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Neighborhood Connections Announces $307,904 in Funding for 98 Projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland Neighborhoods

LAND Studio - Photo by Bob Perkoski

CLEVELAND (January 10, 2024) – Neighborhood Connections has approved $307,904 in grants to support 98 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), the local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 10 of these resident-led arts and culture projects through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections.

Highlights of the grants include:

  • A Place for Us was awarded $4,500 to host a concert in Pattinson Park in East Cleveland to honor the memories of three women who were murdered in the city.
  • Rhythmic Art Studio was awarded $4,250 to bring together 30 youth from the community to create three murals. Instead of creating temporary artwork, the movable canvas murals will be designed to be relocated as necessary to semi-permanent locations that create the largest impact.
  • In the Fairfax neighborhood, Black Men Who Excel received $2,500 to provide free group piano lessons in person as well as the option to be online. 
  • The Puerto Rican Parade and Latino Festival was awarded $4,500 for the planning and implementation of the 54th Puerto Rican parade, which highlights the cultural richness and vibrancy of the Latino/Hispanic community of greater Cleveland.

“Neighborhood Connections is pleased we were able to support so many great initiatives that are building relationships across lines of difference, sparking collective action, and creating positive change in the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “The work everyday people are doing to create a more equitable, inclusive democracy is inspiring. Active citizens engaged in making positive change in their community is at the heart of a thriving democracy.  Thanks to the support of our partner funders, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the Cleveland Foundation, the McGregor Foundation, and the Chuck and Char Fowler Family Foundation, we are able to offer this support.  And special thanks to The Neighbor Up Grant Making Committee, led by 24 Cleveland and East Cleveland residents, who spent countless hours reviewing and interviewing nearly 160 applicants to make these very difficult funding decisions,” he said.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture granted $60,500 to Neighborhood Connections in 2023 to support community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for Cuyahoga County residents.  CAC defines arts and culture broadly to include nature, science, cultural heritage, and history in addition to other art forms. Through this partnership with Neighborhood Connections, CAC has co-funded more than 450 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013. In 2024, CAC will again invest $60,500 to support resident-led arts and culture activities through Neighborhood Connections.

“CAC remains a proud partner of Neighborhood Connections, investing in resident-led arts & culture projects throughout the county” said Jill M. Paulsen, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “These community-driven projects are a vital part of making our community a more vibrant place to live, work, and play.”

Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has invested more than $15 million in resident-led projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. 

Neighbor Up grants are offered several times each year to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland and, for projects related to the pandemic, to residents in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties, to do projects that improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Groups are encouraged to work with partners and to propose creative solutions to challenges in their community.

View a list of funded projects here.


About Neighborhood Connections

Neighborhood Connections is a nationally recognized community-building program established in 2003. Its mission is to fuel the power of neighbors to create, together, an extraordinary world right where they live. Our small grants program is one of the largest in the country. For more information, visit


About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is the region’s largest funder for arts and culture, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2006, CAC has invested $246 million in 485 organizations, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. CAC is a separate government entity and a political subdivision of the State of Ohio. For more information, visit

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