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$1.3 Million In Pandemic Relief Funds Distributed By Arts Cleveland

The pandemic has hit performing arts venues hard [Shutterstock]

Over 400 artists are receiving notice today of pandemic relief funds allocated by Cuyahoga County through the federal CARES program. 

In October, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced $4 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act would help support the area arts community. The advocacy organization Arts Cleveland was tasked to distribute $1.3 million of those funds to individual artists and performing arts businesses. Arts Cleveland’s Valerie Schumacher told ideastream that 425 artists will receive about $1600 each, and 38 for-profit arts businesses will get anywhere from $760 to a maximum of $45,000, depending on their annual revenue. Schumacher said the average allocation was about $16,000.

While these CARES Act funds will no doubt bolster the bottom lines of financially strapped businesses, Arts Cleveland notes that much more is needed. A news release states: "Collectively, businesses requested a total of $2,401,653 for reimbursement of existing expenses that will not be covered through this CARES funding program. That same group reported 184 fewer jobs in 2020 than the prior year, and an average of 85% loss in revenue."  

The remaining $2.66 million in county CARES funding was distributed to 94 arts and cultural non-profits this month by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, which also provides support for ideastream. 


David C. Barnett was a senior arts & culture reporter for Ideastream Public Media. He retired in October 2022.