

    We consider fiscal sponsorship an incubator. We love when projects are seen through to the end or even “graduate” to become their own tax-exempt nonprofit. The fiscal sponsorship relationship ends when the project is completed or when either group requests an exit in writing. The primary reason Assembly may end a relationship before then would be an activity that would jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status such as backing a candidate for office or other restricted activities. Ultimately, continuing or discontinuing fiscal sponsorship is subject to the signed written agreement.

     

    Criteria for New Projects

    Assembly offers fiscal sponsorship for a limited number of projects that are aligned with its mission to convene, coordinate, and collaborate with everyone who lives and works in Greater Cleveland to strengthen and support those in the region who create, present, experience and appreciate all forms of arts and culture. In order to be considered for sponsorship, the project and must meet the following criteria.

    Legal Criteria

    • The project must fall within Assembly’s tax-exempt purpose including education, information gathering, supporting traditionally underserved communities, economic development and public policy.
    • The project must be aligned with Assembly’s mission.
    • The project may not conduct partisan political activities.
    • The project may not conduct activities in support of or opposition to a candidate running for public office.

    Project Criteria

    In addition to the above legal requirements, Assembly will give priority to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • The project is a collaboration of multiple organizations and requires a neutral intermediary to secure and manage financial contributions.
    • Sponsorship would expand opportunities for artists of color or minority-owned arts businesses and nonprofits.
    • The project expands accessibility to arts and culture for people with disabilities.
    • The project exemplifies cross-sector partnerships of arts and culture with other community service sectors such as education, health, safety, neighborhoods, economic development, transportation, democracy, diplomacy and others.
    • Project managers have relevant experience and/or include evidence that the project entity has the capacity to execute the proposed project.

     

    Fee Structure

    Assembly accepts 6% of all contributions for administrative services.

     

    Additional Services for Sponsored Projects

    Promotion: Assembly lists all sponsored projects on its donation page and encourages donors to contribute to creative projects in our region. Additionally, Assembly launches a giving campaign once per year, typically in the Fall, promoting all sponsored projects.

    Counsel: As staff capacity permits, Assembly offers specialized counsel for projects where expertise exists such as budgeting, funder relations, business strategy, potential partners, or other strategic support as needed.

    Request Fiscal Sponsorship

      *Required fields

      Fiscal Sponsorship 101