Cleveland Heights Arts Organizations receive nearly $350,000 in Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Grants
In 2006, Cuyahoga County approved a ten-year cigarette tax to support local arts and culture. At the half-way mark, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), which administers the tax, has granted nearly $350,000 to 10 arts supporting organizations in Cleveland Heights including Apollo’s Fire, Dobama Theatre, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Heights Arts Collaborative, Inc., Roots of American Music, City of Cleveland Heights, Creative Filmmakers Association, Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, Contemporary Youth Orchestra and Heights Youth Theatre.
In total, CAC has granted more than $65 million dollars to 150 local arts organization throughout Cuyahoga County, creating more than $280 million in local economic activity and 5,000 jobs. Its efforts and the public investment have had a significant impact not only in Cleveland Heights, but also the region’s economy, education, and quality of life.
“CAC, through its operational grant, has given us the security to reach out to new audiences and continually diversify our programming for the community,” said Cassie Golbach, general manager of Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra. “We have been able to expand our mobility and reach parts of Cuyahoga County that would have been unreachable otherwise. We are grateful that the community has chosen to support the arts.”
CAC-funded organizations have increased arts and culture programming for children so that more than one million school children attend arts and culture events each year. After-school and weekend classes and workshops have increased by 103 percent, and tuition for paid classes has dropped by 8 percent.
The arts are also reaching more people than ever. CAC-funded organizations have expanded their offerings of cultural activities by 25 percent since this funding became available, to almost 24,000 events and classes each year. Attendance at both free and paid events is also up by 7 percent, to more than 7.7 million annual visits in this county of 1.28 million residents.
“We have long been saying that the arts and culture aren’t just extras,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, CAC executive director. “It’s extremely gratifying to have the data now to back up that statement. We’re not just paying for things that are nice to have; we’re investing in the infrastructure of this county and helping to make it the world-class region that we all know it can be.”
CAC’s 2010 Report to the Community is available online at www.cacgrants.org.
Amy Jung is an active Cleveland Heights citizen.