Cleveland Foundation announces $12.5 million in June grants

Foundation awards $21.3 million to Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga nonprofits in Q2 2016

release date: 6.29.2016

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $12.5 million in grants for the month of June, bringing the foundation’s second-quarter grantmaking total to $21.3 million.

This latest round of funding in the community focuses on increasing access to the region’s arts and culture amenities, one of the foundation’s key areas of grantmaking.

“The foundation is proud many of our June grants support projects that are helping local cultural institutions enhance or transform current offerings in order to increase the impact of the arts on all of our residents,” said Robert E. Eckardt, Executive Vice President of the Cleveland Foundation. “We believe strong arts and cultural programming is an essential element in the future health of our overall community.”

Among the grants approved to support cultural institutions’ renovation or relocation efforts:

  • $750,000 to Playhouse Square Foundation to support renovations aimed at improving access to the theaters for older or physically-challenged patrons, while enhancing the overall theater-going experience for families. The grant will fund specific accessibility projects within a broader renovation effort, including the addition of a family restroom and conversion of a service elevator for passenger use. The foundation is one of Playhouse Square’s most long-standing and generous supporters, with grants and loans totaling more than $20 million throughout the decades.
  • $500,000 grant to Children’s Museum of Cleveland to support the museum’s move from University Circle to the former Stager Beckwith Mansion on Euclid Avenue near downtown Cleveland. The foundation funded a 2013 feasibility study that led to the museum’s decision to relocate. This latest grant will assist with the repurposing of the historic building and the design and creation of new, innovative exhibits.
  • $200,000 to Fine Arts Association Willoughby for the second phase of the center’s expansion project. This grant will support renovations to improve ADA accessibility, including the addition of two ADA-compliant restrooms and an elevator, and the relocation of the music therapy studios from the second to first floor. The center provides arts education, therapies and performances for more than 60,000 people each year in Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and Cuyahoga counties.
  • $200,000 to SPACES, a contemporary art gallery, to support its relocation from the Superior Viaduct area to Hingetown in the Ohio City neighborhood. The grant will help fund the renovation of the new space in the VanRooy Coffee Building on West 29th Street and Detroit Avenue, which is scheduled to be completed in November 2016. SPACES is the only visual arts organization in Ohio that solely commissions the creation of new work.

In addition, the board approved a $270,000 grant to the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture (CPAC), to support the organization’s focus on capacity-building of the arts and culture sector. The foundation helped formed CPAC in 1997 in order to develop a strategic cultural plan for our region. This latest grant will fund a feasibility study investigating the expansion of arts and culture public support and will help the organization broaden the dissemination of its reports on the impact of local arts organizations and individual artists.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2015 grants of $95 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga Counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

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