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Cuyahoga County approves $3.3m for relief and reinvestment into Northeast Ohio art and culture

'Arts and culture was hurt far worse than other industries.'
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Posted at 10:15 PM, Jul 07, 2022

CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Council approved $3.3 million of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and Assembly for the Arts.

It will be split evenly between the two groups.

Jeremy Johnson is the CEO of Assembly for the Arts. It is a group that advocates and unifies the voices of creatives throughout greater Cleveland.

“We drive the economy, we drive the culture, we drive the jobs, we advocate for more investment here in our neighborhoods,” he said. “We are non-profits, we are for-profit small businesses and we are also individual artists.”

Johnson and Assembly for the Arts has worked, since the news of ARPA allocation hit, to make sure that local leaders know the arts community needed help.

“The arts and culture was hurt far worse than other industries,” he said. “It’s not just relief but it’s reinvesting for the future of Cuyahoga County as a great hub for arts and culture in our state and in our country.”

Johnson is thrilled leaders listened.

“There is good news in the air and we are going to deliver relief and support to reinvest in artists and creatives,” he said.

Robert Hubbard Jr. can attest to the pandemic devastating his business. He’s the founder of Hubb’s Groove. He employs dozens of local musicians that put on live music shows throughout Northeast Ohio.

“I had about 25 people that was on my team,” he said. “That group of people all lost their jobs, cause I had people from audio, lights, musicians, it was a hard thing.”

He said he is slowly coming back from the pandemic, putting on shows and assembling different musicians again, but said there’s a lot of people who just don’t want to come back.

“I spoke to a friend of mine today and he’s scared to come back. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen. He’s a truck driver and he’s like I don’t know, I’ll play here and there but he’s fearful.”

Hubbard said he will be applying for some of the ARPA funds.

“I’m trying to catch back up,” he said. “That would help me employ the different bands.”

Johnson said his organization will be working hard to make sure local artists, businesses and nonprofits know how and where to apply, and the application process will start in the coming weeks.

For updates on the timeline and how to apply, just click here.