Issue 8: Critical to Arts & Culture in the Community

On November 3, Cuyahoga County voters will have the opportunity to continue to reinvest in Cuyahoga County’s critical Arts & Culture community by renewing the penny-and-a-half per cigarette tax they originally approved in 2006.  In the decade since voters passed the levy by a resounding 57%, our arts and culture sector has helped fuel Cuyahoga County’s revitalization.

Since grants funded by the Arts & Culture levy were distributed in 2007, more than $125 million has been awarded for operations and projects to more than 300 organizations operating at more than 2,500 locations in every corner of the county.  These include everything from museums and cultural institutions to small community theaters, non-profit galleries, nature centers and much more. 

Organizations receiving levy-funded grants provide nearly 9,000 jobs and offer nearly 1.4 million annual educational experiences for kids, including more than 18,000 annual field trips.

Specifically, more than $81,000 has found its way into our own backyard - Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, Ensemble, One World Shop and Stages in Rocky River.  Levy dollars have also helped fund programs in schools, including Fairview Park Elementary Childhood Center, Kensington Intermediate and Middle School, Magnificat, Rocky River High School, St. Christopher, St. Angela Merici, St. Thomas Lutheran and Fairview Park Library.  

ISSUE 8 has received endorsements from more than 240 elected officials, public bodies and organizations, including Ohio Senator Kenny Yuko, Ohio Senator Tom Patton, Ohio Representative Kent Smith, Rocky River Mayor Pamela Bobst, Fairview Park City Council President Michael Kilbane, BAYArts, Beck Center for the Arts, The Plain Dealer and Crain’s Cleveland Business, among others. 

Council President Michael Kilbane believes the renewal is instrumental in supporting the arts and culture sector.  “Without this injection of grants made possible from the tax, our communities would not have enjoyed the thriving organizations that we have and that residents in our communities and beyond come to enjoy.   A vibrant arts community drives our economy, improves the education performance of our school children, attracts tourists, residents and businesses, and is a source of pride for all of us.” 

For more information on the levy, its reach and how to get involved, go to

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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 2:53 PM, 10.26.2015