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Akron Community Foundation funds distribute nearly $2.3 million in quarterly grants

Competitive grants support arts and culture programs in Summit County

AKRON, Ohio (June 7, 2019) - Today, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved grants totaling $2,911,115 including $625,000 in competitive arts and culture grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

This quarter’s arts and culture funding included a $10,000 grant to Bounce Innovation Hub. In May, Bounce unveiled its new generator, a first-floor space that is open to the public and designed for entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers, remote workers, corporate teams, gamers and artists. This new area includes rentable offices, a co-working space, and a makerspace that allows individuals to hone their technical skills by using equipment like 3-D printers and computer design programs. The grant from Akron Community Foundation will be used to hire a maker in residence for the space.

“For most folks, there’s equipment in here that they’ve never used before or maybe they’ve only used residential versions of it,” said Doug Weintraub, CEO of Bounce Innovation Hub. “This gives makerspace users the opportunity to understand commercial versions of these different types of equipment and technology.”

An additional grant of $5,000 was awarded to the Inlet Dance Theatre for Phase II of “The ‘Black Card’ Project,” which addresses topics of race, equality and bias through performances, workshops and discussions. “The ‘Black Card’ Project” performances use elements of humor to examine the definition of black identity and issues of racial inequality.

 “We’re really targeting an elusive conversation in the black community,” said Dominic Moore-Dunson, assistant to the artistic director and company member for Inlet Dance Theatre. “Using humor to unlock these conversations is part of what makes our performance very different. If we can unlock the narrow scope of the black identity, we might be able to help unlock economic development and opportunities for the black community – especially in Akron."

An additional $7,500 in arts and culture funding was contributed by the Howard Atwood Family Fund through the community foundation’s grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests.

Co-investment funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and unrestricted funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund, Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund, Community Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, GAR Foundation Fund for Dance in Summit County, Lillian D. and Lincoln H. Gries Fund, Lucille Scott Harris Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, William C. Krisher Fund, John S. Knight Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund for Dance , John A. McAlonan Fund, W. Bishop & Elizabeth C. McIntosh Fund, Pat and Alan Ockene Fund, Howard and Margaret Palmer Fund, Rose Mary Picciotti Fund, C. Colmery Gibson Polsky Fund, Helen S. Robertson Fund, James G. Robertson Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, George Stevens Fund, Jean P. Stevens Fund, Ronald L. Stiles Fund, Dr. Kenneth F. Swanson Fund for the Arts, Orpha and Howard Wellock, Parents of Cheryl Wellock Fund, and Muriel A. Zodrow Fund.

Their grants will support the following arts and culture programs:

