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Civic Engagement

strengthening, unifying and connecting greater Cleveland's arts and culture sector

Civic Engagement


Cleveland has a rich history of appreciating the value of our arts and culture community. We recognize that a relatively small investment in creative expression and preservation can lead to a much larger return. Arts and culture offer important measurable benefits seen in many local, national and international research studies. The sector advances our education system, fuels our economy and improves our competitive edge. It has the power to transform our neighborhoods, cities and region. The arts alongside our cultural traditions and institutions have the ability to enrich people’s lives in a very real way that is unique to each individual. CPAC strives to build and sustain public support of the arts and culture community. We encourage policy that recognizes arts and culture as an essential component of a strong community, and we provide counsel and partner with other community members to strengthen public support of arts and culture.

This year marks 50 years of public funding for the arts in cities, townships, and villages across Ohio. Ohio Arts Council: State Funding

The OAC is grateful that Governor John Kasich has recommended GRF appropriations of $24.4 million for FY 2016-2017, a modest but meaningful increase from the last biennium. The OAC's budget still constitutes less than 0.04% of the state's total GRF appropriations. Through public investment, the OAC leverages a high match ratio from its grantees. $53 in local and private funding matches every one OAC dollar. Grant requests routinely exceed the OAC’s available resources. In the last grant cycle, the OAC met 40% of the need demonstrated by the state’s creative industries. In addition to the OAC’s primary role of investing in Ohio’s arts and cultural sector, during the next biennium the OAC will expand its capacity and capabilities to offer arts resources beyond grants. Through its new focus on technology improvements and innovation, the OAC will engage, connect, and promote arts organizations throughout Ohio, while remaining a prudent and efficient steward of state dollars.

Download talking points and learn more about OAC.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's 2013 Report to the Community

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) released new data demonstrating that public funding for arts and culture continues to have a positive impact on the residents of Cuyahoga County. The data, as well as stories highlighting the impact of funding on CAC-funded organizations, are highlighted in CAC’s 2013 Report to the Community, “Your Investment. Strengthening Community."

View the Report

Read an article announcing the report in The Plain Dealer

Public investments in individual artists

Making Art, Transforming Lives: 2013 and 2014 Creative Workforce Fellows from CPAC on Vimeo.

One direct result of the civic leadership and community response to supporting arts and culture is the Creative Workforce Fellowship. The program awarded $20,000 fellowships to 20 individual artists in Cuyahoga County each year from 2009-2014, and will continue in 2015 to award $15,000 awards to 40 artists in 2016. Watch the video to hear artists and former Fellows share their stories of what the investment has meant to them, as they continue to invest their talents and innovation back into the region. All this is made possible by the support of Cuyahoga County residents through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. This video was also made possible with in-kind support from Paul Sobota Photography, Inc.