Cuyahoga County Council

Cuyahoga County Approves $3.3 Million

Cuyahoga County Approves $3.3 Million in Funding Made Possible by American Rescue Plan Act to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts to Support the Creative Economy

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

CLEVELAND (July 5, 2022) – Today, Cuyahoga County Council awarded $3.3 million in funding made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts to help bolster the creative economy, a sector hit hard by the ongoing pandemic.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Assembly for the Arts worked collaboratively to secure support from Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and County Council President Pernel Jones, Jr. County Council approved the funds by a unanimous vote. The $3.3 million will be evenly split between CAC and Assembly ($1.65 Million to each). CAC will subgrant to arts nonprofits and Assembly will subgrant to artists and creative businesses.

“Cuyahoga County is known for its vibrant arts and culture community, which is sadly still suffering the negative effects from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “We are providing additional funds to ensure that arts and culture survive and thrive. It is our goal to help the entire creative economy continue their artistry in Cuyahoga County and remain the inspirational community asset they have always been.”

Council President Pernel Jones, Jr. added, “County Council is pleased to support arts and culture with these funds, made possible by ARPA, especially knowing they will reach nonprofits, businesses and artists living in every Council District.”

CAC’s Executive Director Jill M. Paulsen said the creative sector was hard hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn and has yet to recover. Organizations funded by CAC reported more than $171 million in lost revenues from March 2020 through December 2021, impacting the employment of more than 5,000 people.

“We are thrilled to be able to grant $1.65 million from the County to local arts nonprofits when they need it the most. This allocation from County Council and the County Executive demonstrates they value the work our arts and culture nonprofits do to contribute to quality of life in Cuyahoga County,” Paulsen said. “We know the organizations we fund are grateful, and on their behalf, we say thank you to the County.”

“The arts and culture sector was the hardest hit of all industries during the pandemic,” said Jeremy Johnson, President and CEO of Assembly for the Arts. “We thank the County Executive and the County Council for helping artists and small creative businesses get back on their feet to reignite the diverse cultural jobs and services that are the backbone of a $1.9B creative regional economy.”

Soon both organizations will announce processes to apply for funds. CAC will make grants to eligible CAC grant recipients that have a primary mission of arts and culture. For-profits and creative workers can apply to receive funding from Assembly for the Arts.

Previous CAC grant recipients can request a notification when funding is available here.  Individual artists and small cultural businesses can visit for more information.

Together, CAC and Assembly (through its predecessor organization Arts Cleveland) have secured $7.8 million in recovery funding for the creative economy through American Rescue Plan Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds provided by Cuyahoga County since 2020.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest local public funders for arts and culture in the nation, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2006, CAC has invested more than $218 million in 445 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit

Assembly for the Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that serves as a unifying voice for greater Cleveland’s creative sector. Assembly strengthens and supports those who create, present, experience and appreciate all forms of arts and culture.  The organization is attentive to the needs and impact of BIPOC artists, nonprofits, and small creative businesses. Assembly seeks to expand the pie of financial, technical, and capacity support for the arts and cultural sector; and increase equity for BIPOC and historically disadvantaged communities within the sector. For more information, visit