Pilot grant-making program boosts Akron Community Foundation funding to $2.2 million

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AKRON, Ohio – Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved grants totaling $2,245,983, including $1,605,811 in noncompetitive grants from 112 designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds and $640,172 in competitive arts and culture grants on June 13.

Overall grant-making increased by more than $300,000 over the previous quarter, and arts and culture grants increased by more than 25 percent over the previous year thanks to a new community foundation initiative to connect fundholders with charitable opportunities discovered through the community foundation’s competitive grant process. This quarter, a small group of corporate- and donor-advised fundholders, many of whom are arts supporters, reviewed requests from a variety of nonprofit agencies and recommended 13 grants totaling $192,172 for Summit County cultural programs.

“This new way of approaching our quarterly grant cycle is beneficial for our fundholders, nonprofits and community as a whole,” said John T. Petures Jr., the community foundation’s president and CEO. “If a grant comes our way that merits more than our board is able to give and we have fundholders who want to be connected with those types of funding opportunities, we believe it’s our duty to be that linkage in the community. Our mission is to connect our fundholders with opportunities that align with their charitable goals while improving our collective quality of life. I believe this does both.”

The following arts and culture grants were approved from the Howard Atwood Family Fund, H. Peter Burg Fund, Medical Mutual Community Investment Fund, Schloenbach Family Fund and an anonymous fund:

  • Akron Symphony, for a summer music camp, youth orchestra coaching, Concerts for Kids series and the annual Gospel Meets Symphony production at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, $35,000
    Artists of Rubber City, to publish a book featuring the talents of Ohio’s contemporary artists, $1,100
    Arts Sparks, for a kindergarten readiness program centered on dance and music, $5,000
    Ballet Theatre of Ohio, for “Take Me Out to the Ballet,” a partnership with Akron Public Schools that brings grade school students to an in-theater performance of “The Nutcracker,” $10,000
    Central Summit County Choral Society, for the Summit Children’s Choir, a vocal and musical education program for local children ages 6 to 8, $30,000
    Children’s Concert Society, to build capacity for the Concert Hall Series through a program that takes kids to the theater, $10,000
    Christian Fellowship Basketball League, for Project Yes I Can, an eight-week program for inner-city youth to improve and enhance their musical talent, $2,500
    ETC School of the Musical Arts, to help qualified students in financial need participate in musical education, performance training and performance opportunities, $8,100
    Friends of Historic Glendale Cemetery, to support the cemetery’s 175th anniversary community celebration and historical education events, $10,000
    Kent State University Foundation Inc., to support “Encouraging New Voices,” a collaborative initiative between the university’s Wick Poetry Center and Akron Public Schools to increase literacy among students, $33,472
    Magical Theatre Company, for theater performances and a capital campaign to improve the facility, $35,000
    Weathervane Community Playhouse, for its 80th anniversary 2014-15 season of plays, musicals, young actor productions and the 10-Minute Play Festival, $2,000
    Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, to support the Summer Intensive Workshop that introduces approximately 300 youth to the arts, $10,000

The following arts and culture grants were awarded from these field-of-interest and unrestricted funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund, V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund, Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, GAR Foundation Fund for Dance in Summit County, C. Colmery Gibson Polsky Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund for Dance in Summit County, William C. Krisher Fund, Polsky Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, Jean P. Stevens Fund and the Community Fund:

  • Actors Summit, to support seven plays during the 2014-15 season, ranging from classic American dramas to contemporary comedies to musicals, $5,000
  • Akron Area Arts Alliance, for 12-15 annual exhibitions, free arts workshops, Artwalk programming, public programs and artist receptions, and a self-study process of the organization as a response to the countywide arts assessment, $20,000
  • Akron Art Museum, to provide operating support for the museum and its enhanced programming such as yoga in the galleries, film premieres, lectures, artist gallery talks and programming for young children, $50,000
  • Akron Civic Theatre, to support the 2014-15 season of community-based and in-house programming, and for the All Access Program, which provides 5,000 free tickets for social services agencies to give to economically disadvantaged individuals and families, $20,000
  • Akron Independent Film Festival Inc., for a film exhibition at The Nightlight Cinema Akron’s independent movie theater set to open in mid-2014, $5,000
  • Akron Symphony, for a summer music camp, youth orchestra coaching, Concert for Kids series and the annual Gospel Meets Symphony production at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, $25,000
  • Akron Woman’s City Club/Coach House Theatre, to support 2014-15 programming, which will include elder-focused productions and a combined deaf/hearing production in conjunction with Kent State University’s American Sign Language department, $2,500
  • Apollo’s Fire, for the 20th anniversary season in Summit County of baroque concerts and programming, $12,000
  • Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, for performances, workshops and educational activities during the Balch Street Theatre’s 2014-15 season, $2,500
  • Children’s Concert Society, for the In-School Concert Series, which introduces more than 30,000 students to diverse types of live fine music, $10,000
  • City of Akron, for the 40th year of the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, which offers free dance performances in Akron parks, $50,000
  • The Cleveland Orchestra, to support the 2014 Blossom Music Festival and the Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000
  • DANCECleveland, to bring the renowned Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to Akron for a public performance and community residency that will feature company members in master and college classes, receptions, open rehearsals and more, $10,000
  • Friends of 91.3, to increase organizational sustainability through brand expansion, enhanced membership and fundraising initiatives, and ongoing technology investments, $12,500
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater, for Summit County performances at the Selle Generator Complex and the Stage Door Series at E.J. Thomas Hall; educational programs for children; master classes; and other outreach activities, $10,000
  • Keepers of the Art Inc., for the 2014 Keepers of the Art Music Showcase of hip-hop and soul music at Lock 3, $10,000
  • Magical Theatre Company, for theater performances and a capital campaign to improve the facility, $15,000
  • Master Singers Inc., for the all-volunteer, non-audition chorale’s 2014-15 concert season, $3,000
    Ohio Shakespeare Festival, for outdoor productions of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Henry IV, Part 1” at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $5,000
  • Project RISE – Akron Public Schools, for the Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT) program, which gives children and families who are experiencing homelessness access to musicals, plays and dance performances, $9,000
  • RED Company real.edge.dance, for general operating support for the modern dance company’s fourth season of performances and the development of its educational arts center in Akron, $2,500
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for general operations, programs and the capital campaign to restore key areas of the facilities as the estate prepares for its centennial in 2015, $55,000
  • Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, to support the organization’s 90th anniversary of preserving and interpreting the history of Summit County and Akron, $15,000
  • Tuesday Musical Association, to support the Time for Three and Joshua Bell concerts, $15,000
  • Verb Ballets, for Summit County dance performances, including those at the Akron Civic Theatre, Gay Games 9, area schools, the Akron Art Museum and the Akron-Summit County Public Library, $5,000
  • Weathervane Community Playhouse, for its 80th anniversary 2014-15 season of plays, musicals, young actor productions and the 10-Minute Play Festival, $9,000
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, to support educational programming and preservation at Hale Farm & Village, $12,500
  • Western Reserve Public Media, to support cultural arts and performance programming such as American Masters, Great Performances, Masterpiece and PBS Arts Showcase, $15,000

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 59 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of $181 million with a growing family of more than 450 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation welcomes gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $114 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.

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