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National Endowment for the Arts announces funding for work in Northeast Ohio

Kenneth Sponsler
Cleveland Play House is getting $10,000 in NEA funding costs associated with the world premiere of "I'm Back Now," a drama set from the 1860s to the present.

Ohio artists and arts organizations will receive $615,000 in federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts in its first round of funding for the year. Roughly half of that support will benefit Northeast Ohio.

The grants range from $10,000 to $40,000. In Northeast Ohio, project support will go to 13 organizations, including Karamu House, Apollo’s Fire and DANCECleveland.

“Whether it’s world-premiere productions at the Cleveland Play House [or] projects at Kent State University… it really is a testament to the great work done by arts leaders in Ohio,” said Ohio Arts Council Operations and Public Affairs Director Justin Nigro.

The NEA also granted seven “Challenge America” grants of $10,000 each within this round of funding for historically underserved communities, including two Northeast Ohio projects “Through the East Cleveland Farmers Market Preservation Society, they’ll be utilizing a visual artist, Mary Kay Thomas, and others, to help youth – through an arts education program – plan, design and create a mural,” said Nigro.

The other grant is for Foluke Cultural Arts Center to create programs for older, low-income adults residing in Cleveland public housing. The full list of Ohio grants is below:


Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra ($30,000-music)

Center for Arts-Inspired Learning ($20,000-arts education)

DANCECleveland ($15,000-dance)

Cleveland Play House ($10,000-theater)

Tri-C Foundation (on behalf of Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, $15,000-music)

East Cleveland Farmers Market Preservation Society (Challenge America, $10,000)

Rainey Institute ($15,000-arts education)

Foluke Cultural Arts (Challenge America, $10,000)

GroundWorks Dancetheatre ($10,000-dance)

Karamu House ($30,000-theater)

The Cleveland Orchestra ($40,000-music)

Zygote Press, Inc. ($30,000-visual arts)

Chagrin Falls

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival | Grants for Arts Projects—Media Arts ($15,000)

Cleveland Heights

Teresa Villa-Ignacio (Literature Fellowship, $10,000)

Gates Mills

Encore Chamber Music Institute ($10,000-music)


Kent State University Kent Campus ($30,000-design)


American Sign Museum (Challenge America, $10,000)

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati ($15,000-theater)

Cincinnati May Festival ($20,000-music)

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park ($15,000-theater)

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra ($35,000-music)

Kennedy Heights Art Center (Challenge America, $10,000)

Price Hill Will (Challenge America, $10,000)

Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati ($10,000-music)

Connor Yeck (Literature Fellowships, $25,000)


BalletMet ($10,000-dance)

Central Community House of Columbus (Challenge America, $10,000)

Marion Voices Folklife + Oral History ($15,000-folk & traditional arts)

Maroon Arts Group ($30,000-presenting and multidisciplinary works)

OhioDance ($10,000-dance)

Opera Columbus ($20,000-opera)

Opera Project Columbus Incorporated ($10,000-opera)

Wexner Center for the Arts ($10,000-presenting and multidisciplinary works)


Kenyon Review ($10,000-literary arts)


Stuart’s Opera House ($10,000-presenting and multidisciplinary works)


Gateway Arts Council (Challenge America, $10,000)


Westcott House Foundation ($20,000-design)

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.