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Grants give boost to Akron neighborhoods

People on ladders painting a building
A grant to Art Bomb Brigade will help create two community murals in West Akron.

The City of Akron and Akron Community Foundation have announced $203,840 in grants to help residents improve their community through the Neighborhood Partnership Program.

In all, matching grants were awarded to 51 projects throughout Greater Akron that will help strengthen neighborhoods from Goodyear Heights to North Hill. An art garden in the Highland Square neighborhood will provide a community meeting space adorned with artwork created by local students. In West Akron, funded projects will help students with GED and college preparation, along with providing community gardens and exploratory field trips. Programs funded in North Akron will help create a more cohesive community of senior citizens in addition to serving young people and refugee families.

"The City of Akron is proud to have partnered with Akron Community Foundation for over 20 years in sponsoring the Neighborhood Partnership Program, which provides support and resources to citizens seeking to make a positive difference," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. "This unique program provides residents, who are most aware of the needs and assets of their neighborhood, the opportunity to create local programming and activate resources in a way that benefits their community. The Neighborhood Partnership Program supports an array of different activities, including beautification projects, public programming, and local economic development initiatives, that inspire neighborhood pride, build community, and enhance the quality of life for our residents."

The Neighborhood Partnership Program is a collaboration between the City of Akron and Akron Community Foundation to fund grassroots, citizen-led initiatives that revitalize and reinvent local neighborhoods. Officials from the City of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development and the community foundation review the applications and make funding recommendations to Akron City Council.

The following groups received grants in 2018:


Community Building

  • Akron Area YMCA, East Akron Branch, for the Neighborhood Leadership Institute program, which offers workshops and training for grassroots leaders, $7,500
  • Akron Area YMCA, East Akron Branch, for Neighborhood Leadership Institute pilot projects, $3,000
  • Blessed Trinity Parish, for semimonthly senior dinners at the parish on Tallmadge Avenue to help create a more cohesive senior community in North Hill, $5,000
  • Charisma Community Connection, for the annual Fathers Walk event, where fathers attend school with their children, $1,000
  • City of Akron Peacemakers, for an anti-crime and civic program that teaches youth about local government, community organizations and law enforcement, $7,500
  • Copley Road Community Center, for GED preparation for students, along with neighborhood beautification and playground construction, $1,000
  • Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, for placemaking, beautification and community arts programs, $7,500
  • West Hill Community Development Corporation, for a community outreach and summer youth recreation program, $2,500; and for the West Hill Community Gardens, $2,000
  • Williams Challenge, for the Man2Man Fatherhood Initiative, which helps at-risk men become a positive influence in their children's lives, $2,750


  • Akron Pride, to support the Akron Pride Festival at Hardesty Park, $7,500
  • Big Love Network, for the Hands On Sustainability conference, which educates the public about environmentally beneficial practices, $7,500
  • Buchtel Community Learning Center PTA, for the West Akron Parade and Festival, a community parade celebrating West Akron youth organizations, churches and businesses, $3,000
  • Canal Park Condominium Owners Association, for a community picnic that builds positive relationships among neighbors in this inner-city development, $1,500
  • Case Elementary School PTA, for an event to celebrate the opening of the new school, $1,000
  • DeBord's 22nd Community Halloween Festival, for a family-friendly community Halloween festival, $1,500
  • Firestone Park Citizens Council, for the Firestone Park summer celebration and parade, $7,500
  • Greater Bethel CDC, for a daylong neighborhood jubilee and a Labor Day parade, $3,000
  • Greater Holy Trinity C.O.G.I.C. Men Ministries, for a community outreach day to connect residents to neighborhood resources, $2,000
  • Heart to Heart Family Support Center, for the National Night Out Against Crime event in the Rosemary/Arlington area of East Akron, $2,000
  • Hereford/Highland Area Block Watch Inc., for a newsletter and community-building events in the Highland Square neighborhood, $6,990
  • Highland Square Neighborhood Association, for the 2018 Porch Rokr Festival, a one-day music and arts festival that showcases local musicians, vendors and community activities while building relationships among neighbors in Highland Square, $7,500
  • House of Zoe, for a neighborhood gathering in West Akron, $1,000
  • Joanna House II, for a Founder's Day celebration in South Akron, $1,000; for a Trunk or Treat event, $500; and for a youth summer program, $1,000
  • Kenmore Chamber of Commerce, for community events, including a holiday celebration and children's Easter egg hunt, $6,000
  • North Hill Community House, for the Youth National Night Out Against Crime, $2,700
  • Partners for Theater Inc., for Summit Stage Fest, which hosts outdoor theater productions on multiple stages in Highland Square, $7,500
  • Residents Improving Goodyear Heights Together (RIGHT), for a community newsletter and neighborhood activities, $7,500
  • Second Baptist Church of Akron, for a family-friendly event to promote unity in Ward 3, $2,000
  • S.T.A.R.T., for Copley Road Clean-Up Day in West Akron, $2,000
  • Wilderness Inquiry, for the Akron Portage 'n' Paddle Competition and Celebration, $5,000


  • Adventure Camp, for a youth engagement program in West Akron that offers educational field trips, $1,500
  • Akron NAACP, for the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics program, which encourages academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students, $3,500
  • Akron Urban League, for the MY-STARS middle school youth summer enrichment camp, $5,000
  • City Sprouts, for a children's gardening and healthy living program, $7,500
  • He Brought Us Out Ministry, for the Building Blocks Enrichment Program, which provides after-school and summer activities focused on education, character and leadership development, $7,500
  • Kohl Family YMCA at University Park, for the "Make a Splash" water safety program, $5,000
  • Let's Grow Akron Inc., to support children's food-based programs, including community gardens, Young Urban Farmers, and Healthy Foods Preparation and Preservation, $7,500
  • Mon Community of Ohio, for literature, language and arts programs for children, $2,500
  • National Congress of Black Women, to support the College for Kids program, which helps children explore career opportunities and prepare for college, $3,000
  • Project GRAD Akron, for the College and Career Expo for Success, and for the annual Breakfast and Educational Fun with Santa, $7,500
  • Shanti Community Farms, for neighborhood youth programs centered around community gardening, $3,750
  • Urban Vision, for Camp Urban Vision, a summer camp that serves up to 720 children in the North Hill neighborhood, $5,000
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