2024 Creative Impact Fund

Applications Now Open

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

GuidelinesAPPLY HERE

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

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

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.


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

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. Applications open April 30, 2024. 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.

SPACES Urgent Art Fund Cycle one applications due April 15, 2024; 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.  

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.

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. 

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.

Archive Grants

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.  
 

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. 


Creative Impact Fund Grantees 2023

About the Creative Impact Fund 

The Creative Impact Fund, which was established by the Assembly for the Arts, awarded a total of $6,250 to sixteen (16) artists, art collectives, and informal groups. The fund was designed to provide flexible funding and support for transformative arts projects aimed at redlined communities, developing areas with significant arts activity, and promoting increased walkability. The fund aimed to lay the groundwork for the City of Cleveland’s Rescue & Transformation Plan, which prioritized arts and neighborhood amenities.

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, were welcome to apply to the Creative Impact Fund. Along with funding, CIF offered professional development, marketing support, and connections to creative, business, and institutional networks. The Creative Impact Fund was funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Let’s Meet The Artists:


Creative Impact administered by Assembly for the Arts and funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


Support for Artists Campaign Findings

Outcomes of the Support Artists Campaign

Assembly is excited to receive a $500,000 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to administer support for artists programs in 2024.  This is a 25% increase in CAC funding over last year. 

Chosen as the sole grantee for CAC’s Support for Artists funds, Assembly will run an artist support grant program in 2024 in addition to regranting funds to Cleveland Public Theatre, Julia de Burgos, Karamu House and SPACES to continue their successful work with artists who have been previously funded by grants from CAC.  Assembly will work to ensure artists of multiple disciplines are represented, including musicians.  

 More information will be shared in the first quarter of 2024. 

Assembly will structure the 2024 programs in response to feedback from Greater Cleveland’s artist community through four listening sessions and online surveys conducted August to September, 2023. Assembly engaged Dr. Brea Heidelberg of ISO Arts Consulting to facilitate these discussions to generate community feedback and recommendations to inform future programs and services. The research was funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and The George Gund Foundation.  

View Results Recording

The key learnings from the listening sessions and survey that will guide our work in 2024 and beyond are: 

  • Prioritize unrestricted funds and increase and the amount awarded to each artist   
  • Increase overall support for artist funding by seeking sources beyond Cuyahoga Arts & Culture  
  • Create a central virtual space for finding grant opportunities, deadlines, and resources to help artists navigate and utilize the funding ecosystem  
  • Simplify and streamline grant application processes to reduce administrative burdens.  
  • Prioritize funding and resources for historically underrepresented or marginalized artists 
  • Increase opportunities for artists to be included in discussions on conversations about civic and social issues by facilitating connections between artists and civic leaders.   
  • Facilitate more artist listening sessions 
  • Establish an Artist Advisory Board that:   
    • Has diverse geographic representation from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County 
    • Is comprised of artists representing a wide variety of arts disciplines  
    • Has term limits that allow for a regular rotation of artist advisors 
    • Is comprised of members who are selected through an application process and is open to interested applicants who identify as artists  
    • Is compensated for their time and expertise 
    • Advises Assembly for the Arts and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture on their programs and policies  

 

Working Together as One Community 

Assembly and CAC acknowledge restorative work in the artist community will be foundational to the success of our future efforts. We look forward to working together and with all of you in the arts community to heal harms of the past, expand the pie of resources to our vitally important creative sector, and create a robust artist funding mechanism that includes sustained funding from private and public resources. 

 

Past Programs 

Assembly recognizes that the healthiest mix of artist support comes from a variety of sources.  Previous artist support programs through Assembly have included: 

  • ARPA Rescue Funds  $1.65 million to artists and creative for-profit businesses through American Rescue Plan Act funds from Cuyahoga County. 
  • Arts Leadership Residency in partnership with Cleveland Leadership Center and Huntington’s Entrepreneur in Residence program. 25 artists received $1,000 each and 6 learning sessions to help them grow their creative businesses. 
  • 2023 Creative Impact Fund 16 artists, collectives and informal groups received $6,250 each for flexible (unrestricted) funding and project-based placemaking in redlined communities that lack arts investment. Funded by a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 

 

Other Resources for Artists 

 

Visit our Business of Art section for tools to help you make your creative endeavors a sustainable venture.

Looking for a Fiscal Sponsor? Skip the process of becoming a nonprofit organization in order to access grant funds by having Assembly become your fiscal sponsor. Not all community projects or artists can afford to or need to become their own nonprofit. The process of becoming a nonprofit requires time and resources that could otherwise devoted to the project itself. Assembly can help by acting as your fiscal sponsor 

Sign up for Assembly’s newsletter to stay informed of upcoming workshops, community meetings and funding opportunities.  

Check out and use clevelandartsevents.com. So much more than just events, this is a central website to create and find artist profiles, events, venues, and opportunities (jobs, grants, fellowships, artist calls). Create a free account today to join the monthly email list.  

Still have questions? Email us at info@assemblycle.org  

Learn about Artist Funding Opportunities

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

Artists Funding Opportunities

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.

Check back for more workshops.

RECORDING: 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.

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.

Guidelines

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    

Eligibility

  • 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 cif@assemblycle.org

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 cif@assemblycle.org

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

FAQ 

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.


Guaranteed Income

Thursday October 12 / 6:00 - 7:30PM | Zoom

View the Recording

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.

In this session, we’ll hear from two of the country’s leading organizations in arts-based GI – Springboard for the Arts and Creatives Rebuild New York. Join the virtual conversation to learn about their Guaranteed Income programs, what guaranteed income is, how it works, the larger national GI movement and what it could mean for Cleveland’s creative industries. Artists, funders, city and county leadership and anyone interested is welcome to join this free virtual event.

Guest Speakers

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 statewide Guaranteed Income program

Ricardo Beaird

Springboard for the Arts

Soley Esteves

Creatives Rebuild New York

Torri Hanna

Fiber Artist

Wone Vang

Springboard for the Arts

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


Quarterly Assemblies

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.

Quarterly Assemblies

Stay up to date on the most recent creative-industry-wide information over a meal and good company. Each quarter, we share updates on industry data trends, public policy, artist funding, racial equity initiatives, and more. As Assembly continues its work to expand resources and increase equity in Cleveland’s arts and culture scene, weigh-in on what you’d like to see. Share your voice and join the discussion by offering feedback. This event is for anyone, whether you work directly or indirectly with the arts industry. Attendees typically include artists, arts administrators, creative businesses, public officials, and anyone interested in connecting with the arts and cultural industries.

Each Assembly is held a different venue each month. Sign up for the Cadence to get receive updates on content and location as we approach the date.

2024 Assemblies

(tentative schedule)

Thursday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at moCa

Wednesday, June 5, 6-7:30 pm., The Hildebrandt Building

Thursday, September 5, 11:30 – 1:00 p.m., location TBA

Wednesday, December 4, 6-7:30 pm., location TBA

 

Quarterly meetings are $15 and include lunch. Members attend for free; login before you register. Topics of each Assembly vary as we shift direction, services, advocacy, and organizational output to meet community needs.

View Calendar