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Arts & Culture Grant History

Since 2000, Akron Community Foundation has invested more than $7.5 million in arts and culture programs all over Greater Akron to enrich our collective quality of life.

Nonprofits interested in applying for an Arts & Culture grant can review deadlines and other important information on our Community Fund Grants page.

Arts & Culture Grants

In 2015, we granted $557,000* to arts and culture programs throughout the community through our competitive grant program. One initiative funded this year, the arts and culture engagement initiative that was created in response to the Arts & Culture Assessment for Summit County, will elevate the work of the local arts and culture sector among residents and businesses, and provide a centralized online clearinghouse for local events. 

Performer strikes a pose in The Nutcracker
A grant to Ballet Theatre of Ohio will allow Akron Public Schools students to see an in-theater performance of "The Nutcracker."
  • Actors Summit, to support seven plays during the 2015-16 season, ranging from classic American dramas to contemporary comedies to musicals, $5,000
  • Akron Area Arts Alliance, to implement improvements identified in the recent countywide arts assessment, including upgrading gallery and event spaces, promoting wider community use of the Summit Artspace building, and offering relevant programming to a greater range of ages and ethnicities, $15,000
  • Akron Art Museum, to provide operating support for the museum and its enhanced programming, including free school tours for young children, film premieres, lectures, artist gallery talks and concerts, $50,000
  • Akron Civic Theatre, to support the 2015-16 season of community-based and in-house programming, and for the All Access Program, which provides 5,000 free tickets for social service agencies to give to economically disadvantaged individuals and families, $30,000
  • Akron Public Schools – Project RISE, for the Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT) program, which gives children and families who are experiencing homelessness access to musicals, plays and dance performances, $9,000
  • Akron Symphony, for a summer music camp, youth orchestra coaching, Concerts for Kids series, and the annual Gospel Meets Symphony production at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, $37,000
  • Akron Woman’s City Club/Coach House Theatre, to support 2015-16 programming, including free Elder Theatre productions for Akron-area senior citizens, $2,500
  • Apollo’s Fire, to support the 2015-16 season of baroque and crossover programming in Summit County, including an opera, Italian street theater music, and young artist concerts, $12,000
  • Art Sparks, to expand a dance-focused kindergarten readiness program in Summit County Head Start locations, $7,000
  • Arts in Stark, to bring to Akron the Northeast Ohio Genius Project, which uses creative art and science competitions to improve student test scores and revitalize local neighborhoods, $11,000
  • Ballet Theatre of Ohio, for “Take Me Out to the Ballet,” a partnership with Akron Public Schools that brings grade school students to an in-theater performance of “The Nutcracker,” $5,000
  • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, for performances, workshops and educational activities during the Balch Street Theatre’s 2015-16 season, $2,500
  • Central Summit County Choral Society, to support the Summit Children’s Choir, a vocal and musical education program for students in first through 12th grade, and for Masterworks Chorale, a multi-generational singing ensemble, $8,000
  • Children’s Concert Society, for the In-School Concert Series, which introduces more than 30,000 students to diverse types of live fine music, $10,000
  • City of Akron, for the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, which offers free dance performances in Akron parks, $50,000
  • The Cleveland Orchestra, to support the 2015 Blossom Music Festival and the Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000
  • Community Hall Foundationfor an arts and culture engagement initiative in Summit County that aims to build relationships between local arts groups and businesses, as well as create a clearinghouse for arts and culture event information, $20,000
  • DANCECleveland, to bring the world-renowned Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal to Akron for a public performance and community residency that will feature company members in master and college classes, receptions, open rehearsals and more, $10,000
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for a ballroom dancing program for fifth- and eighth-grade students that teaches teamwork, self-confidence and respect, $5,000
  • Friends of 91.3, to increase organizational sustainability through brand expansion, enhanced membership and fundraising initiatives, and ongoing technology investments, $12,500
  • GroundWorks Dance Theater, for Summit County performances at the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Stage Door Series at E.J. Thomas Hall; educational programs for children; master classes; and other outreach activities, $10,000
  • The Illusion Factory, to support free theater productions in Akron-area schools, $10,000
  • Keepers of the Art Inc., for the 2015 Keepers of the Art Music Concert Series at the Akron Art Museum, $10,000
  • Magical Theatre Company, to engage young people in theater through community-wide performances, student script writing, after-school and summer workshops, and interactive study guides, $20,000
  • Master Singers Inc., for the all-volunteer, non-audition chorale’s 2015-16 concert season, $5,000
  • Neos Dance Theatre, for two new performances at Akron Civic Theatre that will creatively incorporate video and animation into the choreography, $5,000
  • The Nightlight, to renovate an exhibition space in the theater that will increase audience capacity by 80 percent, $5,000
  • Ohio Shakespeare Festival, for outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” and “Henry V” at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $5,000
  • RED Company real.edge.dance, for general operating support for the modern dance company’s fifth season ofperformances and the development of its educational dance center in Akron,$2,500
  • Rubber City Shakespeare Company, to engage local residents in classical theater through acting workshops and touring productions, $2,500
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for general operations, and for restoration projects as part of the 100th anniversary capital campaign, $55,000
  • Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, to support the organization’s work in preserving and interpreting the history of Summit County and Akron, $23,000
  • Tuesday Musical Association, to support the opening-night concert featuring the Escher String Quartet, $10,000
  • Urban Visions Ministry, to expand its free after-school ballet program to include at-risk girls in theNorth Hill neighborhood, $2,500
  • Verb Ballets, for a special tribute performance celebrating the 90th birthday of famed choreographer Heinz Poll, $5,000
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, for the 2015-16 season of plays, musicals and young actor productions, $10,000
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, to support educational programming at Hale Farm & Village, $10,000
  • Western Reserve Public Media, to support cultural arts and performance programming such as American Masters, Great Performances, Masterpiece and PBS Arts Showcase, $15,000
  • Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, to introduce minority youth to the arts through after-school, weekend and summer enrichment programs, $15,000
*Supplemented by donor-advised funding

