June 15, 2022

A new type of residency for artists and arts entrepreneurs is accepting applications beginning June 15, 2022. Assembly for the Arts is partnering with the Cleveland Leadership Center (CLC) in developing the program development as part of Assembly’s Entrepreneur in Residence program powered by Huntington.

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. The announcement falls exactly one year after Assembly for the Arts was launched to expand the pie of resources and increase equity in and for Cleveland’s arts and culture sector.

Expanding on the model of traditional artist residencies, the Arts Leadership Residency offers a $1000 stipend and dedicated learning sessions to address a self-defined business goal or objective. Participants will have access to entrepreneurial expertise, mentorship from the CLC alumni network, and expertise of the other artists and small creative businesses participating in the program.

“Since launching Assembly, it has been clear that creative businesses, particularly those led by artists of color, have unique challenges that often do not have simple answers,” said Chinenye Nkemere, a Founding Board Member of Assembly. “This program will not only open access to resources and networks for BIPOC-led businesses, it will help all these artists and businesses build more inclusive practices and stronger business relationships across disciplines.”

Assembly partnered with 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.

“We are excited about this opportunity to apply our skills, networks, and understanding of the civic realm to a cutting-edge and laser-focused offering in the arts and culture sector,” said Marianne Crosley, CLC President and CEO. “We look forward to inspiring these arts leaders, connecting them to the community, and positioning them to be agents of positive change committed to advancing equity in our communities.”

“With this partnership, we are looking forward to offering artists the businesses some of the best expertise Cleveland has to offer, alongside some dedicated time and headspace so that they can grow and create solutions on their own terms,” agreed Jeremy Johnson, Assembly for the Arts President and CEO.

“This kind of work is precisely why we developed the Entrepreneur in Residence Powered by Huntington program,” said Carrie Carpenter, Huntington’s senior vice president, regional manager, corporate affairs and a founding board member of Assembly. “As a bank focused on making people’s lives better, helping businesses thrive, and strengthening the communities we serve, we want to empower businesses to grow responsibly and help Cleveland evolve to a place where financial strength is the norm in every neighborhood.”

The Arts Leadership Residency will take place over 6 months starting in late September 2022. 10-15 spaces are available for the first pilot group, which will be selected to ensure a wide range of artistic disciplines with a commitment to entrepreneurship and racial equity. Ten additional spots are reserved for Assembly’s fiscal sponsorship projects, and, in partnership with FRONT International, the artists selected for the Art Futures Fellowship.

Deadline to apply is July 15, 2022. Information and application is available on Assembly’s website https://assemblycle.org/arts-leadership-residency/


Assembly for the Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a focus on advocacy, cultural policy, racial equity initiatives, research, marketing that elevates the region, and services for nonprofits, artists, and creative businesses. It is governed by a volunteer board with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Assembly by design operates in close partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, a government agency and Assembly for Action, a 501(c)4 political action nonprofit to serve the entire creative sector. www.assemblycle.org

Cleveland Leadership Center (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. www.cleveleads.org

Entrepreneur in Residence powered by Huntington https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/huntington-bank-and-city-of-cleveland-announce-entrepreneurship-program-to-help-regions-small-businesses-grow-301468659.html

Media contacts:

  • Valerie Schumacher, Assembly for the Arts, 216-575-0331, x128, valerie@assemblycle.org
  • Michael Bennett, Cleveland Leadership Center, 216-592-2426, mbennett@cleveleads.org