02/27/2023 in Announcements

The Gund Foundation awards $6.8 million at its February meeting

The George Gund Foundation awarded $6.8 million at its first board meeting of 2023. Among other awards, Trustees approved $250,000 to SPACES for operating support and programming needs for “Everlasting Plastics.”

SPACES was recently selected to organize the U.S. exhibition at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. The theme chosen by SPACES, “Everlasting Plastics,” will involve sculptures and installations from five contributors—Xavi Aguirre, Simon Anton, Ang Li, Norman Teague, and Lauren Yeager. The exhibit will invite visitors from across the globe to reframe the overabundance of plastic debris. After the Biennale concludes, SPACES intends to share the exhibit with Clevelanders and facilitate hands-on programming.

“We are ecstatic to support SPACES in this historic opportunity on the world stage,” said Tony Richardson, president of The George Gund Foundation.

Additional grants across program areas reflect the Foundation’s priorities of greater racial and gender equity, climate justice, and democracy building, such as:

  • $300,000 over two years to OPAWL – Building AAPI Feminist Leadership to build organizational capacity and stability to elevate the voices, visibility, and progressive leadership of AAPI women, nonbinary, queer, and trans people in Ohio.
  • $250,000 over two years to Smart Development, a community-based organization focused on bridging the gap in services for refugees, immigrants, ethnic minorities, and Arab/Arabic speaking residents.
  • $370,000 to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in support of the Cleveland Foundation’s Public Service Fellowship, which will place six talented college graduates with a passion for service in the district for the 2023–2024 school year.
  • $350,000 over two years to One Fair Wage to advance racial equity in the service sector through policy change, industry organizing and training, and storytelling.
  • $200,000 over two years to the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development (aka Hispanic Business Center) to support entrepreneurship, business growth, and wealth creation within the Latino community in Greater Cleveland.
  • $75,000 over two years to the Kent State University Foundation to complete the first comprehensive and holistic LGBTQIA+ specific community needs assessment for Greater Cleveland.
  • $225,000 over three years to the Nature Conservancy Ohio Chapter to continue its advocacy work around freshwater resources, climate and energy, and funding for state environmental agencies and programs in Ohio.
  • $250,000 over two years to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a tax and fiscal policy research and analysis nonprofit with a deep commitment to creating equitable fiscal policy, to deepen its state-level data and analysis and highlight its disaggregated racial impact data.
  • $150,000 for Honesty for Education, a nonpartisan, statewide coalition that champions honesty in education at the Ohio Statehouse, State Board of Education, and local school districts.
  • $400,000 over two years to Assembly for the Arts for its work to elevate arts and culture as a major priority for Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the surrounding region. Assembly is also working on expanding resources for the arts and culture sector and increasing equity within the field.
  • $200,000 over two years to Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE) to continue youth engagement and organizing work in Ohio. ACE educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to take action.

Further details on the February 2023 grants can be found at gundfoundation.org.

The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chair 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 climate and environmental justice, creative culture and arts, public education, thriving families and social justice, and vibrant neighborhoods and inclusive economy. Foundation commitments to date have totaled over $891 million.