Neighborhood Projects Take Flight with Funding from Neighborhood Connections and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

A group of grant recipients and neighbor up network members pose with Neighbor Up yard sign
Photo © Neighborhood Connections

This month, Neighborhood Connections announced $150,041 in funding for 60 resident-led projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods, with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture partnering to co-fund 15 of the arts and culture projects! Here are a few highlights:

• Uplyff in Buckeye received $2,500 to host Swahili language classes and teach the principles of Kwanzaa. Healthy treats centered around traditional East African food will be provided.
• The Creative Communities Project* in Ohio City received $2,000 to host a quarterly PechaKucha style speaker series focused on neighborhood topics and art activities for adults, including gallery tours, interactions with artists, and book clubs.
• Math for All in East Cleveland received $1,000 to teach and proliferate the board game “Smath” among high school, junior high, and elementary school age children.
• Community Quilters* in Bellaire Puritas received $600 to host a quilting workshop in a neighborhood school.

* Co-funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

“Residents all across Cleveland and East Cleveland have great ideas to improve their communities,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “We’re honored to support their work with these small grants. So much is possible when people come together and realize their own power.”

What is Neighborhood Connections?

Established in 2003 by the Cleveland Foundation, Neighborhood Connections is nationally recognized community building program that works to fuel the power of neighbors to create, together, an extraordinary world right where they live. Its small grants program, which invests in resident-led projects across Cleveland and East Cleveland, is the largest in the country. Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded 2,435 grants totaling more than $7.9 million.  

Two people stand in front of neighborhood mural How Does Its Grantmaking Process Work?

Neighborhood Connections offers grants of up to $5,000 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 grantmaking committee made up of 22 Cleveland and East Cleveland residents reviews and approves all grants.

The next deadline to apply for a grant from Neighborhood Connections is Friday, February 8, 2019.

More About the Partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture:

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, one of the largest public funders for arts and culture in the nation, invested $75,000 in Neighborhood Connections in 2018 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 316 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013.

“We are proud to work with Neighborhood Connections to recognize the Cleveland and East Cleveland residents who are using arts and culture to strengthen their community,” said Jill Paulsen, interim CEO + executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “Our partnership with Neighborhood Connections shifts power to residents and supports the creativity that exists in every neighborhood.”

We look forward to seeing these projects come to life! For a complete list of Neighborhood Connections grants awarded, visit