Neighborhood Grants Announced!

Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation, has approved $341,892 in grants to support 100 different projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland.  Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Cuyahoga County’s local public funder for arts and culture, will co-fund 46 of the resident-led arts and culture projects announced today through a unique partnership with Neighborhood Connections.

Highlights of the grants include:

·      The Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers* in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood was awarded $2,700. The program, I Am Hough, will assist youth in identifying the assets of the Hough community and use storytelling arts to document these assets.

·      Praxis Fiber Workshop* in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood was awarded $3,045 for their Grand Opening Event. This weekend event, free and open to the public, will introduce a sampling of the different processes offered in the field of Fiber Art and encourage community art making.

·      The Urban Barber Association in Cleveland’s Cudell neighborhood was awarded $5,000 for their Care Cuts Project that aims to connect young men with adult mentors.

·      NxGen Preserve in Cleveland’s Stockyards neighborhood was awarded $1,500 to bring Peace and Unity to West 63rd Street by repurposing vacant land in the neighborhood to host game nights, harvest parties and other fun gatherings.

·      Literary Lots* in Cleveland’s Ohio City was awarded $2500 to transform vacant/underutilized lots into book themed locations, creating spaces for audiences of all ages to come together and explore literature, art, and the transformed space through educational and interactive programming.
*: Co-funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Neighborhood Connections.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture invested $85,000 in Neighborhood Connections in 2014 to support vibrant arts and cultural programs in Cleveland and East Cleveland, with the aim to support community-based arts and culture activities organized by and for residents.

“Neighborhood Connections has spent more than ten years investing in residents through our small-grants program,” said Tom O’Brien, program director of Neighborhood Connections. “We believe active, civically-engaged residents are the foundation of a thriving city and region. We are thrilled that our partnership with Cuyahoga Arts & Culture allows our grants to reach even more resident groups.”

“Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s funding comes from the community, and we are pleased that this partnership with Neighborhood Connections allows us to fund the great ideas residents have for their own communities,” said Karen Gahl-Mills, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s executive director.

For a complete list of Neighborhood Connections grants awarded,  click here.  The next deadline for proposals is August 8, 2014.

Neighborhood Connections’ grant program offers grants of $500 to $5,000 twice a year in November and May to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland who organize projects to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood.  Groups are encouraged to work with partners, and to propose creative solutions to challenges in their neighborhood.

About Neighborhood Connections

Neighborhood Connections is a grassroots community-building program created by the Cleveland Foundation in 2003. Neighborhood Connections awards small grants of less than $5,000 to fund citizen-led neighborhood projects, events, and activities that benefit Cleveland and East Cleveland. While most foundations solely extend grants to nonprofit organizations, Neighborhood Connections grants support the ideas of everyday people to make life better, right where they live.

Through its grants, Neighborhood Connections seeks to build community by connecting people in Cleveland’s neighborhoods and encouraging them to become more engaged with each other and the city around them.

Neighborhood Connections is guided by a grantmaking committee made up of 24 Cleveland and East Cleveland residents with a history of community involvement. The citizens’ committee reviews and approves all grants. Since 2003, Neighborhood Connections has awarded more than 1,800 grants totaling more than $6.9 million.  For more information, visit

About Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing arts and culture.  CAC was approved by Cuyahoga County voters in 2006, and since 2007, CAC has invested more than $112 million in 259 local arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County.  In addition, through a partnership with Neighborhood Connections, CAC has co-funded 80 resident-led arts and culture projects in Cleveland and East Cleveland since 2013. 

CAC’s vision for its first ten years of public funding for arts and culture is to help build stronger, more resilient arts and culture organizations, create vibrant and energetic neighborhoods infused with culture, and establish Cuyahoga County as a hub of creative activity and a destination for artists.  For more information, visit