Cleveland Foundation Awards $13.5 Million in Grants for 3rd Quarter

Neighborhood revitalization and arts grants head quarterly list

Release Date: 09.21.2007

The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation today authorized $13.5 million in grants to address Cleveland’s most pressing needs in such areas as neighborhoods and housing, arts and culture, economic development and public education reform.

Grants made by the foundation this quarter include:

Neighborhood Revitalization

The board authorized a grant of $1 million to Case Western Reserve University to help fund development of the proposed University Arts and Retail District. It will be a large shopping, entertainment and residential district designed to serve Case Western Reserve students, faculty and staff, as well as University Circle-area residents, employees and visitors. The district will create a signature destination and strong sense of place for the university.  Funds from the Cleveland Foundation will help to cover costs of design and construction in the public areas of the project.

The board authorized $150,000 for Neighborhood Progress Inc. to support its foreclosure prevention and abandoned property redevelopment initiative. The project began in 2005 to address the epidemic of abandoned property threatening the economic viability and market competitiveness of Cleveland and nearby suburbs.

Arts and Culture

The Musical Arts Association received $1.5 million for continued support of the Cleveland Orchestra and its strategic plan. Most ($1 million) of the grant will be used for implementation of the plan, while the remaining $500,000 will support the orchestra’s education and community outreach efforts in fiscal year 2008. In 2005, the foundation made a $3 million grant for similar purposes ($2 million toward the plan and $1 million in education and community outreach support).

Innovation and Economic Development

An award of $525,000 was made to support operations and grantmaking activities of the Civic Innovation Lab. The Lab, a program funded by the Cleveland Foundation and now completing its fourth year of operation, provides mentorship, training and funding of up to $30,000 for ideas that have a measurable economic impact on Greater Cleveland. Among the ventures funded by the Civic Innovation Lab have been Policy Bridge, an African-American-led think tank; Full Circle Fuels, a full-service alternative fuel station; Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park; Cleveland’s E Prep School; and the CoolCleveland weekly email newsletter.

Public Education Reform

The board voted to grant $240,000 to the Institute for Educational Renewal, housed at John Carroll University, for its ongoing work with schools in Cleveland’s “first-ring” suburbs. The organization has had considerable success promoting literacy education in the Euclid and Warrensville school districts, and is looking to expand its program to other first-ring communities. The institute also helps teachers, principals and parents by hosting professional development activities and events promoting shared educational leadership between administrators and the community.

Early Childhood and Youth Development

Peace in the Hood is a youth violence prevention, gang intervention and educational program that promotes personal responsibility, empowerment and self-sufficiency. The group will be supported with $200,000 from the Cleveland Foundation for its community empowerment project. The project aims to decrease juvenile gang-related crimes and violence in Cleveland as well as engage local youth and community leaders in a transformational process.


A grant of $70,000 was made to Baldwin-Wallace College to benefit its fire service regionalization project, which is creating a framework by which a new regional fire district might operate. The district includes the cities of Berea, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Middleburg Heights, Olmsted Falls, Parma and Parma Heights. The regional fire district is structured to increase response time, add efficiency to the system and save taxpayer dollars.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $1.9 billion and 2006 grants surpassing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders in perpetuity by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.
Click here for a complete list of third-quarter 2007 grants from the Cleveland Foundation.