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Neighborhood Connections, with additional funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, announces more than $270,000 in grants to 90 vibrant neighborhood projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland

Photo Credit: Bob Perkowski

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture funds arts and culture neighborhood projects

CLEVELAND (November 12, 2013) – Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation, has approved $270,048 in grants to support 90 different projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Cuyahoga County’s local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 35 of the resident-led arts and culture projects announced today through a unique partnership with Neighborhood Connections. View the list of grantees.

Highlights of the grants include:

  • McGregor Seed2Feed Organic Community Garden in East Cleveland was granted $5,000 to bring back honeybees to East Cleveland by holding beekeeping classes and gardening activities for youth in the community garden for eight consecutive Saturdays. The grant funds will be used to purchase equipment and provide a stipend to the youth and instructors.
  • Layfayette Carthon Music Conservatory in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood was granted $3,000 to mentor and teach youth who are interested in music how to develop their talent and prepare for college auditions.
  • Red Hat Rubies in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood was granted $4,000 for a project called “Red Matt Mamas,” a project that fights loneliness and depression of 22 long-term care residents. The grant funds will be used for outdoor field trips, local restaurant visits, holiday parties, entertainment twice a year for the entire nursing home, and van transportation costs for Rubies to attend events.
  • NextBroadway in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood was granted $2,000 to produce a comprehensive director of local businesses called “The Slavic Village Business Directory,” for use as reference by Slavic Village residents, organizations, and businesses. The grant funds will be used to pay for printing costs.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has invested $75,000 in Neighborhood Connections to support vibrant arts and cultural programs in Cleveland and East Cleveland, with the aim to support community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for residents.

“Neighborhood Connections is about empowering citizen action and inspiring small groups of people who live, work, or worship in a community to come together and make change right where they live by tapping into their neighborhood’s strengths,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “In addition to supporting a wide range of resident-organized activities, we are excited that our partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture will allow us to support the vibrant arts and culture programs in our community.”

“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s funding comes from our community, and we’re excited that this partnership with Neighborhood Connections is allowing us to fund the great ideas residents have for their own neighborhoods,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s executive director. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to build upon the strengths of the vibrant arts and culture in our neighborhoods.”

For a complete list of Neighborhood Connections grants awarded, see the attached list or visit The next deadline for proposals is February 14, 2014.

Neighborhood Connections’ grant program offers grants of $500 to $5,000 twice a year in November and May to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland who organize projects to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. Groups are encouraged to work with partners, and to propose creative solutions to challenges in their neighborhood.

About Neighborhood Connections
Neighborhood Connections is a grassroots community-building program created by the Cleveland Foundation in 2003. Neighborhood Connections awards small grants of less than $5,000 to fund citizen-led neighborhood projects, events, and activities that benefit Cleveland and East Cleveland. While most foundations solely extend grants to nonprofit organizations, Neighborhood Connections grants support the ideas of everyday people to make life better, right where they live.

Through its grants, Neighborhood Connections seeks to build community by connecting people in Cleveland’s neighborhoods and encouraging them to become more engaged with each other and the city around them.

Neighborhood Connections is guided by a grantmaking committee made up of 24 Cleveland and East Cleveland residents with a history of community involvement. The citizens’ committee reviews and approves all grants. Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than 1,800 grants totaling $6.5 million. For more information, visit

About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing arts and culture. CAC was approved by Cuyahoga County voters in 2006, and since 2007, CAC has invested more than $95 million in more than 200 local arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County. CAC’s vision for its first ten years of public funding for arts and culture is to help build stronger, more resilient arts and culture organizations, create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture, and establish Cuyahoga County as a hub of creative activity and a destination for artists. For more information, visit

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CAC Staff