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Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Announces More Than $12 Million in Grants to 295 Nonprofits to Support Arts & Cultural Experiences in 2021

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

CLEVELAND (November 10, 2020) – Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) will invest $12,033,641 in 295 Cuyahoga County nonprofit organizations in 2021 through its General Operating Support and Project Support grant programs. Since 2007, CAC has invested more than $207 million in 436 organizations.

The grants were approved by CAC’s Board of Trustees during a public virtual meeting on Tuesday, November 10th. CAC’s five board members voted to approve the grants, which were reviewed and scored by a diverse virtual panel of arts and cultural experts in September.

“This past year has tested the entire creative economy, and we’ve responded by keeping our funding levels as stable as possible. CAC’s grantmaking programs continue to be a difference-maker for many organizations, helping them to move programs to virtual formats and to continue their work,” said Jill M. Paulsen, CAC’s executive director. “These 295 organizations are committed to connecting to our county’s residents through arts and culture. Each year, we are excited to announce our grants, but it feels especially meaningful this year knowing the challenges our grant recipients have faced.”

At the meeting, the public agency also accepted a grant from Cuyahoga County for $2,664,000 in federal CARES Act funds to be distributed to eligible CAC-funded nonprofits in 2020 for COVID-related costs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAC Board also approved a grant in the amount of $125,000 for a downtown Cleveland summer concert, which was postponed to 2021.

CAC’s General Operating Support program provides unrestricted, multi-year support grants to arts and cultural organizations based in and serving Cuyahoga County. Grants range from $13,000 to $1.1 million and support nonprofits that have a primary mission to provide arts or cultural services for the public. CAC granted a total of $10.2 million to 65 organizations through the General Operating Support grant program for 2021.

The Project Support grant program promotes and encourages the breadth of arts and cultural programming in our community by funding projects of all sizes in Cuyahoga County. Grants range from $1,000 to $25,000 and support a variety of programs and events. CAC granted a total of $1,833,641 in Project Support for 2021to 230 organizations. Forty-eight self-identifying BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color)-led and serving organizations will receive funding in the 2021 program.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest local public funders for arts and culture in the nation, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2006, CAC has invested more than $207 million in 436 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit


View a list of the approved grants.

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CAC Staff