Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors has approved grants totaling $3,020,645, including $2,508,645 in grants from 129 designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds, and $512,000 in competitive arts and culture grants chosen by the organization’s Community Investment Committee.
In addition, the community foundation welcomed eight new charitable funds, including The J.M. Smucker Company Fund. The company will support the fund with five $100,000 gifts – one each year for five years – and grant proceeds will fund educational initiatives and programs for women and girls.
Knight Arts Challenge winners were among the 46 arts and culture grant recipients this quarter. One such recipient, Akron Soul Train, will revamp shipping containers, railroad cars and tiny homes to build a residential artists’ village in the Northside district.
“The community will be able to see artists at work, business art at work,” said Amy Mothersbaugh, creative conductor at Akron Soul Train. She said the project’s goal is to provide artists with “a place to stay, a place to work,” and fellowships to create art that supports their livelihood while promoting the community.
Other Knight Arts Challenge winners receiving grants include: Neos Dance Theatre, for a dance festival; BLU Jazz+, for a master class jazz program; and Keepers of the Art, for the Hip-Hop Preservation Project.
Donor-advised fundholders recommended an additional $53,000 to arts and culture programs through the community foundation’s co-investment program. Funded programs include the Summit County Historical Society for maintenance of Perkins family properties and the Akron Civic Theatre for its All Access Program, which distributes 7,000 free tickets to residents in financial need.
The co-investment program enables fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and choose grants that align with their charitable interests. Participating in the co-investment program this quarter were the Robert A. and Jean C. Meyers Family Fund, Tifft Family Fund and an anonymous fund.
Their funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and unrestricted funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund, Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, Lisette Ertel Fund, GAR Foundation Fund for Dance in Summit County, C. Colmery Gibson Polsky Fund, Lillian D. and Lincoln H. Gries Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, John S. Knight Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fund for Dance, William C. Krisher Fund, W. Bishop & Elizabeth C. McIntosh Fund, Pat and Alan Ockene Fund, Polsky Fund, James G. Robertson Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, George Stevens Fund, Jean P. Stevens Fund, Dr. Kenneth F. Swanson Fund for the Arts, Muriel A. Zodrow Fund and the Community Fund.
Their grants will support the following 46 arts and culture programs:
Akron Art Museum, to support community engagement activities through exhibits, educational programming, performances, and health and wellness events, $60,000
Akron Civic Theatre, for community-based programming, and to support the All Access Program, which will distribute 7,000 free tickets to residents in need, $30,000
Akron Creative Inc., to support independent and foreign language art house movies at the Nightlight Cinema, $7,500
Akron Public Schools – Project Rise, to support Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT), a theater-based enrichment program for Akron Public Schools students experiencing homelessness, $9,000
Akron Soul Train, to support phase one of building a residential artists’ village, which includes a fellows’ studio, exhibition hall and public amenities for events, $12,500
Akron Symphony, to support music education and outreach, including Concerts for Kids, Gospel Meets Symphony and Akron Youth Symphony, $25,000
Art Sparks, to support dance education programming at local schools and Summit County Head Start locations through in-school partnerships, residencies, workshops and performances, $5,000
ArtsNow, to advance Summit County’s arts and culture sector through events, partnerships and advocacy, $20,000
Ballet Excel Ohio, to support Reach Out and Dance, a 25-week program that provides free dance instruction to elementary and middle school special education students in Akron Public Schools, $5,000
BLU Jazz+, to support the Master Class Program, which includes live performances from jazz masters and educational experiences for students, $5,000
Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, to support the 2017-18 season, which will feature a lineup of alternative theater performances, along with workshops, actor training sessions and classes, $5,000
Children’s Concert Society, for the Akron Public Schools In-School Concert Series, which brings live concert experiences of culturally diverse music to students in an informal, hands-on setting, $10,000
City of Akron, to support the 11th annual Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, a series of four weekends of free professional ballet performances in Akron parks during the summer, $50,000
Crafty Mart, to support the Maker Sessions, which include panel discussions, workshops and networking for creative business people, $2,500
DANCECleveland, to support the Koresh Dance Company weeklong educational residency, which includes a main stage dance performance, community master class and creation of a performance for the Akron Art Museum, $10,000
Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, for a ballroom dancing program that teaches Akron Public Schools students teamwork, self-confidence, tolerance and respect, $5,000
Friends of 91.3, to support radio station operations and community service programs, $12,500
Girls Rock Camp Akron, for a weeklong music experience for Summit County girls ages 10-16, including forming a band, writing songs and performing at the Akron Civic Theatre, $3,000
GroundWorks DanceTheater, to support performances and outreach, including artist residencies, master classes and educational school programs, $10,000
The Illusion Factory, to support free theater productions in Akron-area schools, $7,500
Keepers of the Art, to support the Hip-Hop Preservation Project, which features concerts, lectures, films, discussions, workshops and exhibits that counteract the commercialization of hip-hop music, $10,000
Made-Up with Danny Volk, for The Akron Sessions, a video series in which artist Danny Volk interviews eight area artists about their work while they apply his makeup, $2,500
Magical Theatre Company, for operating support, including resident performances, a children’s script writing program, teacher study guides and local school visits, $12,500
Master Singers Inc., to support performance costs for the all-volunteer chorale’s 2017 concert season, $5,000
The Musical Arts Association, to support the 2017 Blossom Music Festival and Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000
The Musical Theater Project, for the Kids Love Musicals! program, which offers musical theater-based programming in special education and traditional Akron Public Schools classrooms, $8,500
National Center for Choreography, for support of a center that offers research and development in dance through group discussions, interactions with artists and the choreography process, $5,000
Neos Dance Theatre, to support Lose Your Marbles, a dance-centric fringe festival that pays homage to Akron as the birthplace of mass-produced toy marbles, $5,000
None Too Fragile Theater, to support the 2017 Off Broadway Series, including five Ohio premieres and one Akron premiere in a black box theater, $5,000
Ohio Shakespeare Festival, to support an expanded 2017-18 season, including outdoor Shakespeare performances at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and shows at Greystone Hall, $4,000
Open Tone Music LLC, to support the Rubber City Jazz & Blues Festival, a free event that features both national and local jazz performers in multiple venues throughout downtown Akron, $3,000
Peninsula Foundation, for the Voices in the Valley music program, a series of music performances at G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula, $3,500
RED Company real.edge.dance, to support the dance company’s seventh season, including performances with community dancers, nursing home outreach, apprentice training and an anti-bullying educational program, $5,000
Rubber City Theatre, to support the 2017-18 season, including plays by Shakespeare and other classic playwrights, summer camps, fall and spring classes, a youth show and a teacher’s institute, $4,000
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for operating support of the historic estate, as well as educational, cultural and recreational programs, $40,000
Summit Artspace, for exhibits showcasing the work of local artists, and to support education and programming for community members, $20,000
Summit Choral Society, to support musical training for children and adults, including the Children’s Choir and Choral Scholars programs, $10,000
Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, for operating support to maintain historic properties that belonged to the Perkins family, $20,000
Tuesday Musical Association, to support the “Prelude” concert in September, which celebrates the organization’s 130th anniversary, $12,500
Verb Ballets, to support the “An Evening of Premieres” 30th anniversary dance performance at Akron Civic Theatre, which will showcase different styles of dance, from classical ballet to contemporary, $5,000
Weathervane Community Playhouse, for the 2017-18 performance season, including main stage shows, black box productions, and the Emerging Artist Series, $10,000
West Hill Neighborhood Organization, to build a stage at Oakdale Pocket Park for neighborhood dance events and small band concerts, $2,500
Western Reserve Historical Society, to support hands-on educational programming at Hale Farm & Village, $10,000
Western Reserve Public Media, for cultural arts and performance programming on Western Reserve PBS, including local shows, concerts and art-related documentaries, $15,000
WynnStarr Productions LLC, for the creation of “If This Wallpaper Could Talk,” an Akron history book, $2,500
Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, for operational support, including a summer arts residency for students, a leadership and arts academy, and weekend arts workshops, $15,000
Celebrating 62 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of March 31, 2017, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $202 million with a growing family of 560 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $139 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.