Support for Artists Listening Campaign

Help Shape the Future of Artist Funding

At Assembly for the Arts, we are committed to valuing community voices, needs, and aspirations as a driving force for change. We strive to ensure that all artists and creatives in Greater Cleveland have access to funding opportunities to create and share their work. There are a variety of approaches to funding artists: merit-based awards, relief funds, fellowships, funding for specific projects, residencies, and grant opportunities. How have these programs worked or not worked for you?

Assembly was invited by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) to research and make recommendations for the best uses for CAC’s dedicated individual artist dollars. How should these funds be allocated to and invested in individual artists? A primary goal of this research is listening to artists who call Cuyahoga County home. As a next step in advancing support for artists in our region, we are hosting a series of Listening Sessions. We invite artists to share their experiences especially as it relates to funding. Our independent research consultant, Dr. Brea Heidelberg of ISO Arts Consulting, will facilitate these discussions to generate community feedback and recommendations that will inform future programs and services. Artists and creatives of every discipline (visual, dance, theater, music, film, design, literature, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to attend one of four scheduled Listening Sessions.

In advance of the Listening Session, please complete this survey:

Launch Survey


Saturday, September 9 | 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Cornucopia Place at Burten, Bell, Carr Development (7201 Kinsman Rd, Suite 104, Cleveland)


Wednesday, September 27 | 5:30-8:00 PM
Virtual (Zoom)


Wednesday, October 18 | 5:30-8:00 PM
Ingenuity (5401 Hamilton Ave, Cleveland)


Saturday, October 21 | 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
Kaiser Gallery (2418 Professor Ave, Cleveland)


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

When Artists Break Ground

When Artists Break Ground

Report and insights into the Artists in Residence program, the 3-year collaboration between Arts Cleveland (formerly Community Partnership for Arts and Culture) and Northeast Shores. 2014.
When Artists Break Ground

When Artists Break Ground provides information about, and lessons from, the Artists in Residence program, a collaboration between CPAC and Northeast Shores. The organizations invested $2.2 million in a 3-year period into artist-neighborhood relationships in the Waterloo area in North Shore Collinwood. The report shares how the process worked: its strengths, its shortcomings and third-party recommendations and reflections. A wealth of data supplements the report to illustrate changes in neighborhood residents’ perceptions, traction among audiences and changes to the neighborhood’s landscape.



Guide to Mapping Your Neighborhood Arts and Culture Assets

Guide to Mapping Your Neighborhood Arts and Culture Assets

The Basics of Asset-Based Community Development

Guide to Mapping Neighborhood Arts and Cultural Assets

A guide to help your community uncover its arts and culture assets. 2009.

Arts Cleveland compiled this guide to help communities identify their arts and culture assets and use them in broader revitalization efforts. The goals of this guide are to help communities develop a basic interview protocol for creating an inventory of their arts and culture assets and to show them how the inventory can be used to gain a basic understanding of their local arts and culture context.



From Rust Belt to Artist Belt

From Rust Belt to Artist Belt

Challenges and Opportunities in Rust Belt Cities

From Rust Belt to Artist Belt

A companion report to Community Partnership for Arts and Culture’s first From Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference. 2008.

The term “Rust Belt” has become synonymous with Midwestern and Northeastern cities that experienced their heydays in the early 20th century, and by century’s end, suffered plant closures, widespread unemployment and general decline. This paper explores how Rust Belt cities are positioned to recruit and retain artists, and how both communities and artists alike can benefit from working together, sharing challenges and making creative use of existing assets. This report complements the first From Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference.



Investing in Artists. 2007

Investing in Artists

An examination of national best practices in individual artist support. 2007.

Arts Cleveland (formerly Community Partnership for Arts and Culture) was commissioned by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) to develop a report that looked at best practices nationwide for individual artist support. A sample of 28 public and private funding programs was outlined in this report. These programs represent a wide spectrum of granting entities in every region of the United States, including private foundations, county government, nonprofit membership organizations and various local arts councils. Each of the individual artist funding programs reviewed for this report fell into one of five broad categories of support:  business and professional development, fellowships, public projects, residencies, and sponsored projects.

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Increasing the Strength of the Undercapitalized in the Arts and Culture Sector

This report provides Community Partnership for Arts and Culture’s initial research on best practices for supporting traditionally undercapitalized arts and culture groups – individual artists, small arts and culture businesses and emerging arts and culture nonprofits. It looks at two specific strategies for increasing the sustainability of these groups:  financial models and operational models.

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Advancing Support Systems for Artists in the Cleveland Metro Area

Artists, whether they are visual, performing, literary or media, are a stimulating force in communities across the U.S.

They are typically the entrepreneurs of the arts and cultural sector. They ask probing questions, take risks and develop new concepts that can be fostered and built upon in both the non-profit and for-profit arenas. Artists penetrate all parts of society, from the neighborhood level to the commercial level. They engage residents in discourse through performances and instill pride through the development of community reflective murals. They influence the design of our everyday wares and develop challenging creative works such as dances, films, novels and paintings

Artists, however, are not always well understood by the communities they inhabit. A lack of information about their needs and contributions has resulted in less than adequate systems to support their diverse efforts. To address this topic, a national consortium of foundations commissioned The Urban Institute in 1999 to conduct a study of the systems and structures that support the work of individual artists. Released in 2003, Investing in Creativity: A Survey of the Support Structure for U.S. Artists spawned a nationwide effort (led by Leveraging Investments in Creativity) to dramatically improve conditions for individual artists.

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Artists, Organizations and Audience Survey Results

1999 Synthesis of findings from three surveys about individual literary, performing, and visual artists; arts and cultural organizations; and cultural audiences.

This narrative presents findings from three research projects:

􀂙 Section 1: Individual Artist Survey examines the needs of the region’s diverse community of literary, performing, and visual artists.

􀂙 Section 2: Organizational Survey explores the scope of education, outreach, and tourism programs as well as collaborations and partnerships.

􀂙 Section 3: Audience Survey reveals a wealth of information on arts and cultural consumers, such as perception of event quality and value, purchasing habits, and other events and services enjoyed along with arts and cultural experiences.

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