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Cuyahoga County Provides an Additional $336,000 to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture to Help Local Arts Nonprofits

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

Total of $3 Million in County CARES Act Funds Awarded to Arts and Cultural Nonprofits in December

CLEVELAND (December 18, 2020) – Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has awarded $3 million, provided by Cuyahoga County, to 94 arts and cultural nonprofits in Cuyahoga County to help cover necessary expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced an additional $336,000 in funds to be distributed by CAC. The critical funding comes after an initial allocation of $2.66 million in federal CARES Act funds were made available to CAC in mid-October. Funding will be distributed to nonprofits by December 30, 2020 in accordance with federal guidance.

“So many people, businesses and organizations have suffered terrible losses in this crisis. The Arts and Culture institutions and professionals which are treasures of our community are no exception,” said Budish. “I am looking forward to the day in the hopefully not so distant future when we can all return to our beloved museums, theaters and other performance spaces and enjoy the wonderful offerings that are so much a part of who we are as a community. This funding will help arts and cultural organizations survive in the meantime.”

CAC’s Executive Director Jill M. Paulsen said the funding is vitally important to the hard-hit arts and culture sector in the county.

“We are grateful to the County Executive and County Council for their support of the creative economy,” said Jill M. Paulsen, Executive Director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “CAC is here to support our arts and culture organizations so that they can continue to stay safe, support their staff, and serve residents.”

The funds cover demonstrated eligible expenses for reimbursement as outlined in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act guidelines and range from $1,900 to $175,000 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.

In addition to $3 million distributed through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the County approved $1.5 million for artists and for-profit performing arts venues to be distributed through Arts Cleveland.

Funding was secured through a collaborative effort between Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Arts Cleveland, the Arts & Culture Action Committee, and the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the National Independent Venues Association.

The arts and culture sector in the County has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 65 non-profit organizations funded by CAC reporting laying off, furloughing or cancelling the contracts of 2,533 people, resulting in a loss of compensation totaling $8,126,840, and a revenue loss of $41,725,615 through June 2020.

Earlier this year, CAC accelerated payment of more than $5 million in 2020 grants to provide additional relief to its grant recipients. The agency also kept funding stable for grants in 2021, setting it apart from most other public funders nationwide who were forced to cut annual grants.

View a list of the County grants here. For more information visit


Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest 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

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CAC Staff