The George Gund Foundation awarded $7,271,790 at its winter meeting to organizations ranging from a new theater festival to long-established groups such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
The inaugural Borderlight Festival of Theatre Cleveland, is a 4-day international and local performing arts festival premiering in August based in downtown venues and at Cleveland’s neighborhood theatres. It will feature renowned performers from abroad and world premiere collaborations between Cleveland-based theatre artists and international artists. It was awarded a $100,000 grant.
The Boys & Girls Clubs will receive $50,000 to support the development of a digital arts suite at East Technical High School as part of the community’s celebration of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July. The Cleveland Indians are also supporting the creation of the suite along with other projects in Cleveland to leave a legacy of the summer event.
Other grants of interest include:
- Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC) will receive an $80,000 grant. BBC is a village of birth workers or doulas who primarily provide social support to pregnant women at highest risk for infant mortality during the perinatal period. The pre-term birth rate among black women in Ohio is 45 percent higher that all women statewide and the black infant mortality rate in Cuyahoga County is more than triple that of white infants. BBC addresses and improves the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes through culture, education, advocacy, support and engagement. Its free neighborhood-based services include childbirth and parenting education with workshops and classes on breastfeeding, stress relief, bonding with baby, co-parenting and healthy eating.
- For the past several years, the Foundation has supported the work that the Cleveland Police Department (CPD), Strategies for Youth and the Schubert Center for Child Development at Case Western Reserve University to develop model policies or protocols regarding youth interactions with the police that could be adopted by the CPD. Strategies for Youth will receive a $50,000 grant to support programs that will seek to reduce the use of force against and the number of arrests of people by police in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and improving communications and overall relations between police and youth, particularly youth of color.
- $100,000 to support Youth Opportunities Unlimited, founded to connect Cleveland’s high school youth to their first paid summer jobs. The program partners with local high schools, employers, and nonprofits to provide year-round, in-school and after-school programs that help hundreds of teens and young adults prepare for the workforce.
- $3,600,000 over three years to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, to support its goal of positively impacting the community by providing financial support, training and capacity building efforts to community development corporations, supporting and performing placemaking activities to improve residential, commercial and greenspace properties, and delivering economic opportunity programming to ensure city residents can thrive where they live.
- $200,000 over two years to support the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the largest and oldest citizens’ environmental organization dedicated to the protection of the Great Lakes. It strives to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. The Alliance ensures that the Great Lakes Compact, a comprehensive international effort to conserve water resources in the Great Lakes Basin, is a strong and effective tool for enforcing water conservation and resource impact prevention.
- $100,000 to Ohio City Incorporated to help support the final phases of the Irishtown Bend Park planning and design initiative. Irishtown Bend is a 17-acre site that connects Ohio City to the Flats, downtown, and Lake Erie. The property is poised to undergo significant hillside restabilization in advance of the creation of a park that will include the final section of the Lake Link Trail – a cascading system of walkways, trails and park amenities leading down the hillside.
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 $740 million.
Further details on the Winter 2019 grant awardees can be found at www.gundfoundation.org.