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Additional Public Arts Programming Comes to Public Square Courtesy of National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

CLEVELAND (May 10, 2016) – The transformation of downtown Cleveland’s Public Square will include additional arts and cultural programming in 2016-2017, thanks to a grant to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Today, CAC was awarded a $50,000 Art Works award from the NEA to support Center Stages, a series of arts and cultural events in downtown Cleveland’s Public Square. Art Works grants support the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through various arts disciplines. As a grant available to Local Arts Agencies, the award will be matched with local funding from the Group Plan Commission (GPC) to bring the project’s total investment to $100,000.

Later this year, CAC will partner with LAND studio and the Group Plan Commission to support three to five community programs to highlight Cuyahoga County’s vibrant arts and culture. The events will be free and accessible to all Clevelanders and residents in Northeast Ohio.

“We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for this support, which will allow us to provide additional opportunities for arts and cultural organizations to share their inspiring work with the community,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, CEO + Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “It is an exciting way for us to celebrate the renovated heart of our downtown and draw more people to explore the new space.”

LAND studio and the Group Plan Commission have been leading the effort for fundraising, advocacy, and construction management of Public Square’s renovation. Center Stages will complement the year-round calendar of programming being scheduled by the GPC.

Programming for Center Stages will be selected through an application and panel process, in line with CAC’s grantmaking process. The full application details and eligibility requirements will be released on CAC’s website in the coming weeks. For more information, sign up to receive e-mail updates from CAC at

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said that supporting projects like Center Stages at Public Square offers residents more opportunities to engage in the arts every day. “The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” she said.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing in arts and culture. Cuyahoga County residents created Cuyahoga Arts & Culture in 2006 when they approved a tax on cigarettes to support arts and culture in our community. In 2015, the community affirmed its commitment to arts and culture by extending the tax through 2027. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has invested more than $140 million in more than 300 organizations to deliver on the promise made to support thousands of enriching arts and culture experiences in every corner of the county. For more information, visit

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CAC Staff