Updates from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's December 11 Board of Trustees Meeting

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at Idea Center in Cleveland. Here’s what you missed if you weren’t able to attend.


2019 Accomplishments

CAC shared its significant accomplishments for 2019 including work accomplished in the areas of grantmaking – connecting with artists and organizations, raising awareness – connecting with residents, and effective teamwork and operations. You can view more on page 15 of the board meeting materials. In 2019, CAC:


  • Welcomed 20 Project Support II grant recipients who will receive CAC funding for the first time in 2020.
  • Successfully piloted a match-fund program through ioby. 18 resident project leaders from across Cuyahoga County were able to make use of the match funds as well as take advantage of ioby's crowdfunding platform and fundraising coaching to raise a total of $102,580 for resident-led arts & cultural projects. The CAC Match Fund launched in April and was drawn down by August.
  • Continued to raise awareness about the need for racial equity in the arts. CAC fully funded the participation of CAC-funded organizations in Racial Equity Institute (REI) learning sessions. More than 130 individuals participated in 2019. CAC also hosted a Building Racial Equity training by Race Forward, open to all CEOs and Executive Directors from organizations receiving General Operating Support funding. In all, 53 executive leaders from 46 grantee organizations attended the training. CAC also hosted a series of four workshops for our grant recipients on taking action towards racial equity.


Support for Artists

The Board approved grants to nonprofit partners that will continue to provide artists with professional development, project-based and flexible monetary support, and access to physical spaces in 2020. CAC staff will continue to bring grant recommendations to the Board’s future meetings to round out the services and offerings in 2020.In total, we expect that the support for artists grants will total $400,000 in 2020. This includes the continuation of the CPCP Learning Lab program, a grant for which was approved in April 2019. Approved Wednesday were grants to:

  • Julia de Burgos – a grant of $40,000 for Unidos por el Arte. Six Cuyahoga County artists, of all disciplines, will receive flexible funding awards and access to space to create and present art that represents and supports the Latinx community.
  • Karamu House – a grant of $120,000 to expand the Room in the House Residency. Eight visual artists will receive studio space and participate in an exhibition of work created by all resident artists. Eight performing artists will receive rehearsal space, access to Karamu’s production team, and will present their work to the public. Karamu will also provide shared office space to resident and community artists. All 16 artists will receive flexible funding awards.
  • SPACES – a grant of $42,000 to continue the Urgent Art Fund. Five Cuyahoga County artists will receive flexible funding awards and resources, including space, tools and professional development opportunities; to create new art that is socially, politically or culturally responsive. If necessary, SPACES will also help artist participants secure a location to display their work.


Other Grants Approved

The Board of Trustees also took action to approve:

  • $75,000 to continue to support Neighborhood Connections grassroots grantmaking in Cleveland and East Cleveland. An additional contract of $19,500 was also approved to continue CAC’s Arts and Culture Network Nights, in partnership with Neighborhood Connections, in 2020.
  • $72,000 to continue a match-fund through ioby that will support resident-led arts & culture projects throughout Cuyahoga County for a second year.
  • $125,000 to help support The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2020 Star Spangled Spectacular concert in downtown Cleveland.


Administrative Matters

  • 2020 Operating Budget: The Board approved Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s agency-wide budget for 2020 in the amount of $13,940,000. As is customary, the majority of CAC’s 2020 expenses have been committed to grants and grant programs approved by the Board at its November 2019 meeting. CAC will make grants to more than 277 arts and culture organizations in 2020.
  • Search: CAC Trustee Gary Hanson updated the Board on the executive director search process, which remains active.
  • Strategic Alliance Update: CAC Trustee Nancy Mendez updated the Board on the strategic alliance project, which will continue into 2020.


How can you stay informed?

Our blog and e-newsletters are the best ways to keep on top of what's happening at CAC. Our board meeting minutes and agenda packets are published on our website. You can review those to see any previous actions our board has taken and for updates on other key projects. CAC's Board of Trustees meetings are always open to the public.


Our next Board of Trustees Meeting will be on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, 4:00 pm, at Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corporation, 13815 Kinsman Road, Cleveland OH 44120.