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Assembly for the Arts awards grants for art in redlined communities

Illustration of Cleveland skyline
Paulrommer SL
Assembly for the Arts CEO Jeremy Johnson said the grants will helping existing art to blossom in redlined communities.

Assembly For the Arts has announced 16 artists are receiving grants to create work in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Each award of $6,250 is for projects in redlined communities which traditionally lack arts investment. Artists will also receive professional development opportunities and support from Assembly for the Arts, an advocacy group for arts and culture in the region.

Some of the projects receiving support include an ice cream truck that’s been converted into a portable recording studio and an elderly visual artist whose work focuses on the impact of domestic violence. The grants are drawn from $140,000 in Cuyahoga Arts & Culture funding.

“You’re going to see neighborhoods that we don’t always associate with arts and culture,” said Assembly President Jeremy Johnson. Calling the areas “potential-bound,” he said that many of the artists have been living and working in the neighborhoods for years.

“I don’t want to say we’re bringing arts to communities,” he said. “We are ‘surfacing’ arts and culture that’s already there and helping it blossom even more.”

For each $6,250 grant, 40% is unrestricted and can be used toward living expenses. Johnson said he hopes the grants attract additional support for projects in redlined communities.

“Cleveland is full of terrific community organizations and development corporations,” he said. “We cannot do enough of this.”

The full list of Creative Impact Fund awards:

*Shadi Ayoub: Let’s Print Together! (Visual Arts, Graphic Design, and Craft; St. Clair Superior, Clark Fulton, or Asiatown)

*Alexander Corona: Raíces: Danzas de México (Dance; St. Clair Superior)

*Moises De Freitas: Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative (Dance, Music, Writing/Literature; East Cleveland)

*Dale Goode: Domestic Violence is Not Pretty (Visual Arts, East Cleveland)

*Natasha Herbert: The Avenue Cleveland Youth Photography Program (Film/Media; Midtown, St. Clair Superior; Central-Kinsman; or East Cleveland)

*Baba Jubal Harris: Heart Beat Drum Circle (Music; East Cleveland)

*Stephanie Lassiter: The Girl (Film/Media; Mt. Pleasant)

*Josh Maxwell: ROOTED (Visual Arts; Broadway-Slavic Village)

*Adenike Mosley-Brown: A Piece of Cake (Visual Arts; Central-Kinsman; North & South Collinwood)

*Robin Robinson: Recapture the Spirit of Our Community Park (Visual Arts; Glenville)

*Georgio Sabino: Artistic Jungle Series (Visual Arts, Fashion; Fairfax)

*Julie Schabel: Wave Space Summer Camps (Visual Arts; North & South Collinwood; Hough; Central Kinsman; Union Miles; or St. Clair Superior)

*Ben Smith: The Splice Cream Spliced Team Dream Concert Series (Music & Visual Arts; Buckeye Woodhill)

*Julia Sosa: El Romantico (Theater, Writing/Literature; Clark Fulton)

*Mary Thomas: U & I of Euclid Avenue (Visual Art; East Cleveland)

*Linda Zolten Wood: Sustainable Arts with Zolten Wood Design & Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project (Visual Arts, Craft; East Cleveland and North Collinwood)

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