Ten years ago, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture made its first grant. Since then, CAC has distributed $158 million in public dollars to 350 organizations.
We recently released our 2016-2017 Report from the Community, which shows how your public dollars have helped organizations and artists bring work to life that makes our community a vibrant place to live, work and visit.
Your investment has made a tremendous difference in the lives of countless residents. CAC was formed in 2006, a time when the recession made it difficult for arts and culture organizations to stay afloat. The flexible funds and project support grants gave our partners the financial breathing room they needed to keep their doors open, expand their work, and take risks in their programming so they can serve even more residents and visitors.
We must thank the community leaders and organizations, specifically the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and Tom Schorgl of the Community Partnership of Arts and Culture, who saw the need to sustain arts and culture through public funding and worked to make CAC a reality. Tom recently announced his retirement, and we thank him for his tireless advocacy for public funding of arts and culture.
I hope you will read the stories in our report that show how your tax dollars connect residents and visitors to meaningful cultural experiences in Cuyahoga County. Arts and culture strengthen our community, and as we go forward in our next decade, we strive to make it easier for groups to receive funds through CAC and to ensure everyone equitable access to arts and culture.