© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cuts in Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Funding Revealed

A record 257 arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County will share nearly $12-million in funding from a cigarette tax, this coming year.  Who gets what was announced in a public meeting Monday night.  But,  not everybody is celebrating, because that tax income is on a steady downward trend.

The Cleveland Orchestra is getting about a 26 percent cut in funding due to dwindling cigarette sales.  Speaking for the Musical Arts Association which governs the Orchestra, David Hooker says the cut took his organization by surprise.

"We think the fair way to go about this is to show us how they reached that conclusion," he says.  "The fair thing to do is to let us all see what they’re doing.  And we don’t feel like we’ve got those answers yet."

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC) distributes the smoking tax revenues, and they announced planned funding cuts, last month.  But, CAC said the larger cuts this cycle are part of a ten-year program that will soften over time and promote a level of budgeting predictability for the grantees.  

"Ultimately there are less dollars to go around," says Tara Turner, speaking for the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  She adds that the 32 percent cut to her organization’s grant this year was tough, but they knew something like it was coming.

"We have to accept that fact and we have to be grateful for the money that we’re getting from them and will be getting from them in a very consistent way for a period of time."

85 percent of this round of grants will go for General Operating Support (GOS) for organizations like the Botanical Gardens and the Orchestra.  Although there is a 20 percent reduction in GOS funding overall, CAC calculates the "average reduction in grants to individual organizations is about 14 percent".  Some will get higher cuts, some cuts will be lower, and some organizations are actually getting more money this round.  

The remaining 15 percent of funding announced Monday supports special projects, ranging from the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival to the West Creek Conservancy.

CAC executive director Karen Gahl-Mills argues that her staff made a concerted effort to inform all stakeholders of the pending cuts.

"But, it’s difficult news," she acknowledges.  "And we understand that difficult news is sometimes hard to hear.  We are absolutely committed to talking with organizations about this financial decision, helping them understand how it plays out for them." 

Gahl-Mills says CAC will hold a public meeting in January to discuss that decision and to figure out ways to improve the process.  ideastream receives funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture




The biggest proportion of the cigarette tax revenue is devoted to General Operating Support (GOS).  Here is a comparison of the funding allocations for the last round of grants versus the new amounts:

ORGANIZATION Yearly grant amounts for 2015, 2016 & 2017

Yearly grant amounts for 2018 & 2019

Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra $106,917


Art House $25,038


Artist Archives of the Western Reserve NA


Baycrafters-BAYarts $49,053


Beck Center for the Arts $172,280


Broadway School of Music and the Arts $23,847


Center for Arts-Inspired Learning $150,471


Chagrin Valley Little Theatre $39,946


Cleveland Botanical Garden $351,286


Cleveland Choral Arts (North Coast Men's Chorus) $27,192


Cleveland Institute of Art $672,572


Cleveland International Film Festival $164,506


Cleveland Jazz Orchestra $33,977


Cleveland Modern Dance Association (DANCECleveland) $55,941


Cleveland Museum of Art $1,232,694


Cleveland Museum of Natural History $577,499


Cleveland Music School Settlement (The Music Settlement) $225,193


Cleveland Play House $337,280


Cleveland POPS Orchestra, Inc. $80,224


Cleveland Public Theatre, Inc. $109,278


Cleveland Restoration Society $83,412


Community Partnership for Arts and Culture $92,515


Contemporary Youth Orchestra $27,100


Dobama Theatre $35,816


Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute (Rainey Institute) $69,486


Great Lakes Museum of Science, Environment & Technology (Gr. Lakes Sci. Ctr.) $361,952


Great Lakes Theater $215,042


GroundWorks Dancetheater $46,293


Heights Arts Collaborative, Inc. (HeightsArts) $23,075


ideastream $879,245


Inlet Dance $22,376


Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA-Art Conservation) $92,381


Karamu House NA


Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth NA


Lake Erie Nature & Science Center $105,772


LAND studio $231,920


Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage $155,493


Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation NA


Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland $158,954


Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra) $1,518,755


Near West Theatre $62,461


Piano Intl Competition of Northeast Ohio (Cleveland Intl Piano Competition) $70,177


Playhouse Square $1,395,695


Professional Flair, Inc. (Dancing Wheels) $50,262


Progressive Arts Alliance, Inc. $47,105


Roots of American Music $25,984


Shaker Lakes Regional Nature Center (Nature Center at Shaker Lakes) $80,495


SPACES $52,853


The Children's Museum of Cleveland $89,434


The Cleveland Opera $19,200


The Musical Theater Project NA


The Northern Oh. Children’s Performing Music Found., Inc. (Singing Angels) $44,216


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. $989,574


The Sculpture Center $16,582


The Shaker Historical Society $18,805


Ukrainian Museum-Archives $14,583


Valley Art Center $34,359


Verb Ballets $39,674


Western Reserve Historical Society $280,343


Zygote Press $31,234


Total allocation for the GOS program $12,666,221






Copyright 2021 90.3 WCPN ideastream. To see more, visit 90.3 WCPN ideastream.