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Arts & Culture Grants

In 2017, we granted $565,000* to arts and culture programs throughout the community through our competitive grant program. Programs funded include recipients of the Knight Arts Challenge, such as Akron Soul Train, which will revamp shipping containers, railroad cars and tiny homes to build a residential artists' village in the Northside District. 

  • Akron Art Museum, to support community engagement activities through exhibits, educational programming, performances, and health and wellness events, $60,000
  • Akron Civic Theatre, for community-based programming, and to support the All Access Program, which will distribute 7,000 free tickets to residents in need, $30,000
  • Akron Creative Inc., to support independent and foreign language art house movies at the Nightlight Cinema, $7,500
  • Akron Public Schools –Project Rise, to support Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT), a theater-based enrichment program for Akron Public Schools students experiencing homelessness, $9,000
  • Akron Soul Train, to support phase one of building a residential artists' village, which includes a fellows' studio, exhibition hall and public amenities for events, $12,500
  • Akron Symphony, to support music education and outreach, including Concerts for Kids, Gospel Meets Symphony and Akron Youth Symphony, $25,000
  • Art Sparks, to support dance education programming at local schools and Summit County Head Start locations through in-school partnerships, residencies, workshops and performances, $5,000
  • Arts Now, to advance Summit County's arts and culture sector through events, partnerships and advocacy, $20,000
  • Ballet Excel Ohio, to support Reach Out and Dance, a 25-week program that provides free dance instruction to elementary and middle school special education students in Akron Public Schools, $5,000
  • BLU Jazz+, to support the Master Class Program, which includes live performances from jazz masters and educational experiences for students, $5,000
  • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, to support the 2017-18 season, which will feature a lineup of alternative theater performances, along with workshops, actor training sessions and classes, $5,000
  • Children’s Concert Society, for the Akron Public Schools In-School Concert Series, which brings live concert experiences of culturally diverse music to students in an informal, hands-on setting, $10,000
  • City of Akron, to support the 11th annual Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, a series of four weekends of free professional ballet performances in Akron parks during the summer, $50,000
  • Crafty Mart, to support the Maker Sessions, which include panel discussions, workshops and networking for creative business people, $2,500
  • DANCECleveland, to support the Koresh Dance Company weeklong educational residency, which includes a main stage dance performance, community master class and creation of a performance for the Akron Art Museum, $10,000
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for a ballroom dancing program that teaches Akron Public Schools students teamwork, self-confidence, tolerance and respect, $5,000
  • Friends of 91.3, to support radio station operations and community service programs, $12,500
  • Girls Rock Camp Akron, for a weeklong music experience for Summit County girls ages 10-16, including forming a band, writing songs and performing at the Akron Civic Theatre, $3,000
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater, to support performances and outreach, including artist residencies, masterclasses and educational school programs, $10,000
  • The Illusion Factory, to support free theater productions in Akron-area schools, $7,500
  • Keepers of the Art, to support the Hip-Hop Preservation Project, which features concerts, lectures, films, discussions, workshops and exhibits that counteract the commercialization of hip-hop music, $10,000
  • Made-Up with Danny Volk, for The Akron Sessions, a video series in which artist Danny Volk interviews eight are a artists about their work while they apply his makeup, $2,500
  • Magical Theatre Company, for operating support, including resident performances, a children's script writing program, teacher study guides and local school visits, $12,500
  • Master Singers Inc., to support performance costs for the all-volunteer chorale’s 2017 concert season, $5,000
  • The Musical Arts Association, to support the 2017 Blossom Music Festival and Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000
  • The Musical Theater Project, for the Kids Love Musicals! program, which offers musical theater-based programming in special education and traditional Akron Public Schools classrooms, $8,500
  • National Center for Choreography, for support of a center that offers research and development in dance through group discussions, interactions with artists and the choreography process, $5,000
  • Neos Dance Theatre, to support Lose Your Marbles, a dance-centric fringe festival that pays homage to Akron as the birthplace of mass-produced toy marbles, $5,000
  • None Too Fragile Theater, to support the 2017 Off Broadway Series, including five Ohio premieres and one Akron premiere in a black box theater, $5,000
  • Ohio Shakespeare Festival, to support an expanded 2017-18 season, including outdoor Shakespeare performances at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and shows at Greystone Hall, $4,000
  • Open Tone Music LLC, to support the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, a free event that features both national and local jazz performers in multiple venues throughout downtown Akron, $3,000
  • Peninsula Foundation, for the Voices in the Valley music program, a series of music performances at G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula, $3,500
  • RED Company real.edge.dance, to support the dance company's seventh season, including performances with community dancers, nursing home outreach, apprentice training and an anti-bullying educational program, $5,000
  • Rubber City Theatre, to support the 2017-18 season, including plays by Shakespeare and other classic playwrights, summer camps, fall and spring classes, a youth show and a teacher's institute, $4,000
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for operating support of the historic estate, as well as educational, cultural and recreational programs, $40,000
  • Summit Artspace, for exhibits showcasing the work of local artists, and to support education and programming for community members, $20,000
  • Summit Choral Society, to support musical training for children and adults, including the Children's Choir and Choral Scholars programs, $10,000
  • Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, for operating support to maintain historic properties that belonged to the Perkins family, $20,000
  • Tuesday Musical Association, to support the "Prelude" concert in September, which celebrates the organization's 130th anniversary, $12,500
  • Verb Ballets, to support the "An Evening of Premieres" 30th anniversary dance performance at Akron Civic Theatre, which will showcase different styles of dance, from classical ballet to contemporary, $5,000
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, for the 2017-18 performance season, including main stage shows, black box productions, and the Emerging Artist Series, $10,000
  • West Hill Neighborhood Organization, to build a stage at Oakdale Pocket Park for neighborhood dance events and small band concerts, $2,500
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, to support hands-on educational programming at Hale Farm & Village, $10,000
  • Western Reserve Public Media, for cultural arts and performance programming on Western Reserve PBS, including local shows, concerts and art-related documentaries, $15,000
  • WynnStarr Productions LLC, for the creation of "If This Wallpaper Could Talk," an Akron history book, $2,500
  • Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, for operational support, including a summer arts residency for students, a leadership and arts academy, and weekend arts workshops, $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.