Akron Art Museum, to support community engagement activities through exhibits, education, performances and community partnerships, $60,000
Akron Civic Theatre, for community-based programming and engagement activities, including free admission tickets for residents in need, $31,000
Akron Soul Train, for an artist residency program, which includes workshops, exhibits and resources for artist fellows, $5,000
Akron Symphonic Winds, to support free performances at community events and area schools, $5,000
Akron Symphony, to support music education and outreach, including: Concerts for Kids, Gospel Meets Symphony, Youth Symphony coaching, and other programs, $15,000
Apollo's Fire the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, to support concerts and programs for the 2019-20 season, including the Community Access Initiative, which offers economy and free tickets and workshops for community members, $10,000
Art Sparks, for Dynamite Duos, a peer-based dance and music curriculum for Akron Public Schools students with developmental disabilities, $5,000
ArtsNow, to help advance Summit County's arts and culture sector through events, partnerships and advocacy, $12,500
Ballet Excel Ohio, to support Reach Out and Dance, which provides free dance instruction and performance opportunities to students in Akron Public Schools, $5,000
Ballet Theatre of Ohio, for "Take me out to the Ballet," which offers discounted ballet tickets to students and teachers, along with educational and performance opportunities, $5,500
BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation, to support the Blu Jazz MasterClass Foundation, which includes live performances from jazz masters, along with jam sessions, all-star concerts and educational experiences for students, $5,000
Bounce Innovation Hub, to hire a maker in residence who will provide free business and production advice to members and makerspace users, $10,000
Brass Band of the Western Reserve, to support the 2019-20 concert season, $2,500
Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, to support performances, workshops and educational activities during the Balch Street Theatre’s 2019-20 season, $7,500
Children's Concert Society of Akron, for the Akron Public Schools In-School Concert Series, which brings free live concert experiences of culturally diverse music to students in an informal, hands-on setting, $10,000
City of Akron, to support the 13th annual Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in Akron, which offers free dance performances in community parks during the summer, $50,000
Crafty Mart, to support the Maker Sessions Entrepreneurial Curriculum, which connects artists and creative business people to resources in the community through panel discussions, workshops and networking, $5,000
Curated Storefront, to help provide multimedia art window displays in vacant street-level buildings in downtown Akron, $7,500
Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, to support exhibits, events and workshops for artists and residents in the Cuyahoga Falls area, $5,000
DANCECleveland, to bring New York City-based Parsons Dance company to Akron for a performance, educational residency and outreach initiatives, $10,000
Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, to support a residency program for local students that combines ballroom dancing with curriculum-based teaching, to help build self-esteem and promote social and emotional learning, $5,000
F Rated Inc., to support Bechdel Fest, a downtown Akron film festival that addresses gender inequality in cinema, $2,500
Friends of 91.3, to support radio station operations and community service programs, $13,000
Girls Rock Camp Akron, for a weeklong music experience for Summit County girls ages 10 to 16, including forming a band, writing songs and performing on stage, $1,500
GroundWorks DanceTheater, to support performances and outreach, like free workshops for young dancers, community and school performances and residencies, $10,000
Highland Square Neighborhood Association, for arts and engagement programs in Highland Square, like the annual PorchRokr music event and an Akron-centric film festival, $7,500
Inlet Dance Theatre, to support Phase II of "The 'Black Card' Project," which addresses topics of race, equality and bias through performances, workshops and discussions, $5,000
Keepers of the Art Education, to support the 2019 Hip-Hop Preservation Project, a series of events, including concerts, lectures, films, discussions, workshops and exhibits to counteract the commercialization of hip-hop music, $10,000
Les Délices, to support the 2019-20 season in Akron, featuring live chamber music, $2,500
Magical Theatre Company, for support of the 2019-20 season, including resident performances, a kids' script-writing program, touring plays and educational programs, $13,500
Master Singers Chorale of Northeast Ohio, for operating support of the all-volunteer chorale group, including performances like a "Messiah Sing,” $5,000
Music from The Western Reserve, for operating support, including a six-concert music series in Hudson featuring Northeast Ohio musicians, $1,500
Musical Arts Association, to support the 2019 Blossom Music Festival, with family-friendly and classical programs throughout the summer, in partnership with the Cleveland Orchestra, $26,500
Musical Theater Project, for the Kids Love Musicals! program, which offers musical theater-based programming in special education and traditional Akron Public Schools classrooms, $7,500
National Center for Choreography, for support of research and development in dance through group discussions, interactions with artists and the choreography process, $10,000
The Nightlight Cinema, to support independent and culturally diverse movies and programming at the Nightlight cinema, $10,000
None Too Fragile Theatre, to support the 2019 Off-Broadway Series, including six productions, $7,500
North Coast Men's Chorus, to provide outreach and support to LGBTQ+ college students, including complimentary tickets to concerts, along with LGBTQ+-related activities, $5,000
Ohio Shakespeare Festival, to support the 2019-20 season, including outdoor Shakespeare performances at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and shows at Greystone Hall, $5,000
Open Tone Music, to support the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, a free event that features local and national jazz performers in multiple venues throughout downtown Akron, along with music instruction for local children, $5,000
Partners for Theater Inc., for Summit StageFest, an outdoor theater festival in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood, $5,000
Peninsula Foundation Inc., to support the "Voices in the Valley" Music Series, which features local and national artists at G.A.R. Hall, $7,000
Rubber City Theatre, to support the 2019-20 season, including plays by Shakespeare and other classic playwrights, workshops, educational experiences and "pay as you like it" performances for residents, $5,000
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for operating support of the historic estate, as well as educational, cultural and recreational programs, $41,000
Summit Artspace, to support education, art exhibits and programming, along with resources for local artists, including studio space and workshops, $25,000
Summit Choral Society Inc., to support musical training for children and adults, including the Children's Choir and Choral Scholars programs, $15,000
Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, for operating support, including events and programming, along with costs associated with the John Brown House and Perkins Stone Mansion, $25,000
Tuesday Musical Association, to support the opening concert of the 2019-20 MainStage season, with guitarist Jason Vieaux and violinist Adam Barnett-Hart, $15,000
Verb Ballets, to support performances, including the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival and Tuesday Musical events, along with dance and senior wellness programs, $7,500
Wandering Aesthetics, for Bigger Than A Breadbox, a recurring vaudeville-style variety show, $5,000
Weathervane Community Playhouse, to support the 2019-20 season, including six main stage shows, special events and classes, along with opportunities for local artists, $10,000
Western Reserve Historical Society, for place-based field experiences, like learning programs surrounding the historic Hale Farm and Village, $21,000
Western Reserve Playhouse, to support the 2019 Season, $5 Bucks Series and Young Artists' Theater shows, $5,000
Western Reserve Public Media, for cultural arts and performance programming shown on Western Reserve PBS, including local shows, concerts and art-related documentaries, $10,000
Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, to support the Summer Intensive Workshop and year-round Leadership Arts Academy, including leadership development sessions, performances and volunteer experiences, $16,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 64 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of March 31, 2019, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $220 million with a growing family of more than 640 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $163 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.