New data show Cuyahoga County’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is taking a huge financial hit from pandemic

Emilee Geist

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County’s nationally admired arts and cultural sector is taking a big financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic that could cause permanent damage and put some organizations out of business.



a man and a woman posing in a room: The Cleveland Museum of Art opened their doors today, June 30, 2020, after being closed March 14 because of the coronavirus shutdown.


© John Kuntz, cleveland.com/John Kuntz, cleveland.com/cleveland.com/TNS
The Cleveland Museum of Art opened their doors today, June 30, 2020, after being closed March 14 because of the coronavirus shutdown.

Those possibilities are suggested by data gathered by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, (CAC), the public agency that distributes county cigarette tax money for the arts.

The data show that from March to June, the first quarter in which the pandemic took hold, the 65 recipients of CAC operating support had to lay off, furlough or reduce hours for 2,533 full- and part-time employees and contractors.

That number equates to 30 percent of the 8,250 workers employed by the 65 organizations in 2019.

“What we’re experiencing in Cleveland and

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Casa Belvedere continues its arts and culture mission despite COVID-19 pandemic; here’s a list of offerings

Emilee Geist

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Though the pandemic has prevented live participation in Casa Belvedere’s classes and program offerings over the last several months, it didn’t stop the cultural foundation from sharing Italian arts and culture with the community on a virtual basis.

In late summer when the foundation was able to resume outdoor programs, protocol related to proper social distancing was enforced throughout the Grymes Hill not-for-profit.

“With the power of the internet and social media, we were able to cast a much wider net recruiting participants,” said Gina Biancardi, founder and president of Casa Belvedere. “People from Ohio, Florida, Texas, and California signed up for our classes and programs. I would’ve never imagined that a Texan would ‘attend’ an Italian language class being taught, virtually, on Staten Island.”

Casa Belvedere is celebrating their 10th anniversary. It was in the fall of 2010 when the foundation began offering language and

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Google brings artists J. Balvin, Ellie Goulding and Grimes to teach you about art and culture

Emilee Geist

The world of art and culture is fascinating, but doing a deep dive and understanding its historical significance as well cultural importance can be a daunting task. To make the latter easier, Google introduced Google Arts & Culture’s Art Zoom series to teach users about important art pieces through famous artists and musicians. Now, Big G is debuting the second season of its educational initiative and has partnered with even bigger music celebrities this time around. The roster includes Colombian reggaeton singer J. Balvin, English songstress Ellie Goulding, British singer FKA Twigs, Canadian singer and visual artist Grimes, The 1975’s energetic frontman Matty Healy and South Korean rapper Chaeyoung of K-pop group TWICE.

Google Arts & Culture’s Art Zoom series offers a virtual guided tour of famous masterpieces with background narration from famous musicians. The gist is that people are more likely to pay attention when

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More ‘lip service,’ or is this a real moment of change for inclusion in Chicago arts and culture?

Emilee Geist

Different people will point to different milestones in Chicago beginning to grapple seriously with its lack of broad ethnic representation in the arts, a gaping hole in the cultural tapestry of one of the nation’s most diverse cities.



a group of people in a room: Rebecca Zorach, center, an art history professor at University of Chicago, leads a group of students from Harlan Community Academy, on a visit to the home of Patric McCoy, an art collector who lives in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago and opens his house up to classes so they can learn about art collecting.


© Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Rebecca Zorach, center, an art history professor at University of Chicago, leads a group of students from Harlan Community Academy, on a visit to the home of Patric McCoy, an art collector who lives in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago and opens his house up to classes so they can learn about art collecting.

For Cesario Moreno, chief curator of the National Museum of Mexican Art, it was the conversation that began in 1992, amid the 500-year commemoration of Christopher Columbus, let us say, happening upon America.

“That’s the first time I remember people really standing up and saying, ‘No, get rid of the word “discovered,” and

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Jersey City voters to decide whether to create new arts and culture trust fund

Emilee Geist

When Jersey City voters cast their ballots in the November election, they’ll be picking more than just the president.



colorful graffiti on the side of Berlin Wall: People have written messages of peace and love on the menorah mural on Erie Street in Jersey City, which was made in response to the Dec. 10 violence in Jersey City that left a police officer, three civilians and the two suspects dead.


© Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal/nj.com/TNS
People have written messages of peace and love on the menorah mural on Erie Street in Jersey City, which was made in response to the Dec. 10 violence in Jersey City that left a police officer, three civilians and the two suspects dead.

Voters will also decide whether the city establishes a new tax to fund local arts and culture. If approved in November, the tax would amount to two cents per $100 of assessed value and its revenue would finance the Arts and Culture Trust Fund.

Mayor Steve Fulop, who supports the creation of the fund, announced in April the city would nix the public question from November’s ballot, citing the economic burden of the

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Oregon Coronavirus Relief Fund awards $25.7 million in grants to help arts and culture groups survive the pandemic

Emilee Geist

The arts and culture community in Oregon is getting a $25.7 million infusion of aid to help it survive the financial destruction brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.



a sign on the side of a building: Artists Repertory Theatre Repertory Theatre will receive $460,000 from the fund.


© Oregonian archive/oregonlive.com/TNS
Artists Repertory Theatre Repertory Theatre will receive $460,000 from the fund.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund Cultural Support grants, which average $41,458, will go to 621 organizations around the state. The funds are part of a relief package passed by the Oregon Legislature in July.

“These funds are life blood to Oregon’s cultural community,” Oregon Cultural Trust board chairman Chuck Sams said in a statement. “While they won’t replace all the losses suffered during the pandemic, they will ensure Oregon culture survives this crisis.”

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will receive $1.4 million from the fund, the largest grant. Portland Art Museum was awarded $1.3 million. Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre will take in $460,000, and close to

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