Creative Impact Fund Grantees 2023

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Support for Artists Listening Campaign

Help Shape the Future of Artist Funding

At Assembly for the Arts, we are committed to valuing community voices, needs, and aspirations as a driving force for change. We strive to ensure that all artists and creatives in Greater Cleveland have access to funding opportunities to create and share their work. There are a variety of approaches to funding artists: merit-based awards, relief funds, fellowships, funding for specific projects, residencies, and grant opportunities. How have these programs worked or not worked for you?

Assembly was invited by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) to research and make recommendations for the best uses for CAC’s dedicated individual artist dollars. How should these funds be allocated to and invested in individual artists? A primary goal of this research is listening to artists who call Cuyahoga County home. As a next step in advancing support for artists in our region, we are hosting a series of Listening Sessions. We invite artists to share their experiences especially as it relates to funding. Our independent research consultant, Dr. Brea Heidelberg of ISO Arts Consulting, will facilitate these discussions to generate community feedback and recommendations that will inform future programs and services. Artists and creatives of every discipline (visual, dance, theater, music, film, design, literature, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to attend one of four scheduled Listening Sessions.

In advance of the Listening Session, please complete this survey:

Launch Survey


Saturday, September 9 | 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Cornucopia Place at Burten, Bell, Carr Development (7201 Kinsman Rd, Suite 104, Cleveland)


Wednesday, September 27 | 5:30-8:00 PM
Virtual (Zoom)


Wednesday, October 18 | 5:30-8:00 PM
Ingenuity (5401 Hamilton Ave, Cleveland)


Saturday, October 21 | 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Kaiser Gallery (2418 Professor Ave, Cleveland)


This effort is made possible by generous support from the George Gund Foundation and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Knowledge Building

Workshops to Elevate Your Skills

You’ve got the creativity down. We are here to help you build the skills to better monetize your creative career. Through the generous support of Huntington, Assembly is delivering workshops around proposal-writing, financial skills, and other important practices that artists need for more economic stability.

Artist Statement and Proposal Writing Workshop

August 21, 2023, 5 p.m.

In partnership with The Cleveland Foundation, learn about the various types of proposals artists and creative entrepreneurs may encounter. Build a stronger artist statement and gain some writing tools to help you write your strongest project proposals.

  • Boris Oicherman, Director of Grantmaking, Arts & Culture at The Cleveland Foundation, will discuss their available grant opportunity.
  • Meg Matko, Director of Community Relationships, and independent artist will present information on writing compelling artist statements.
  • Veronica “Ms. Vee” Thornton, Community Relations Consultant and owner of VEES Consulting will share information on proposal writing.

Check back for more details on financial workshops this fall.

Entrepreneur in Residence Powered by

Huntington Logo

Assembly Creative Impact Fund

Applications are now closed

Deadline for submission was Sunday, May 7,  2023 at 11:59pm.


About the Creative Impact Fund 

The Assembly for the Arts Creative Impact Fund (CIF) will be awarded to sixteen (16) artists, art collectives, and informal groups with $6,250 for flexible funding and project-based placemaking. Our goal with this Fund is to support the investment and growth of transformative arts projects with a focus in redlined communities that lack arts investment, developing areas of significant arts activity, and promoting increased walkability. This Fund will help lay the groundwork for the City of Cleveland’s Rescue & Transformation Plan, which identified Arts and Neighborhood Amenities as a priority.    

The Creative Impact Fund is open to individual artists or art collectives of all expressions, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, film/motion pictures, dance, ballet, theatre, music, comedy/improv, writing/literature, architecture, design, and fashion. In addition to funds, CIF also includes professional development, marketing support, and connections (creative, business, and institutional). Priority will be given to artists of color and art collectives with diverse representation. The Creative Impact Fund is funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Individual artists, multi-disciplinary artist collectives, and informal groups are encouraged to apply.   

The Creative Impact Fund Includes: 

  • $6,250 includes up to $2,500 in unrestricted support and $3,750 in project support  
  • Support from Assembly’s staff who will advise project leads in attaining their project goals via marketing and professional development support and connections to institutional partners, potential collaborators or thought partners  
  • Assembly for the Arts Membership    


  • The Creative Impact Fund is open to individual artists and artist collectives that reside in Cuyahoga County.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants cannot be staff or board members of Assembly for the Arts or Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
  • Applicant projects must be centered around arts and culture and focused in creative discipline including, but not limited to, visual art, media/film, dance, theater, music, comedy/improv, literature, design and/or craft.
  • Eligible Creative Impact Fund projects must take place in one of the following neighborhoods:
    • Asiatown
    • Broadway-Slavic Village
    • Buckeye-Woodhill
    • Central-Kinsman
    • Clark Fulton
    • East Cleveland
    • Fairfax
    • Glenville
    • Hough
    • Lee Harvard
    • Midtown
    • Mr. Pleasant
    • North Collinwood
    • Shaker Square
    • South Collinwood
    • St. Clair Superior
    • Union Miles
  • Applicants do not need to reside in one of listed neighborhoods to be eligible for this program, however they must be able to demonstrate partnership or collaboration with residents of the community where their project is being proposed.
  • Only one application per artist will be accepted. Please note: artists applying as part of a collective, will not be eligible to submit an individual application.

