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Akron Community Foundation distributes nearly $3 million in quarterly grants


Competitive grants support arts and culture programs in Summit County

Akron Community Foundation's board of directors approved grants totaling $2,829,995,including $652,500 in competitive arts and culture grants chosen by the foundation's Community Investment Committee, as well as a $75,000 proactive grant to ArtsNow. This grant will support ArtsNow's implementation of the Cultural Plan, including awarding funds to local nonprofits for their equity, inclusion and access projects and programs.

This quarter's arts and culture funding included a $12,000 grant to the Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture (CATAC). CATAC collaborates with and provides performance space for a group of theater companies, including Chameleon Village Theatre Collective, Gum-Dip Theatre and QuTheatr. Funding will help to equip these resident theater companies with the means to garner new performance techniques and professional development, nurture diverse storytelling, and serve as an administrative support team for successful community building and new performance creation.

"For CATAC, housing organizations that are so deeply rooted in community provides an opportunity for people in this neighborhood, but also people in the Greater Akron community, to be able to experience wide ranges of theatre that they may or may not usually have access to," said Josy Jones, manager of strategic partnerships at CATAC. "We have so many different options for people, and it's within walking distance in the neighborhood. Being able to have funding to continue to build community in the neighborhood and diversify audience is going to be really important."

Nearly 60 organizations received funding during the arts and cycle, including Genesis Experience Theatre, which received a $2,500 grant to provide theatrical educational programs to diverse audiences and performers.

"We believe theatre should be offered to all people," said Howard Pippin, artistic director of Genesis Experience Theatre. "We believe in cultivating a diverse environment and reaching out to undeserved areas in the community. Our youth program is serving undeserved areas. We have an after-school program in the Akron Public Schools system, which has really touched the lives of some young people who may not have had exposure to theatre otherwise."

An additional $17,500 in arts and culture funding was contributed by the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund and an anonymous 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.

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Grants will support the following arts and culture programs:

  • Akron Art Museum, for general operating support, including hands-on exhibits, free performances and the centennial campaign, $52,000
  • Akron Civic Theatre, to support noncommercial, inclusive, community-based programming, $37,000
  • Akron Soul Train, to support artist residencies and projects, $8,000
  • Akron Symphonic Winds, to support free, local concerts and music coaching for Akron Public Schools' students, $6,500
  • Akron Symphony Orchestra, to support music education programs and collaborative music outreach initiatives for Summit County students, $17,500
  • Apollo's Fire the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, to support 2022-23 Summit County concert programming and the Community Access Initiative, $10,000
  • Art Bomb Brigade, to support educational programming and community mural projects, $5,000
  • Art Resources Transformations, to exhibit public art in vacant storefront windows and buildings in downtown Akron, $12,500
  • Art Sparks, to expand peer-based programming for students with developmental disabilities in the Akron Public Schools, $10,000
  • ArtsNow, to strengthen Summit County by supporting, developing, and advancing its arts and cultural assets, $17,500
  • Ballet Excel Ohio, to support the 2022-23 Reach Out and Dance program, providing Akron Public Schools' second-grade students with free in-school dance instruction, $5,000
  • Ballet Theatre of Ohio, to support the Akron Public Schools' outreach program, "Take me out to the Ballet," $5,000
  • The Center for Applied Drama and Autism, for inclusive theatre programming during the 2022-23 season, $3,500
  • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, to house, equip and support its resident theater companies, $12,000
  • Children's Concert Society of Akron, to support the 2022-23 in-school concert series, $10,000
  • City of Akron, to support the 15th annual Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in Akron, $50,000
  • Cleveland Ballet, to support 2022 performances at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $5,000
  • Cleveland International Film Festival, to support Summit County student participation in FilmSlam Streams 2022, $5,000
  • Cleveland Orchestra, to support the 2022 Blossom Music Festival, $20,000
  • Crafty Mart, to support a permanent and sustainable event space where makers can sell, learn and attend workshops, $7,500
  • Crooked River Chorale, for general operating support, $3,000
  • Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, to provide a greater understanding of the visual arts through the promotion of art education, exhibition and community engagement, $5,000
  • DANCECleveland, to bring world class modern dance performances, workshops and an educational residency to Akron in 2022 featuring Gibney Company, $10,000
  • Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for Connecting With Care, which uses modified ballroom dance to improve fifth- and eighth-grade educational experiences and social-emotional learning outcomes, $5,000
  • Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity, to support a performing arts experience for youth in Akron's socio-economic challenged neighborhoods, $2,500
  • Friends of The Summit, for general operating support, including support of its four community service programs Rock+Recovery Radio, KIDJAM Radio, Marilyn Stroud Music Alive, and the 330, $15,000
  • Front Exhibition Company, for "The Hologram," an exhibition at the National Museum of Psychology in Akron during FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, $7,500
  • Genesis Experience Theatre, to support adult and youth theatre education programming, $2,500
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater, to support Summit County arts programming and educational outreach activities, $10,000
  • Highland Square Neighborhood Association, to support Akron's signature events, PorchRokr and the Highland Square Film Festival, $8,000
  • Himalayan Music Academy, to support refugee and immigrant communities through music, language and dance classes, $7,500
  • Keepers of the Art Education, to support the 2022-23 Hip-Hop Preservation Project, which counteracts the corporatization and weaponization of rap music, $10,000
  • Les Délices, for Winds of Change, an all-instrumental program of chamber works from the eve of the French and Haitian revolutions, inspired by the philosophical ideals of liberty, equality and early abolitionist writing, $7,000
  • Magical Theatre Company, to help young people grow socially and emotionally through cultural enrichment by way of the theater, $13,500
  • Master Singers Chorale of Northeast Ohio, to perform free, equitable and accessible classical choral concerts in Summit County, $5,000
  • Music from The Western Reserve, to offer in-person and virtual concerts for its 40th season, $2,000
  • National Center for Choreography, to support research and development in dance through group discussions, dancing labs, residencies, and interactions with world-class artists, $7,500
  • The Nightlight Cinema, to exhibit independent and international cinema in downtown Akron, $14,000
  • None Too Fragile Inc., to support the 2022 Off-Broadway Series, $8,000
  • Ohio Shakespeare Festival, to support the 2022-23 season, including outdoor Shakespeare performances at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and shows at Greystone Hall, $5,000
  • OhioDance, to support community engagement for Summit County through educational resources and documentation, $2,500
  • Open Tone Music, to engage youth in arts and culture through the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, $5,000
  • Peninsula Foundation, to support the "Voices in the Valley" live music series, which features local and national artists at G.A.R. Hall, $7,000
  • Phoenix Performing Arts, to support the 2022-23 performance season, $2,000
  • Project RISE-Akron Public Schools, to support the Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT) program, which provides live theater and performing arts experiences for homeless youth in Akron, $8,000
  • Rubber City Theatre, to support the 2022-23 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 $32,000
  • 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, to support musical training for children and adults, including the Children's Choir and Choral Scholars programs, $16,000
  • Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, for operating support, including preserving artifacts and structures and providing educational tools and programs, $26,500
  • Tuesday Musical Association, to support concerts and community engagement activities during the 2022-23 season, $16,000
  • Verb Ballets, to support free dance performances and educational programs in Summit County, $7,500
  • Wandering Aesthetics, to support community-driven programming, performances and educational activities for the 2022-23 season, $5,000
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, to support the 2022-23 season, including live theater productions, special events and classes, $10,000
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, to support educational programming at the historic Hale Farm & Village, $20,000
  • Western Reserve Playhouse, to support the 2022 performance season, $5 Buck Series and educational programming, $5,000
  • Wings Over Cuyahoga Valley, to support the exhibit, outreach and programming for "Bees, Bugs, Butterflies and the Cuyahoga," $3,000
  • Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop (YEPAW), to use the arts to engage middle and high school urban youth in activities that provide positive options for developing their talents, skills and self-esteem, $17,500

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 67 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. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $280 million with a growing family of more than 780 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 nearly $209 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

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