ARTIST FUNDING AND RESOURCES

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS


Assembly for the Arts works to expand resources for artists in Greater Cleveland.  From grants, fellowships, and awards, here are a variety of local, state, and national artist funding opportunities to help you grow and sustain your creative practice.

Current and Upcoming Artist Grants

Cleveland Public Theatre – Kulas Foundation Fellowships – Applications due March 1, 2024. A fellowship for established and emerging singer/songwriters, composers, and sound designers in Greater Cleveland. 

Cleveland Public Theatre – Individual Artist Fund. Applications open March 1 – April 30, 2024. Provides 3 artists with $5,000 in unrestricted funds for actors, dancers, and designers who demonstrate artist excellence and innovation

Cleveland Public Theatre – Premiere Fellowship. Applications open March 1 – April 30, 2024. Provides 4 artists with a $7,000 in unrestricted funds and $3,000 in support towards a project support by CPT. Also includes access to rehearsal and performance space, mentorship, networking opportunities, and additional support (production, marketing, and front of house management).   

SPACES Urgent Art Fund Cycle one applications due April 15, 2024; Cycle two applications accepted from May 20, 2024 – July 22, 2024. 12 artist awards to Cuyahoga County artists/collectives for the creation of “urgent art” that is socially, politically, and/or culturally responsive. $4,000 each will be awarded to artists along with on-site art production facilities, mentorship and network opportunities, an artistlevel SPACES ArtsPass membership, and an Assembly for the Arts membership. A Support for Artist program funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and administered by Assembly for the Arts.

Dobama Theatre – Fostering Opportunity for Communities Underserved on the Stage (FOCUS). Applications close April 15, 2024. A mentorship and training program to direct paid professional opportunities for early career theater designers, technicians and stage manager from underserved and underrepresented communities including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Disabled, Deaf, and neurodivergent theatre practitioners.  
 

Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center – Unidos por el Arte. Applications open March 1 – April 30, 2024. Unidos por el Arte is a project-based grant opportunity focused on uniting artists to celebrate the diversity of Cleveland’s Latino community. Ten artists will be awarded $5,000 to complete their project. Artists will have access to dedicated workspace and supplies. Their project will culminate in an art showcase as part of the Center’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in September 2024. Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to apply. In partnership with Assembly for the Arts and supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 

SPACES – Artists Forward Fund.  Applications are currently closed. Supported by the Cleveland Foundation and administered by SPACES, this fund awards $2,000 in unrestricted funding to Cuyahoga County artists. Adapting a pay-it-forward structure, recipients of this microgrant are selected by past awardees letting local artists support local artists. 

The City of Cleveland Transformative Arts Fund. Applications close March 30, 2024. Opportunities for Cleveland artists in collaboration with a city-based institutional partner. 6 to 12 projects will receive $250,000 to $500,000 to create innovative, thought-provoking, and inclusive Cleveland-centric public art projects. Administered by Assembly for the Arts.

Zygote Press – PROOF: Print Residency of Ohio’s Future. Applications close April 14, 2024. A 6-month fine art printmaking residency program for Northeast Ohio artists from historically underrepresented communities. PROOF offers non-printmaking artists from BIPOC communities the opportunity to learn a variety of printmaking techniques including silkscreen, monoprint, relief, intaglio, lithography and RISO.

Karamu House – Room in the House Fellowship. Applications open in March and close April 30, 2024. The Room in the House Fellowship will award 5 visual artists and 5 performing artists with $5,000 in unrestricted funding, inclusion in a digital exhibition on Karamu’s website, participation in curated Karamu events that will feature artists in exhibition or performance, and access to shared workspaces. Artists may be in any phase of their career and align with Karamu’s vision of culturally and socially relevant work that celebrates the Black experience. No project is required. In partnership with Assembly for the Arts and supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. 

Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Awards – a variety of awards that recognize excellence, preserve cultural traditions, and offer developmental support. Award programs include Individual Excellence, Artists with Disabilities Access Program, Traditional Arts Apprenticeship, and Artist Opportunities (Professional Development and Project Support).

SPACES – Satellite Fund. Applications open May 6, 2024. Administered by SPACES and supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, this is a grant opportunity for established and emerging visual artists, cultural producers creative professionals, and any Cuyahoga County resident with a strong vision and demonstrated ability to complete the proposed project. Awardees will receive a cash award, a SPACES membership, and professional development opportunities.  

Additional Artist Resources

The following organizations offer resources that help artists write grant proposals, find opportunities, and apply for competitions, grants and residencies. 


Support for Artists Campaign Findings

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

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.

2014

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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.

2009

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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.

2008

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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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