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Feb 02, 2024

This week, Cleveland City Council, led by Councilman Kevin Conwell approved the Transformative Arts Fund – which is a $3M fund to support Cleveland residents to showcase their art skills and beautify our city. 

Councilman Kevin Conwell, an avid artist himself recognizes the power of the arts for educational growth, mental well-being, and public safety. Council is proud of his leadership and guidance in advocating this Transformative Arts Fund for the people of Cleveland. 

The Transformative Arts Fund is for “Cleveland-centric” arts projects. Lead artists with a verifiable Cleveland address will have to submit a budget and select an institutional partner to administer the grants of up to $500,000 each. Artists will also need to submit Center for Community Solutions data on the neighborhood or ward where the project will take place.

Those who are interested in learning more about the eligibility requirements, necessary documentation, application process, and overall program can find additional information on the TAF webpage

Finalists will be notified in late April, and projects are slated to begin in June. Artists across the various types of creative disciplines – painting, music, film, culinary, fashion, and others – are all encouraged to apply. 

Special consideration will be given to projects that “amplify and address” the following issues: vacant land reuse; environment; food insecurity; violence prevention; matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion; safe spaces; and social determinants of health, such as black maternal health, smoking cessation or physical and mental health

Councilman Conwell had advocated for the funding award. It comes from $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds set aside in October 2022. Assembly for the Arts takes 3% of that pool to handle the application process. 

“This is a big deal for Cleveland,” said Councilman Conwell.  “It’s cool beans that we were able to get this up!”

Artists can find more resources – like information on community support organizations that may be able to assist with insurance, networking, additional funding opportunities, technical assistance, business development, marketing, and other services – by visiting the Assembly’s website. 

The program will provide funding for projects and initiatives led by Cleveland-based artists. The application portal opened and those who are interested have until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 to apply.