Statement on status of Creative Workforce Fellowship grant to CPAC

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the public agency charged with making grants to arts and culture organizations to help strengthen our community. All of CAC’s grant investments are made through a proposal process, whereby organizations are invited to submit proposals, which are then evaluated by CAC’s staff and/or independent grant panelists, and then, if appropriate, submitted to CAC’s board for approval.

Since 2009, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has provided a grant to an intermediary, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), to establish and manage an individual artist regranting program known as the Creative Workforce Fellowship (CWF).

CPAC’s application for the 2013-14 CWF grant cycle was approved by CAC’s board in April 2012 after six months of collaborative proposal development between CPAC and CAC. CPAC was awarded a grant of up to $1,129,350 to provide for two, $405,000 grant rounds to individual artists, plus administrative costs. CPAC also applied for and received a general operating support grant in 2013-14.

Early in 2013, CPAC informed us that they were planning to undertake a significant and independent evaluation of the CWF. CPAC suggested, and we agreed, that it would be premature for CAC to invite a new proposal for funding the Fellowship until such time as that evaluation was complete, so that we all (CPAC, CAC) could be informed by its findings. We understood that this might mean a delay in the proposal process, but we felt that the evaluation work was important enough to warrant the delay.

We received the results of the evaluation in late March, 2014. After reviewing the document with CPAC in May, CAC’s team is proceeding with its normal review process; specifically, we are exploring the role of funding for individual artists, and the Fellowship, in the context of all of our grantmaking, always looking to align our grant initiatives with our mission, vision & values. We will engage the board in a general discussion about individual artist funding at the September board meeting.

Given CAC’s need to do its diligence and the timing issues outlined above, it is still premature to invite CPAC to make a proposal to CAC for a future cycle, which will result in a delay for artists interested in applying for a future grant from CPAC.

CPAC has announced that there will be no Fellowship application deadline in 2014 (CWF website page), and it encourages interested artists to stay connected with CPAC for more information.
Q: Does this mean that the CWF has been cancelled?
A: No, it simply means that there is no application deadline right now. CAC’s board has taken no action to eliminate the CWF; the delay is the product of a timing issue as outlined above.

Q: Does CAC have other programs to which individuals can apply?
A: No. CAC’s authorizing legislation (ORC3381) does not allow us to make grants directly to individuals. CAC’s two main grant programs, General Operating Support and Project Support, provide grants to 501c3 nonprofit organizations. The next deadline for applying to those programs is June 25, 2014 at 4:30pm.

Q: Will CAC’s board decide on whether/not to fund the CWF at its September meeting?
A: No. CAC’s board will participate in a discussion about individual artist funding in the context of our mission and other grant programs. No decisions will be made at that meeting.

Q: Where will that September meeting be held? Can I attend? Can I speak?
A: CAC’s September board meeting will be held on September 15th at 4pm at SPACES (2220 Superior Viaduct, Cleveland.)

All CAC board meetings are open to the public, and all are welcome. CAC’s agendas always include space for public comment; please read our public comment policy here.

Q: How can I find out more information about the Fellowship or other CAC programs?
A: Sign up for emails from CAC ( and CPAC (

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