Cleveland Foundation Awards Almost $14 Million

Neighborhoods, schools, local economy to benefit

Release Date: 09.25.2008

The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation today authorized $13.9 million in grants and loans to various nonprofit organizations in the community. Among those receiving funding this quarter are:

Neighborhood Revitalization

The board voted to put more than $4.5 million toward the renewal of the Euclid Corridor in the Greater University Circle area. The bulk of that amount – $4 million – was in the form of a loan to Village Capital Corp., an affiliate of Neighborhood Progress, Inc. Village Capital will use the funds to support Uptown, a $164 million mixed-use urban development project planned for University Circle. Uptown will feature up to 144 residential condominium units, more than 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 200,000 square feet of commercial office space, 400 new parking spaces and 100 units of rental housing.

A grant of $450,000 will support planning for the highly anticipated Cleveland Center for Arts and Technology. The Center will be modeled after Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell Corporation and is expected to offer arts and job training programs.

A $110,000 award will underwrite three feasibility studies as part of an economic inclusion strategy for University Circle. One study will examine the establishment of a large-scale commercial greenhouse, another will look at the implementation of a community newspaper, while the third will explore the possibility of a community land trust.

Neighborhoods and Housing

A total of $550,000 was provided to Living Cities, Inc., a nonprofit public-private partnership of major philanthropic, financial and government institutions dedicated to improving conditions in neglected urban neighborhoods and sustaining American competitiveness in the global economy. Funds from the Cleveland Foundation will help Living Cities address workforce development, economic stimulation, housing, education and asset-building in Cleveland through a variety of different programs, including its wide-ranging American Agenda initiative. The American Agenda promotes individual opportunity and wealth, business expansion and investment, affordable housing for all residents, development of high-performing community institutions such as schools and healthcare centers, sustainability, and wellness.

Arts and Culture

The Cleveland Museum of Art will receive $1.5 million toward Phase II of its capital campaign to support a massive reinvention of the museum’s facilities. It is the largest restoration and expansion project of any cultural organization in Ohio history, and will comprehensively reinterpret and reinstall the more than 45,000 objects in the museum’s collection. This grant is in addition to $2 million provided by the Cleveland Foundation in Phase I of the campaign.

Education/Public School Improvement

In June 2006, the Cleveland and George Gund foundations began working on a joint strategy to create new, imaginative, groundbreaking schools in Cleveland, particularly at the secondary level. The board today authorized a grant of $550,000 for continued development and implementation of this Portfolio of Excellent Schools strategy. The funds will help sustain four single-sex elementary schools that recently completed their first years of operation and two science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) schools that opened this year: the MC2STEM High School and Design Lab High School and Early College. The grant will also assist with opening additional new schools in the district.

A $200,000 grant to the Cuyahoga County Public Library will help maintain 10 “homework centers,” which provide Northeast Ohio students with homework support from professional tutors and educators. Three of those centers focus specifically on grades 7 to 10.

The Cleveland Municipal School District was awarded $161,500 to conduct an audit aimed at improving conditions for learning in the district’s schools, making schools safer for students, staff and the community.

Economic Transformation

The Cleveland Foundation’s ongoing efforts in the area of economic development continue this quarter in the form of five grants totaling more than $1.1 million, much of it focused on entrepreneurship and advanced energy:

  • $525,000 to Civic Innovation Lab for operations and grantmaking activities. The Lab supports ideas and entrepreneurs that foster vitality in Cleveland, address such issues as brain gain and leadership, and build emerging industries.
  • $200,000 to the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners for the Offshore Wind Research Project, which seeks to install wind turbines on Lake Erie as well as an affiliated research center.
  • $150,000 to WIRE-Net Expansion Network to expand the wind turbine supply chain in Ohio and encourage investment in wind energy in the state. 
  • $125,000 to the Environment Ohio Research and Policy Center to help create specific rules for the state’s recently approved advanced energy portfolio standard.
  • $110,000 to the Ohio Environmental Council primarily to conduct a study on the economic benefits to the state of increased energy efficiency.

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Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2007 grants nearing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders 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.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.