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.

Strengthening Arts and Culture

A survey to assess gaps in services available to the arts and culture sector. 2008. This document summarizes the results of a survey that looked at the levels of familiarity, use, and favorability of arts and culture sector-building activities. The goals of the survey were to assess awareness and use of on-going supportive programs for the arts and culture sector and to identify gaps in services which are believed to be important for the sector’s stability and vitality.

Download Report

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.

Download the Report

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.

Download "Advancing Support Systems for Artists"