Art and culture illuminates, empowers, soothes, enrages, amuses, informs, disquiets, consoles and uplifts.

It can inspire awe and create wonder. It can bridge societal and perceptual divides, ineffably interweaving us with each other as humans, or joining us as humans to the larger world. Art changes lives.

It’s essential. It’s central to our region’s identity and economy. It’s a significant contributor to the well-being of ourselves and our communities.

Our job at Arts Cleveland is to advance arts and culture in Cuyahoga County.

This singular mandate is multifaceted: We’re a data-driven organization that does a lot of things for a lot of people (see Services and Goals). But mostly what we do is make connections.

We’re an advocate

and a champion for arts and culture. We work to make sure influencers and policy makers are keeping the arts top-of-mind in all of their decision making.

We’re an ally

linking artists and arts and culture organizations to each other and to the knowledge, skills, resources and networks they need to fan their creative spark.

We’re an ambassador

actively uniting the arts community and facilitating connections between it and other sectors to fuel the creative power of our region’s economy.

Together with our partners, we ensure that the region’s arts and culture sector continues not simply to survive, but to thrive, and for generations to come.

Our Organization

Arts Cleveland was founded in 1997 and incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2000 under the name Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. The organization changed its name to Arts Cleveland in 2018.


  • The source of arts and culture in any community is its people—all its people. The people who produce arts and culture are as important as the work they create and present.
  • Every self-identifying group of people has a unique history and set of traditions in arts and culture. All communities thrive when all of those groups and traditions are recognized, represented, appreciated, and supported.
  • Arts and culture is made and distributed in myriad ways in a variety of contexts that connect to form an ecosystem. An arts and cultural ecosystem flourishes when all artists and art-producing organizations are recognized as equally-valued contributors to the arts and cultural life of the region and are supported accordingly.
  • A strong arts and cultural ecosystem is a unique community asset that contributes constructively to personal and societal health. It is a valuable partner in addressing community challenges and a vital contributor to every community’s development and wellbeing.
  • A vibrant arts and cultural ecosystem relies upon strong public and private sector partnerships that support arts and culture substantively through financial investment and research-based policymaking.
  • The strength of an arts and cultural ecosystem is contingent upon the community’s appreciation, participation and engagement with it.