Cuyahoga Arts & Culture gives $12.3 million in grants but cuts stir controversy

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 07:03:40 PM. Some 250 people packed the CAC board meeting Monday, jamming parking lots and hogging meters.
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Despite a pointed plea to delay the approval of $12.3 million in grants during a meeting of the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture board Monday, trustees voted unanimously to dole out cigarette tax dollars to more than 250 arts and culture nonprofits in 2018. Sixty-one organizations will receive $10.2 million in general operating support - multiyear grants that can be applied to anything other than travel and fundraising expenses - a 20 reduction from the $12.7 million in GOS funds awarded to county arts groups in 2015-16 and extended into 2017. Another 196 organizations - including 25 new grant recipients - will receive $1.7 million in project support money, a reduction of 7.4 percent from the previous year. An additional $75,000 will go to the group Neighborhood Connections to support more than 15 arts and culture projects led by residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Those cuts are "fiscally responsible" say CAC board members and staff - the best way to respond to a slow, steady decrease in available tobacco tax revenue over the next decade. But the reductions have sparked controversy, as evidenced by some 250 people who packed the Cleveland History Center at the Western Reserve Historical Society, jamming parking lots and hogging meters. Musical Arts Association trustee David Hooker, representing the Cleveland Orchestra, kicked off a spirited period of public comment by asking the board "to postpone the grant approval process and to open discussion with the...Read more
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