Neighborhood Connections, with CAC Support, Awards $150,000 in Grants to 66 Neighborhood Projects

Neighborhood Connections, with additional funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, announces $150,000 in grants to 66 neighborhood projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland

CLEVELAND (November 17, 2014) – Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation, has approved $150,000 in grants to support 66 different projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland.  Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Cuyahoga County’s local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 25 of the resident-led arts and culture projects through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections. View the list of funded projects.

Highlights of the grants include:
 Hands That Speak Volumes, Inc.* will receive $1,400 for Everybody Can Make Music, workshops and drum sessions for the deaf or hard of hearing in downtown Cleveland.
African American Men Who Excel in Fairfax will receive $3,000 for Developing Youth to Make a Difference in the Community After School Program, a mentoring and tutoring program for elementary and middle school students.
Ty and the Knight Writer LLC* will receive $2,000 for Youth Fighting Stigma, an intergenerational program where 20 mental health patients write their memoirs, which are then designed and edited by youth in Midtown.
Fullerton Block Club in Slavic Village will receive $3,000 for Bike-a-Thon and Night Out Against Crime. These two events will help strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.
St. Clair Superior Youth Leadership Council* will receive funds for a Teen Center that will host teen-led cooking, art, skateboarding, computer and gardening programs for leadership development in St. Clair Superior.
*Co-funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Neighborhood Connections.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture invested $85,000 in Neighborhood Connections in 2014 to support vibrant arts and cultural programs in Cleveland and East Cleveland, with the aim to support community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for residents.

“We believe that empowered, active residents are at the heart of the Cleveland renaissance,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “We see Neighborhood Connections grants as an investment in those folks and their innovative ideas, which are invigorating our city block by block.”

“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s vision is to create energetic neighborhoods that are infused with arts and culture,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s executive director.  “A partnership with Neighborhood Connections has ensured that public funding, which comes from the community, is helping residents to make their neighborhoods more vibrant.”

Neighborhood Connections’ grant program offers grants of $500 to $5,000 twice a year in May and November to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland who organize projects to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood.  Groups are encouraged to work with partners, and to propose creative solutions to challenges in their neighborhood.


About Neighborhood Connections

Neighborhood Connections is a grassroots community-building program created by the Cleveland Foundation in 2003. Neighborhood Connections awards small grants of less than $5,000 to fund citizen-led neighborhood projects, events, and activities that benefit Cleveland and East Cleveland. While most foundations solely extend grants to nonprofit organizations, Neighborhood Connections grants support the ideas of everyday people to make life better, right where they live.

Through its grants, Neighborhood Connections seeks to build community by connecting people in Cleveland’s neighborhoods and encouraging them to become more engaged with each other and the city around them.

Neighborhood Connections is guided by a grantmaking committee made up of 24 Cleveland and East Cleveland residents with a history of community involvement. The citizens’ committee reviews and approves all grants. Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than 1,800 grants totaling more than $6.9 million.  For more information, visit

About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing arts and culture.  CAC was approved by Cuyahoga County voters in 2006, and since 2007, CAC has invested more than $112 million in 259 local arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County.  In addition, through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections, CAC has co-funded 80 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013.

CAC’s vision for its first ten years of public funding for arts and culture is to help build stronger, more resilient arts and culture organizations, create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture, and establish Cuyahoga County as a hub of creative activity and a destination for artists.  For more information, visit

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View the list of funded projects.