Skip to main content Skip to footer

Neighborhood Connections, with additional funding from CAC, announces $434,484 in funding for 132 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

CLEVELAND (July 14, 2022) – Neighborhood Connections has approved $434,484 in grants to support 132 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), the local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 15 of these resident-led arts and culture projects through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections.

Highlights of the grants include:

  • Cleveland Glory Waist Drum Dance Team received $4,250 to expand and promote their dance team to build a stronger community including among residents in Asiatown who do not speak English.
  • High Art Fridays received $3,246 to educate youth and young adults in the Fairfax neighborhood about plastic pollution while creating art from such plastic which would otherwise pollute the environment.
  • Kentucky Garden Music Series received $2,703 to expand their outdoor concert music series in Ohio City, with 6 monthly concerts from May-October. The goal is to allow residents to gather and enjoy nature as a community in a safe setting at no cost.
  • ReadUp received $2,975 for the creation of a book club to take place in parks around the East Cleveland area. Participants take home the books after the club to foster a love of reading during the summer months off school.

“If you are down because of so much that seems to be going wrong in the world, look over here. Residents are making change every day in their neighborhoods, dedicating their time, talent, and wisdom to create a more just, equitable world on large, systemic issues as well as local community ones.” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “People are resilient and working to create extraordinary communities right where they live despite many obstacles, including the pandemic. The funded projects show what can happen when we invest in residents working together to make the change they want to see.”

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture granted $50,000 to Neighborhood Connections in 2022 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 420 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013.

“We are inspired by residents’ commitment to using arts and culture as a catalyst for connection, healing, and hope. Now more than ever, these exchanges of ideas and voices are vital to cementing the concept of community and interconnectedness,” said Jill M. Paulsen, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “Our longtime investment in Neighbor Up grants ensures that more residents can express their creativity in ways that are meaningful and have an impact close to home.”

Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has invested more than $12 million in more than 400 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 the co-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 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 2007, CAC has invested more than $218 million in 445 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit

About the author

CAC Staff