12/15/2005 in Grantmaking

Foundation Awards $7.9M Million in December

The George Gund Foundation made grants at its December meeting for innovative initiatives focused on revitalizing University Circle, re-imagining the Cuyahoga River Valley and helping nonprofit organizations use technology more creatively.

The Foundation made a $2.1 million grant to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) for a new facility that will be part of a planned arts and retail district at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in University Circle.

“The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of MOCA, and we are delighted that the museum will become the focal point of an exciting new development and will help bring new energy and vitality to the University Circle neighborhood,” said David Abbott, Foundation executive director. “The increased visibility also will benefit MOCA as is seeks to expand programming and exhibitions.”

A two-year $500,000 grant was made to the Cuyahoga Planning Commission for the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative, a broad-scale planning effort to develop a new framework for rejuvenating the valley and encouraging thoughtful development. The planning process will set goals for a new organization that will be formed in mid-2007 to oversee activities and developments in the Valley, a geographic area that stretches from Akron to Lake Erie.

“This project has the potential to set a new regional mission and standard for the rediscovery of the Cuyahoga Valley as an important community asset,” said Abbott.

OneCleveland, a project focused on using the fiber optic system that runs through the city to network education, government, health care, cultural, research and other nonprofit organizations, received a $300,000 grant.

OneCleveland, a project of the technology-based nonprofit NorTech, will use grant funds to assist organizations in developing new approaches to using technology to more effectively and efficiently to help those they serve.

These grants were among 92 totaling $7,863,750 made by Foundation Trustees at the last quarterly meeting of 2005. Grantmaking for the year was $18,056,679.

Other grants of interest included:

  • $1 million over four years to the Musical Arts Association to support the Cleveland Orchestra’s transition to a new business plan;
  • $125,000 to the Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology for the 2006 Ingenuity Festival;
  • $250,000 over three years to the Center for Families and Children for renovation of its main offices in the Midtown Corridor and three of its community-based facilities;
  • $300,000 to ShoreBank Enterprise Group Cleveland for efforts to create economic opportunities in East Side Cleveland neighborhoods;
  • $35,000 to the Cleveland Municipal School District for the search for a new chief executive officer;
  • $100,000 to Care Alliance, which provides health care to the homeless and uninsured, for its move to a larger facility; and
  • $50,000 to KnowledgeWorks Foundation for the Achieving the Dream initiative at Cuyahoga Community College.

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 quarterly in the areas of education, human services, economic and community development, environment and arts. Foundation commitments to date have totaled more than $427 million.