Grant deadline

Arts & Culture grant applications open online March 1 and are due by April 1. Preview the application questions.

2014 Grants

In 2014, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $632,672* to 37 nonprofit organizations:

performer on stage
A grant to Keepers of the Art supported its 2014 hip-hop music showcase at Lock 3.
    • Actors Summit, to support seven plays during the 2014-15 season, ranging from classic American dramas to contemporary comedies to musicals, $5,000
    • Akron Area Arts Alliance, for 12-15 annual exhibitions, free arts workshops, Artwalk programming, public programs and artist receptions, and a self-study process of the organization as a response to the countywide arts assessment, $20,000
    • Akron Art Museum, to provide operating support for the museum and its enhanced programming such as yoga in the galleries, film premieres, lectures, artist gallery talks and programming for young children, $50,000
    • Akron Civic Theatre, to support the 2014-15 season of community-based and in-house programming, and for the All Access Program, which provides 5,000 free tickets for social services agencies to give to economically disadvantaged individuals and families, $20,000
    • Akron Independent Film Festival Inc., for a film exhibition at The Nightlight Cinema, Akron’s independent movie theater set to open in mid-2014, $5,000
    • Akron Symphony, for a summer music camp, youth orchestra coaching, Concerts for Kids series and the annual Gospel Meets Symphony production at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, $60,000*
    • Akron Woman’s City Club/Coach House Theatre, to support 2014-15 programming, which will include elder-focused productions and a combined deaf/hearing production in conjunction with Kent State University’s American Sign Language department, $2,500
    • Apollo’s Fire, for the 20th anniversary season in Summit County of baroque concertsand programming, $12,000
    • Artists of Rubber City, to publish a book featuring the talents of Ohio’s contemporary artists, $1,100*
    • Arts Sparks, for a kindergarten readiness program centered on dance and music, $5,000*
    • Ballet Theatre of Ohio, for “Take Me Out to the Ballet,” a partnership with Akron Public Schools that brings grade school students to an in-theater performance of “The Nutcracker,” $10,000*
    • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, for performances, workshops and educational activities during the Balch Street Theatre’s 2014-15 season, $2,500
    • Central Summit County Choral Society, for the Summit Children’s Choir, a vocal and musical education program for local children ages 6 to 8, $30,000*
    • Children’s Concert Society, to build capacity for the Concert Hall Series through a pilot program that takes kids to the theater and for the In-School Concert Series, which introduces more than 30,000 students to diverse types of live music, $20,000*
    • Christian Fellowship Basketball League, for Project Yes I Can, an 8-week program for inner city youth to improve and enhance musical talent, $2,500*
    • City of Akron, for the 40th year of the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, which offers free dance performances in Akron parks, $50,000
    • The Cleveland Orchestra, to support the 2014 Blossom Music Festival and the Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000
    • DANCECleveland, to bring the renowned Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to Akron for a public performance and community residency that will feature company members in master and college classes, receptions, open rehearsals and more, $10,000
    • ETC School of the Musical Arts, to help qualified students in financial need participate in musical education, performance training and performance opportunities, $8,100*
    • Friends of 91.3, to increase organizational sustainability through brand expansion, enhanced membership and fundraising initiatives, and ongoing technology investments, $12,500
    • Friends of Historic Glendale Cemetery, to support the cemetery’s 175thanniversary community celebration and historical education events, $10,000*
    • GroundWorks DanceTheater, for Summit County performances at the Selle Generator Complex and the Stage Door Series at E.J. Thomas Hall; educational programs for children; master classes; and other outreach activities, $10,000
    • Keepers of the Art Inc., for the 2014 Keepers of the Art Music Showcase of hip-hop and soul music at Lock 3, $10,000
    • Kent State University Foundation Inc., to support “Encouraging New Voices,” a collaborative initiative between the university’s Wick Poetry Center and Akron Public Schools to increase literacy among students, $33,472*
    • Magical Theatre Company, for theater performances and a capital campaign to improve the facility, $50,000*
    • Master Singers Inc., for theall-volunteer, non-audition chorale’s 2014-15 concert season, $3,000
    • Ohio Shakespeare Festival, for outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Henry IV, Part 1” at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $5,000
    • ProjectRISE -Akron Public Schools, for the Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT) program, which gives children and families who are experiencing homelessness access to musicals, plays and dance performances, $9,000
    • RED Company real.edge.dance, for general operating support for the modern dance company’s fourth season of performances and the development of its educational arts center in Akron, $2,500
    • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for general operations, programs and the capital campaign to restore key areas of the facilities as the estate prepares for its centennial in 2015, $55,000
    • Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, to support the organization’s 90thanniversary of preserving and interpreting the history of Summit County and Akron, $15,000
    • Tuesday Musical Association, to support the Time for Three and Joshua Bell concerts, $15,000
    • Verb Ballets, for Summit County dance performances, including those at the Akron Civic Theatre, Gay Games 9, area schools, the Akron Art Museum and the Akron-Summit County Public Library, $5,000
    • Weathervane Community Playhouse, for its 80th anniversary 2014-15 season of plays, musicals, young actor productions and the 10-Minute Play Festival, $11,000*
    • Western Reserve Historical Society, to support educational programming and preservation at Hale Farm & Village, $12,500
    • Western Reserve Public Media, to support cultural arts and performance programming such as American Masters, Great Performances, Masterpiece and PBS Arts Showcase, $15,000
    • Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, to support the Summer Intensive Workshop that introduces approximately 300 youth to the arts, $10,000*
    *Supplemented by donor-advised funding

