Efforts to create an advocacy organization for bicyclists, improve the design of Cleveland’s public spaces and increase the number of Cleveland students graduating from college received a boost with grants from The George Gund Foundation.
Bike Cleveland, modeled after successful organizations in Pittsburgh and Chicago, received a $60,000 start-up grant for advocacy and organizing efforts to make Cleveland a more bike-friendly city.
A two-year $775,000 grant was awarded to LAND Studio, a new organization formed by the merger of Cleveland Public Art and Parkworks. Grant funds will be used for merger expenses as well as for the new organization’s ongoing efforts to “create places and connect people through public art, sustainable building and design, collaborative planning and dynamic programming.”
The newly formed Higher Education Compact of Cleveland received $50,000 for its work to increase the number of Cleveland Metropolitan School District students who attend and complete college.
The Foundation also continued its long-time support for research on retinal degenerative diseases with a $2 million grant to the Foundation Fighting Blindness and made an additional $1.5 million grant to the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) for its unified campus in University Circle’s Uptown District. The new building will be named in honor of the late George Gund II who chaired the board for almost a quarter of a century.
These grants were among 75 totaling $7,425,902 approved at the Foundation’s November board meeting. Total grantmaking for 2011 was $16,569,687.
Other grants of interest include:
- $260,000 to the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture for operating expenses and for the Artists in Residence program to encourage artists to make Cleveland their home.
- $100,000 to Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio for efforts to help implement health care reform in Ohio, particularly its work related to creating Ohio’s health insurance exchange.
- $60,000 to Policy Matters Ohio for its ongoing research on key policy issues.
- $150,000 over two years to Trust for Public Land for land conservation work.
The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Company. The Foundation funds programs that enhance our understanding of the physical and social environment in which we live and increase our ability to cope with its changing requirements. Grants are made three times a year in the areas of education, human services, economic and community development, environment and arts. Foundation commitments to date have totaled more than $580 million.