07/18/2019 in Grantmaking

The George Gund Foundation awards $7,045,543 at its summer meeting

The George Gund Foundation announced more than $7 million in grants made at its July board meeting to organizations ranging from the grassroots-focused In Our Backyards to the venerable Cleveland Institute of Music.

In Our Backyards works in five cities to support small, neighborhood-based projects that improve local quality of life and positively impact the environment. It received a three-year grant of $195,000 for its Cleveland office. The Institute of Music received $150,000 over three years for its Musical Pathway Fellowship which cultivates minority talent for music conservatories and orchestras.

Building upon its multi-million dollar investment in new schools, the Foundation awarded a total of $1.1 million for continued support of new Cleveland Metropolitan School District high schools, including the new West Side High School, aimed at attracting students from the Detroit Shoreway, Ohio City, West Boulevard, Edgewater, and Cudell neighborhoods. The new building will house a refreshed Garrett Morgan High School and a new school currently under development.

The Foundation made two grants that address local infant mortality and the health of new mothers. First Year Cleveland, through its fiscal sponsor, the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, received $250,000 to support its core infrastructure. First Year Cleveland coordinates the action of over 400 organizations, programs, projects and policy advocacy efforts that are attacking infant mortality rates. The University Hospital Health Systems’ Rainbow Center for Women and Children located in the Midtown Corridor, received a two-year grant of $300,000 to support its participation in a national study to test the efficacy of a promising model of perinatal counseling, “Reach Out, Stay Strong, Essentials for New Moms.” Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the number one complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting up to 1 in 7 pregnant and postpartum women nationally.

Other grants of interest include:

  • $50,000 to EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute to open a bakery which will be housed between its Life Center (which provides affordable apartments and amenities for all students) and its butcher shop. EDWINS offers a free, 6-month program for formerly incarcerated people that provides career pathways in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
  • $300,000 over two years to support the Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition. The Conservancy was founded in 1986 to breathe new life into abandoned rail corridors by converting them for public use. When complete, the 1,600-mile regional trail system will span five states and over 50 counties. Clevelanders will be able to ride their bikes on off-road trails ultimately linking Cleveland to Pittsburgh, Erie, Buffalo and Washington, DC.
  • $25,000 to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to create a roadmap for the City of Cleveland to equitably transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
  • $100,000 over two years to support the Arts Intern program at Studio in a School Association. The program provides opportunities for local college undergraduates to learn about nonprofit arts professions through internships in museums and cultural institutions. The program seeks candidates with demonstrated financial need and encourages applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds. The program was initiated in New York City and has expanded to Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Memphis and Providence.
  • $70,000 to ideastream to study the feasibility of creating an Ohio Radio and Digital News Collaborative that includes the anchor public radio stations in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. A statewide news collaborative would allow ideastream to help lead an emerging national trend among public media organizations to share and coordinate resources to expand their mission of fact-based, contextual and balanced reporting.

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 over $751 million.

Further details on the Summer 2019 grant awardees can be found at www.gundfoundation.org.