How to Apply

Interested artists and teams can apply using the online application found on this Assembly web page using the Apply button above.

Paper applications will be accepted for accessibility reasons on a case-by-case basis. If you have a disability and require assistance in applying for CIF, please contact

Additional language services and accessibility support for CIF applicants are available upon request.

Apply here

Selection Criteria 

Applications will be evaluated for funds based on the following criteria:

  • Artist or collective demonstrates past creative project management experience
  • Artists or collectives that have limited past creative or project experience must be able to illustrate a plan to support the development of their proposed project
  • Project is feasible within the confines of the proposed budget
  • Project centers arts and culture and stimulates the investment and growth of redlined communities in the City of Cleveland or the City of East Cleveland
  • Project is innovative and imaginative and demonstrates engagement with the community

Review Process

CIF grantees will be selected by a 3-5 person jury that includes artists, administrators, and community leaders from outside of the arts and culture industry, with one member of the jury from outside Greater Cleveland.

For questions and full program details, see the Program Guidelines and FAQ buttons above.

For additional questions, please email

Creative Impact Fund Information Sessions

Learn more about the Creative Impact Fund and how to apply at our upcoming info sessions.

Wed, March 22 / 4-5:30pm at East Cleveland Public Library 

Tues, March 28 / 12-1:30 pm via Zoom

Thurs, March 30 / 6-7:30pm at Union Miles Development Corp

Thurs, April 6 / 6-7:30pm at the LGBTQ Community Center

Register for an Info Session

Creative Impact Fund Office Hours

Sign up for office hours learn more about the Creative Impact Fund and assistance with your application.

Register for Office Hours


How much of the $6,250 should be project vs. flexible funds? Awardees can use up to $2,500 (maximum) as flexible funding and the remaining $3,750 must go towards your project.

What does flexible funding and project funding mean? Flexible funding means the funds are unrestricted and monies can be used to support both yourself and/or the project. Project funds are to be used to cover costs for developing, producing, and presenting your project. A budget is required as part of the CIF application. We encourage good practice around project management, budgeting, planning, and documenting. Recipients will have the accountability of budgeting and keeping documentation of expenses for final reporting, including receipts.

In addition to project and flexible funds, what else do CIF awardees receive? In addition to the $6,250, artists/collectives will receive support from Assembly’s staff who will be available to advise project leads in support of their project goals and needs. This includes connections to institutional partners, potential collaborators or thought partners, professional development, and marketing support. Awardees will also receive a complimentary Assembly for the Arts membership.

Are there any geography restrictions? Applicants must reside in Cuyahoga County.

Who is this Fund for? Open to individual artists, art collectives or informal groups (ages 18 and older) of all creative expressions, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, film/motion pictures, dance, ballet, theatre, music, comedy/improv, writing/literature, architecture, design, fashion, archaeology, history, natural history, or the natural sciences. In addition to funds, CIF also includes professional development, marketing support, and connections (creative, business, and institutional). Preference will be given to artists or art collectives who reside in redlined communities.

Arts in Our City

|| Thursday, November 9 / 6:00 – 7:30 pm. || Our local decision-makers play a critical role in how arts and culture and artists are valued and supported in our city. With the announcement of a new position in city administration specifically designed to support our arts and culture industries, we want to open up an authentic conversation between our arts community and city and county leadership. How can we work together to realize a greater vision for Cleveland’s arts and culture?

This conversation hosted as part of REvision, a series of community discussions focused on reimagining and addressing key challenges faced by Greater Cleveland’s arts and culture industry. Register to attend this free conversation.

Registration isn’t required but will help us plan for the best discussion possible.  Accessible location coming soon!

Guaranteed Basic Income

Thursday October 12 / 6:00 - 7:30PM | Zoom, register for link

What would it look like if artists could work knowing they’d receive a guaranteed paycheck every month? And what would happen to our local economy if we placed this level of value and trust in artists? Other cities are already trying this. Join this virtual conversation with special guests from Springboard for the Arts to learn more about their Guaranteed Income pilot. We’ll discuss what’s worked, what hasn’t and what this concept could mean for Cleveland’s arts industries.

What is guaranteed income? Defined by Springboard for the Arts, an artist support organization in Minneapolis, “A guaranteed income is a monthly cash payment given directly to individuals. It’s unconditional with no strings attached and no work requirements and is meant to supplement, rather than replace, existing social safety nets and can be a tool for racial and gender equity.”

Learn more about Springboard’s Guaranteed Income program and Creatives Rebuild New York’s previous Guaranteed Income program.

This conversation hosted as part of REvision, a series of community discussions focused on reimagining and addressing key challenges faced by Greater Cleveland’s arts and culture industry. Register to attend this free virtual conversation.

Register for the Zoom link!