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