Strengthening Support for the Region’s Creatives

Equity is at the center of everything we do. Through our advocacy, cultural policy work and funding opportunities, we seek to redress systemic racism through building an anti-racist organization that serves artists, business owners and nonprofit leaders. We want to help them move to action to create a more equitable arts community; this includes advocating for more equitable funding to BIPOC artists and organizations and removing perceived and real barriers that currently limit all residents from participation. 

In the last year, Assembly armed creative businesses, artists and non-profits with tools to help them forge cross-sector connections, expand their knowledge and find opportunities to share their artistic point of view – all the while enriching neighborhoods across the region. 

Powered by Huntington’s Entrepreneur in Residence program, Assembly welcomed its first cohort of Arts Leadership Residents with the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC). The program was also supported by funding from the Ohio Arts Council, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, and The George Gund Foundation. In keeping with Assembly’s mission, the program was delivered through a racial equity lens and provided management support, coaching, tools and $1,000 each to 25 artists.

Meet the 2023 Arts Leaders

With a $140,000 grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Assembly for the Arts launched the Creative Impact Fund (CIF) to support the investment and growth of transformative arts projects in redlined communities in Cleveland and East Cleveland that lack arts investment. More than 140 creatives applied for 16 spots. In addition to a $6,250 stipend, each CIF awardee receives access to professional development and marketing support, industry connections, and an Assembly membership. 

CIF provides professional development, marketing support, and the opportunity make network connections. 

Meet the Artists

The Cleveland Foundation asked Cleveland Institute of Art and Assembly to lead a collaborative design project for a mural that would benefit the Hough community, CIA students and MidTown Collaboration Center stakeholders. CIA student Aniyah King’s “Growth From Within,” a mural that symbolizes growth and progress in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood and represents Hough residents’ pride and passion, will be installed at the Cleveland Foundation’s MidTown Collaboration Center when it opens in 2025.

Assembly supported 10 fiscal sponsorships totaling $170,000 in FY2023. Our fiscal sponsorship program opens access to foundation and donor funds that solely fund tax-exempt organizations. We aim to support BIPOC-owned or led nonprofits and businesses and those managed by and serving individuals with disabilities. 

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