Board Approves Nearly $15 Million for Arts & Culture Programming - Local Groups Will Share in Allocation from Tobacco Tax during 2011 Grant Cycle

Cleveland (September 15, 2010) - At its regularly scheduled September meeting, the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Board of Trustees voted to approve an allocation of $14.8 million to be used for funding arts and culture programming throughout Cuyahoga County.

$14 million will be used for General Operating Support (GOS) grants, and $800,000 will be used for Project Support (PS) grants. The allocation will fund grants that begin receiving disbursement from CAC in 2011.

"I’m extremely proud to be part of a community that had the foresight to create an organization like CAC,” said Board President Steven Minter. “With this action, the Board has ensured that CAC can continue to support the incredible richness of our arts and cultural heritage while remaining a prudent steward of public funds.”

CAC is funded through a county-wide cigarette tax that was passed by voters in 2006. To date, nearly $50 million has been distributed as grants to Cuyahoga County-based nonprofit organizations that focus on arts and cultural activities. Grantees range from larger, well-known organizations like the Great Lakes Theater Festival and MoCA Cleveland to smaller community programs like the Rainey Institute, which provides classes to children in the visual and performing arts. Grants are also available to some public sector organizations. There are currently more than 140 grantees countywide receiving GOS and PS funding from CAC.

The allocation announced at Monday’s meeting is almost $1 million less than the previous allocation, in 2007. “Recognizing that revenue from the tax is expected to continue to decrease in the coming years, the Board acted to fund our programs to highest extent that is prudent in the current economic circumstance,” said CAC Executive Director Karen Gahl-Mills. “And while we wish we had more money to distribute, $14.8 million is a very significant sum to invest in our arts and cultural organizations.”

At the next meeting in October, the Board will announce the specific grant award amounts that will go to grantees, starting in 2011. All regularly scheduled CAC Board meetings are open to the public, and individuals are encouraged to attend. The time, location and agenda for meetings can be found at the CAC Web site. For additional information CAC and the grant program, call 216.515.8303 or visit the Web site.