CAC Executive Director to Report on "The State of Our Arts": How Have Four Years of Public Arts Funding Affected Cuyahoga County?

Cleveland (March 14, 2011) - Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Executive Director Karen Gahl-Mills will address the City Club of Cleveland on Wednesday, March 30 at Noon, on the “State of Our Arts in Cuyahoga County.”

In 2006, voters enacted a 10-year tobacco tax specifically to support nonprofit arts and culture organizations based in Cuyahoga County. “County residents created Ohio’s largest source of dedicated public funding for the arts, and one of the largest in the entire U.S.,” said Gahl-Mills. “While that in itself is something to be proud of, it’s important to look at what this investment of public funds has accomplished, and whether it’s living up to the promises made in to county residents in 2006.”

CAC issued its first round of grants in 2008. Since then, it has distributed more than $60 million to hundreds of nonprofit organizations that provide public programming. CAC grantees offer nearly 25,000 “cultural activities” each year, ranging from museum shows and art gallery exhibitions, to after-school music and art classes, to professional and community theater performances.

“We now have two full years of data collected from our grantee partners, and they demonstrate that this public investment in our arts and culture sector is making an important difference,” said Gahl-Mills. “As a public agency, it is incumbent upon us be open, transparent and to let our county’s residents know how their money is being used, and what impact it is having. I’m pleased to say that I think they will like what we have found.”

The March 30 speech is an event of the City Club of Cleveland; tickets and information are available on their Web site. For additional information about Cuyahoga Arts & Culture or its grant programs, call 216.515.8303 or visit www.cacgrants.org.

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