2013 Grants

In 2013, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $443,500 to 30 nonprofit organizations:

 
 A grant to Ballet Theatre of Ohio 
 allowed grade school students  to experience "The Nutcracker."

2012 Grants

In 2012, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $464,000 to 34 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Act II Productions brought theater performances to local schools.

2011 Grants

In 2011, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $397,500 to 25 nonprofit organizations:

A group of people singing in robes
A grant to Master Singers supported the 2012 concert season.

2010 Grants

In 2010, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $457,260 to 30 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Apollo's Fire helped provide for the concert season.

2009 Grants

In 2009, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $474,000 to 31 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Act II Productions supported in-school theater performances like "Pinocchio."

2008 Grants

In 2008, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $466,250 to 30 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Akron-Summit County Public Library supported the StoryCorps oral history project.

2007 Grants

In 2007, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $390,250 to 25 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Akron Area Arts Alliance supported exhibitions and educational programming.

2006 Grants

In 2006, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $326,910 to 24 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to the Children's Concert Society of Akron supported the In-School Concert Series.

2005 Grants

In 2005, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $321,987 to 25 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Friends of Historic Glendale Cemetery supported the renovation of its grounds and buildings.

2004 Grants

In 2004, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $567,500 to 24 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to GroundWorks Dancetheater supported educational outreach with local schools.

2003 Grants

In 2003, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $344,130 to 23 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Magical Theatre Company supported a theater program for homeless students and their families.

2002 Grants

In 2002, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $282,445 to 20 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Western Reserve Historical Society supported renovations of the Hale House.

2001 Grants

In 2001, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $253,070 to 25 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet supported the creation of an original production.

2000 Grants

In 2000, Akron Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $252,950 to 24 nonprofit organizations:


A grant to the Akron African-American Cultural Association supported the annual festival and parade.