Updates from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's December 9th Board of Trustees Meeting

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees held its final meeting of 2020 on Wednesday, December 9.  Here are key updates from the public meeting, which was streamed live on CAC's YouTube channel.

Support for Artists and Creatives
CAC reaffirmed its commitment to support artists and creatives in Cuyahoga County. Since 2019, more than 200 artists have directly benefitted from CAC’s Support for Artists grants to nonprofit partners. This program prioritizes funding for underrepresented and historically marginalized artists. An estimated 70% of artists who received funding and 55% of overall participants in the Support for Artist programs and events identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) people. 

For 2021, CAC approved three Support for Artists grants totaling $260,000:
  • Julia de Burgos: $70,000 for Unidos por el Arte. Ten (10) Cuyahoga County artists of all disciplines will receive $5,000 in funding and project-based awards and access to space to create and present art that represents and supports the Latinx community.
  • Karamu House: $120,000 for the Room in the House Residency. Eight (8) visual artists and eight (8) performing artists will receive access to space, participate in a digital exhibition of their work, receive marketing support and receive flexible funding.
  • SPACES: $70,000 for the Urgent Art Fund. Ten (10) 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. 
CAC also approved $90,000 for the ioby/Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Match Fund. In 2020, 903 donors gave $79,277 to fund resident-led projects; CAC matched $60,000, for a total of $139,277 invested in resident-led programs (a 48% increase in the amount of funds raised compared to 2019). This new way of engaging residents to fund projects has been successful, so our match will increase for 2021.

Strategic Alliance News
Earlier this week, CAC, Arts Cleveland and the Arts & Culture Action Committee announced the formation of a strategic alliance. There are many good things that can come from working together:
  • a more unified voice for arts and culture, representative of the racial diversity of our region;
  • better shared power structures to lift up all organizations and creatives, especially Black and Brown artists and leaders;
  • collaboration to seek additional sources of public funding that will benefit all in the arts and culture community;
  • new programs and sector services; and
  • representation so arts and culture brings its creativity to help solve challenges facing our broader community.
The Alliance has collectively agreed that the new Board for this alliance will be representative of our community, including at least 50% women and nonbinary people, and 40% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color).

CARES Funding
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture awarded $2.66M in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to 94 arts and cultural nonprofits in Cuyahoga County who demonstrated eligible expenses for reimbursement as outlined in the federal CARES Act guidelines. The funds are meant to help cover necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and range from $1,900 to $150,000 based on organizations’ size and eligible expenses, which include business interruption costs, mitigation expenses for re-opening, and expenses incurred to transition to virtual programming. We are grateful to the County Executive and County Council for their support of the creative economy.

Other Action
The Board also approved the 2021 budget.

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. Learn more about Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's Board of Trustees and view a schedule of upcoming meetings at cacgrants.org/about-us/board. CAC's Board of Trustees meetings are always open to the public.

CAC’s Board of Trustees will hold its next regular meeting on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 4 p.m. as a Virtual Event.