Updates from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's February 10th Board of Trustees Meeting

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s Board of Trustees held its first meeting of 2021 on Wednesday, February 10.  Here are key updates from the public meeting, which was streamed live on CAC's YouTube channel.

COVID-19 Impact
We surveyed our grant recipients to determine the impact of COVID from March 12, 2020, through December 31, 2020. As expected, job loss was significant. 65 General Operating Support grant recipients reported laying off, reducing hours, or canceling contracts of 3,157 people, resulting in a loss of compensation totaling $15,769,451. Organizations lost $119,001,653 in earned and contributed revenue (ticket sales, admissions, donations, etc.). This represents a 29.4% decrease in revenue from 2019.

There were some bright spots, however. Most groups have not yet tapped into reserves (in fact, financial reserves at the end of 2020 were 16% higher than in March, likely due to increases in the stock market where many organizations invest their endowments). Organizations are finding new ways to connect with folks, expand beyond geographic footprint here, and we think that will continue In 2020, 4,378 new, online events/activities were created in response to COVID-19 pandemic, and 3,204 existing programs were modified to go virtual. All (100%) of the 65 organizations surveyed conducted online programming in 2020.

You can view more detail on the impact of COVID-19 on our General Operating Support grant recipients on page 20 of our Board packet

CARES Act Funding
In late December, CAC received a second round of CARES relief funds from Cuyahoga County for arts and culture nonprofits, which was distributed on December 30, 2020, in 56 grants totaling $336,350. In total, CAC granted a total of $3 million to 94 organizations with the approval of the County Executive and County Council. 

Planning for 2022 Grant Programs
Between now and April, CAC will finalize our General Operating Support and Project Support grant programs for 2022. With revenues declining, as anticipated, we will adjust the amounts for each program to fit into budget forecasts and anticipated financial modeling. This reinforces our need to work in coalition with other arts organizations in town via the planned strategic alliance between Arts Cleveland and Arts and Culture Action Committee. That work moves forward, with CAC as a founding partner. We expect more updates in the first half of this year. See pages 9-11 of the CAC board packet

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 annual meeting on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 4 p.m. as a Virtual Event.