Cuts in Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Funding Revealed

Cigarette tax arts funding in Cuyahoga County is heading down [Image / Cleveland Botanical Garden]
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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

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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

$100,916

Art House

$25,038

$22,691

Artist Archives of the Western Reserve

NA

$23,140

Baycrafters-BAYarts

$49,053

$48,825

Beck Center for the Arts

$172,280

$134,721

Broadway School of Music and the Arts

$23,847

$18,933

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning

$150,471

$95,254

Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

$39,946

$33,216

Cleveland Botanical Garden

$351,286

$239,395

Cleveland Choral Arts (North Coast Men's Chorus)

$27,192

$23,899

Cleveland Institute of Art

$672,572

$529,101

Cleveland International Film Festival

$164,506

$151,303

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra

$33,977

$31,740

Cleveland Modern Dance Association (DANCECleveland)

$55,941

$55,304

Cleveland Museum of Art

$1,232,694

$977,345

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

$577,499

$470,869

Cleveland Music School Settlement (The Music Settlement)

$225,193

$175,529

Cleveland Play House

$337,280

$295,362

Cleveland POPS Orchestra, Inc.

$80,224

$65,899

Cleveland Public Theatre, Inc.

$109,278

$93,804

Cleveland Restoration Society

$83,412

$70,478

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture

$92,515

$67,574

Contemporary Youth Orchestra

$27,100

$27,459

Dobama Theatre

$35,816

$37,954

Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute (Rainey Institute)

$69,486

$80,807

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

$361,952

$284,437

Great Lakes Theater

$215,042

$188,395

GroundWorks Dancetheater

$46,293

$44,743

Heights Arts Collaborative, Inc. (HeightsArts)

$23,075

$24,303

ideastream

$879,245

$642,871

Inlet Dance

$22,376

$22,754

Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA-Art Conservation)

$92,381

$81,182

Karamu House

NA

$83,447

Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth

NA

$25,027

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

$105,772

$78,723

LAND studio

$231,920

$161,334

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

$155,493

$126,368

Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation

NA

$27,771

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland

$158,954

$148,714

Musical Arts Association (The Cleveland Orchestra)

$1,518,755

$1,118,231

Near West Theatre

$62,461

$53,943

Piano Intl Competition of Northeast Ohio (Cleveland Intl Piano Competition)

$70,177

$56,669

Playhouse Square

$1,395,695

$1,164,989

Professional Flair, Inc. (Dancing Wheels)

$50,262

$38,408

Progressive Arts Alliance, Inc.

$47,105

$49,534

Roots of American Music

$25,984

$22,370

Shaker Lakes Regional Nature Center (Nature Center at Shaker Lakes)

$80,495

$73,262

SPACES

$52,853

$34,962

The Children's Museum of Cleveland

$89,434

$57,742

The Cleveland Opera

$19,200

$18,527

The Musical Theater Project

NA

$39,554

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

$44,216

$33,343

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.

$989,574

$702,063

The Sculpture Center

$16,582

$18,452

The Shaker Historical Society

$18,805

$15,363

Ukrainian Museum-Archives

$14,583

$11,437

Valley Art Center

$34,359

$33,372

Verb Ballets

$39,674

$37,282

Western Reserve Historical Society

$280,343

$222,126

Zygote Press

$31,234

$28,967

Total allocation for the GOS program

$12,666,221

$10,200,000

 

 

 

 

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