A community action plan that will shape our future.
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture’s mission is to inspire and strengthen the community by investing in arts and culture. To best fulfill that mission and serve the people of Cuyahoga County, we have developed the following initial focus areas and goals for our action plan:

Continue to support a wide variety of cultural organizations, artists and creative people

CAC will pursue our responsibility to cultural organizations, artists and creative people by sustaining our operating and project grant programs, as well as our technical assistance services and related programs. We will align all of our program guidelines and policies around our mission, vision and values, taking care to implement program changes thoughtfully and with a spirit of partnership and collaboration.


  • In the first half of 2017, CAC will create its 2018 grant program guidelines, ensuring alignment with CAC’s mission, vision and values, and present them for board approval.
  • Throughout 2017, CAC will create a portfolio of learning opportunities for cultural organizations and artists, to help them achieve their goals.
  • Throughout 2017, CAC will seek input from cultural partners and residents and use that input to inform our work.
  • In the second half of 2017, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, CAC will work with partners to provide paid opportunities for institutions and artists to present programming for residents on the newly designed Public Square.

Explore ways to recognize and equitably support our community’s varied cultural ecology

CAC will pursue its second responsibility by focusing on three opportunities:

  1. Engaging with residents and expanding our understanding and support of the diversity of the contemporary creative practices and cultural traditions of the African, Latino/a, Asian, Arab, and Native American peoples in our County.
  2. Experimenting with ways to expand our support at the neighborhood level, particularly in parts of the County that currently lack meaningful CAC support for their cultural assets.
  3. Exploring ways for people to actively participate in the arts – making and doing themselves – both in neighborhood locations and in cultural institutions


In the next 18 months, CAC will experiment with different approaches to these three opportunities. These experiments might include:

  • Conducting assessments in neighborhoods currently lacking CAC support, in order to better understand what local cultural assets are and how we would deliver support that would best benefit residents.
  • Piloting projects that can expand access by supporting quality arts programs and artists in public libraries, parks and other community centers in underserved communities.
  • Testing communications strategies that help broaden public awareness of existing cultural offerings, utilizing media relationships and
  • Providing learning opportunities for organizations and artists that will help them build the skills necessary to expand and improve their social engagement and civic leadership.

We have allocated human and financial resources in the 2017 operating budget that will allow us to begin this experimentation. As we learn what works, we will need to think carefully about ways to make these efforts sustainable for the long term. Based on the results of these experiments, staff will return to the board in the second half of 2018 with a proposal for implementing one or more initiatives that will enable us to better serve our community’s cultural ecology.

Partner Images (from top) courtesy of Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, Public Square, Waterloo Sculpture Garden (Janet Century),  and the Cleveland Museum of Art