Announcing more than $323,000 in funding for 126 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland neighborhoods

Our grantmaking committee has approved $323,930 in grants to support 126 projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 20 of these resident-led arts and culture projects through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections.

Highlights of the grants include:

  • Creative Healing Foundation received $3,000 to expand their “City Scenes” artist photo walk program throughout Cleveland. These programs allow participants to render their own interpretations of the landscapes and introduce people to new areas of the city and culminate with a printed photo gallery show.
  • Furaha Forever Productions received $2,000 to provide Family Creative Kits to families in need, and those negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Kits will be accompanied by virtual and in-person programming with artists and guest speakers.
  • Barrioboy Community Garden received $2,250 to help develop a fence around their community garden in the Clark Fulton neighborhood. The fence will help protect the garden and programming for children from the busy street, and will be a canvas for a community created mural. If you are looking for landscaping and gardening services, you can discover this info here and make the gardens of your dreams.
  • Black Men Who Excel received $2,250 to provide free piano lessons to children in the Fairfax neighborhood, in partnership with Ambitious Artists.

“We received more proposals from Greater Clevelanders this round than ever before,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “People are resilient and working to create extraordinary communities right where they live despite many obstacles, including the pandemic. The funded projects show what can happen when we invest in residents working together to make the change they want to see.”

Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has invested more than $10 million in more than 3,500 resident-led projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland.

“Now more than ever, we need creative experiences that are safe, welcoming, and close to home,” said Jill M. Paulsen, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. “By investing in Neighbor Up grants, we are recognizing the power and expertise that people have to use arts and culture to make their neighborhoods stronger.”

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture invested $60,000 in Neighborhood Connections in 2021 to support community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for Cuyahoga County residents.  CAC defines arts and culture broadly to include nature, science, cultural heritage, and history in addition to other art forms. Through this partnership with Neighborhood Connections, CAC has co-funded more than 400 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013.

Click here for a complete list of the grants awarded.

Neighbor Up grants are offered several times each year to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland and, for projects related to the pandemic, to residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, to do projects that 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. Check out our grants page for more information.

Projects Co-Funded in December 2021

Our grantmaking committee has approved $323,000 in grants to support 126 projects in Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 20 resident-led arts and culture projects through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections. The following details each co-funded project, the grant amount, and the neighborhood where the project will take place.


