Cuyahoga County to Award $3.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts

Funds will be distributed to support arts nonprofits, creative workers, and for-profit creative businesses

CLEVELAND (March 28, 2022) – Cuyahoga County has proposed an allocation of $3.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help bolster the creative economy, County Executive Armond Budish and County Council President Pernel Jones, Jr. announced today.

The relief funding was secured through a collaborative effort of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) and Assembly for the Arts. Following approval by County Council, funds will be evenly divided between CAC and Assembly for the Arts. CAC will develop guidelines for distribution to eligible CAC nonprofit grant recipients that have a primary mission of arts and culture. Assembly will similarly develop guidelines for distribution to arts-related small businesses and creative workers.

“The economic vitality of our region depends on the revival of creative workers–individual artists, cultural nonprofits and for-profit cultural businesses. The County’s investment will help bring us back from historic losses.  We thank the County Executive and County Council for channeling resources to strengthen the creative sector. As we have seen with prior investments in arts and culture organizations, each dollar invested increases the size of the overall pie” said Jeremy Johnson, president of Assembly for the Arts.

CAC’s Executive Director Jill M. Paulsen said the funding is critically important to the hard-hit arts and culture sector in the county. A CAC report on the impact of COVID on the nonprofit arts sector in the county shows 65 organizations that receive support from CAC have lost $171 million in revenue and more than 5,000 workers have been laid off, furloughed, or faced reduced hours since March 2020. Prior to the pandemic, the creative economy in the Cleveland MSA generated $9.1 billion annually.

“The creative economy is core to the identity of Cuyahoga County, and it has been slower than other industries to begin to recover from the pandemic. We appreciate County Executive Budish, County Council President Jones and other leadership at the county for recognizing the importance of arts and culture and for understanding the needs of nonprofit organizations of all sizes,” Paulsen said. “Every bit of funding helps nonprofits arts organizations recover so they can serve the community well into the future.”