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Small grants lend big support to residents' art and culture projects

Todd Kennedy, a member of the Grant Making Committee, and Cynthia Lewis, grants manager, promote Neighborhood Connections at a neighborhood festival

The Grant Making Committee of Neighborhood Connections has approved more than $200,000 in grants to support 72 projects throughout Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), the county’s public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 26 of the resident-led arts and culture projects.
 
Highlights of the grants include:
 
- Change Makers, which is co-funded by CAC, was awarded $4,000 for "Invigorate Art Gallery @6500." This outdoor gallery will feature work of professional and novice artists in the Hough neighborhood. Volunteers will also be trained on how to curate, organize, and market the show.
 
- Drumwoman Productions, also co-funded by CAC, was awarded $3,745 for "Girls and Grandmas Drumming Together." This program brings together young and older women in the Union-Miles neighborhood to learn drumming and build relationships.
 
- North Collinwood Thundercats Youth Organization was awarded $3,400 for "All Star Cheerleading." Girls in the North Collinwood neighborhood will learn cheer routines, stunts and choreography while building trust through teamwork.
 
“These grants demonstrate that residents must be at the center of what happens in their own neighborhoods,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “They have the talent and the power, working together, to make positive change right where they live.”
 
Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than 2,375 grants totaling more than $7.78 million to support resident-led grassroots projects in neighborhoods.
 
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture invested $75,000 in Neighborhood Connections in 2016 to support additional community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for Cuyahoga County residents. Through this partnership with Neighborhood Connections, CAC has co-funded 248 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013.
 
“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is proud to support projects that help connect residents to arts and culture,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, CEO and executive director of CAC. “By investing in Neighborhood Connections, we’re able to use public funds to help Cleveland and East Cleveland residents create or discover programs and events in their own backyards.”
 
View complete list of the Fall 2016 Neighborhood Connections grants.
 
Neighborhood Connections offers grants of up to $5,000 twice a year to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland who organize projects to 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. A Grant Making Committee made up of 24 residents from Cleveland and East Cleveland makes the funding decisions. The next deadline to apply for a grant from Neighborhood Connections is February 10, 2017. More information is available online.
 
Support for this series, "Grassroots Success: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods," is provided by Neighborhood Connections.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is also a member of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.

 
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