Organization Neighborhood Amount Project Description
ArtHub Downtown $2,250.00 ArtHub received funding to create a regular networking showcase event of talent and creativity. Activities will include a DJ, local performers, open mic, sip and paint, local vendors market, and an interactive fashion show showing all sort of popular brands like this body shapewear.
Barrioboy Community Garden Clark Fulton $2,250.00 Safety & Art is a project to build a fence around the Barrioboy Community Garden, protecting the garden and childrens’ programming from the busy street. The fence will also be utilized as an art canvas to allow the youth to express themselves.
Cerenyte Fried Pies Mt. Pleasant $2,500.00 The Veggie Tails Storytime Literacy Program will provide youth with books, educational toys, learning, arts and crafts supplies, as well as a positive outlet during the summer months their out of school for vacation. Participants will receive hands on traning in gardening and urban agriculture, arts and crafts, and will have their own personal end of the season project in urban farming.
Creative Healing Foundation Cleveland $3,000.00 City Scenes is an artistic photo walk through various neighborhoods and locations around Greater Cleveland. City Scenes is a location specific guided art walk that allows artists to render their own interpretations of the landscape and to introduce people to areas of the city they have yet to explore.  Upon completion of the program each participant will submit a work of art to be printed canvas style then be presented in a gallery showing at the end of the program.
Diamond Makerzs Downtown $2,000.00 Who Asked You? Conversations with Youths about Pandemic & Post Pandemic Life is a 12 week program that will provide workshops, journaling activities, dance therapy, art therapy, and behavioral therapy exercises for children to voice their feelings. The program will have in person and virtual options, and will help re-acclimate student tso being in a structured environment after the pandemic shut-down.
East 89th Street Club Fairfax $500.00 East 89th Karamu Cultural Initiative will work with Karamu House to secure discounted tickets to distribute to residents on the street in order to partake in the spring performance season at Karamu House.
Eileen Dorsey Studio and Garrett Weider Studio Old Brooklyn $1,090.00 Old Brooklyn Blooms will be a series of three exterior floral murals to beautify the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, based on the community’s slogan “A Great Place to Grow!”
Elements Of Internal Movement Union Miles $2,500.00 Reflect. Connect. Protect. is a project designed to help children learn healthy ways to cope and express themselves. In summer 2021 the organization distributed 100 art kits to children in the neighborhood and the  plan is to expand the art kits to include a guided journal and be available to all ages, and use social media to connect with participants.
Food Depot to Health Glenville $3,000.00 The HomesteaderVermicompost Project is about diverting waste from municipal streams and recycling food scraps and use various kinds of containers to create vermicompost, which becomes “black gold” natural fertilizer.  Aside from using the compost for our Urban Farms, Community Gardens, and personal home gardening, the organization plans to collect food scraps at farmers markets in Glenville and St. Clair Superior to produce Vermi-compost for sale at each of those markets.
Footpath Foundation Westlake $2,500.00 Discover Your Path is a program designed to get youth outside where they can learn science and SEL content in engaging ways while amplifying their voices with ELA skill reinforcement. Spring DYP is a program for 6th graders (or 5th graders when appropriate).
Furaha Forever Productions Old Brooklyn $2,000.00 Our Family Creative Kits will be shared with families in need and those negatively impacted by COVID-19. Each box will contain a different fun activity with donated art supplies. The organization will also host educational virtual and in-person events with artists and guest speakers.
Gordon Square Classical Concerts Detroit Shoreway $2,000.00 The Quarantine Poems is a cross-medium collaborative project:  a gallery exhibition in Collinwood of 13 paintings by artist Christopher L. Richards, and two concerts and artist talks corresponding to the gallery exhibit. The concert will present 13 pieces composed by Cleveland composer, Ryan Charles Ramer.  Both pieces are inspired by 13 poems. Funding from the Action Grant will also provide audiences with free CD’s of the music and exhibition catalogues of the artwork.  Informative talks from the artist and composers, as well as a Q&A with the audience will provide educational content and direct community engagement.
Hasani Management Inc. Bellaire Puritas $2,250.00 Hasani Garden Camps will run from spring through autumn in person and virtually. The camp is designated to educate and entertain the participants with and fun and engaging curriculum around climate action, sustainability, organic gardening, theater, storyteling through art therpay and expression, environmental health, and healthy eating. Within our programs guidelines, we provide social inclusion for special needs children, who are mainstreamed into our activities.
Honey Hive Hough $3,600.00 P.O.E.T Speak will engage neighbors (youth and adults) in settings that give voice to writing, while highlighting and celebrating the community. Neighbors will be encouraged to see themselves as POETS, as they look at the landscape of the community and write about it. The project will conduct two written Poetry Contests, and showcase a printed publication at a community wide celebration of Poetry.
LAST SUNDAY MAKERS MARKET Old Brooklyn $1,000.00 Last Sunday Makers Market is an event that brings local entrepreneurs, business owners, artists, and makers together to showcase their businesses and products. The market has evolved into more than just that. It has become a place for the community to come together and enjoy getting outside to listen to music, eat great food and check out local art. The market feels like a block party for everyone.
Oh Sew Powerful, Inc. Lee Harvard $3,000.00 Creativity Rocks is a project to gather glass washed up on the shores of Lake Erie,  rocks and stones from recyclers, scrapyards and landscape inventories, and transform materials into jewelry or art objects. This multigenerational program will be free to all participants, have both virtual and in-person activities with the final output being a creative product – jewelry or a painted rock, for the participant’s own use.
Old Brooklyn Historical Society Old Brooklyn $2,500.00 The Old Brooklyn Historical Society intends to digitize information from the Old Brooklyn News the 1978 to 2008. They will scan these documents into their computer so people will be able to see more about the history of Old Brooklyn.
Poetic Movement East Cleveland $2,000.00 The Literary Leaders Program is a 4-week lesson plan to equip the youth of East Cleveland with literary skill for the future that will help them express themselves so that they can become future leaders and use the power of their voice through the written word to change East Cleveland and even the world.
Rhythmic Artistry East Cleveland $3,000.00 The U and I of Euclid Avenue is a community mural series that envisions beautiful murals depicting colorful scenery, African American heritage, and historical themes relating to the City of East Cleveland. Fifteen moveable murals will be painted by more than 25 Cleveland and East Cleveland artists, and installed on city walls along Euclid Avenue.
Sudanese Cultural Center Cleveland $2,500.00 Sudanese Sunday School aims to expose the Sudanese Community to the history and Culture of Cleveland in order to promote healthy integration in their wider civil community as well as promoting cultural exchange within the community itself. Field trips will include the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Karamu House, and others.