The pandemic year resulted in the cancellation of 6,500 events and the loss of $ 119 million in revenue for nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Cuyahoga

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga County’s arts and culture sector was hit hard in 2020 as events were canceled, incomes plummeted and people lost their jobs. But amid the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, local arts and culture organizations have never stopped creating and, with the support of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), have found new ways to inspire and serve the community.

This is the main point to remember from CAC annual report to the communityThe public agency, established in 2006 to distribute county cigarette tax money to the arts, awarded more than 295 grants totaling more than $ 12 million last year. In addition to its own funds, the agency distributed nearly $ 3 million in federal CARES Act money provided by Cuyahoga County to 94 arts and cultures nonprofits.

As previously reported, grants ranged from $ 1.1 million for Playhouse Square to $ 13,475 for the Shaker Historical Society.

The funds have provided a lifeline for many arts and culture organizations, particularly the 65 nonprofits that receive operating support from the CCA. According to the report, these organizations lost more than $ 119 million in earned and donated revenue last year, a drop of 29%. As a result, 3,157 of their employees and contractors were made redundant, placed on leave, or had their hours reduced or contracts canceled, resulting in compensation of more than $ 15.7 million. Across the county, more than 6,500 events have been canceled.

CAC responded to the crisis by accelerating $ 5 million in grant payments and quickly distributing the CARES law funds allocated to it by Cuyahoga County.

According to the report, the money helped the 65 beneficiaries of ACC operational support create more than 4,300 new online events and activities and modify more than 3,200 existing in-person programs to make them virtual.

The annual report details how several organizations pivoted during the pandemic. For example, instead of hosting arts education summer camps on campus, the Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School (CAS) created a virtual program called CAS Unboxed, which included sending needed supplies directly to students. .

“Other organizations had great online programming, but the programs required people to buy supplies. Unboxed provided everyone with the same base of materials, ”says Adam Sheldon, director of BW CAS, in the report. “This accessibility was really important to us.

The report ends with an overview of CAC’s finances. The ledger includes $ 16,188,279 in income and $ 15,875,378 in expenses, both figures reflecting the roughly $ 3 million in CARES law money. More than 96% of the spending was on grants, while the rest – $ 554,558, a slight increase from 2019 – paid for general and administrative costs.

A list of CAOT grant recipients is available at

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