Nine journalism collaborative projects share in more than $110,000 to address community information needs in Cleveland and Akron

Cleveland Foundation and Akron Community Foundation also partner to bring City Scrapers open-source technology to Northeast Ohio.

CLEVELAND (Dec. 19, 2019) – Akron Community Foundation, The Center for Community Solutions, the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and the Knight Foundation today announced more than $110,000 in journalism grants to address community information needs in Akron and Cleveland.

 

The funders came together to support hyper-local media, community organizations, resident media makers and legacy newsrooms as they collaborate to spark innovation, experimentation and learning. These projects are aimed squarely at supporting residents where information is needed most – at the neighborhood level – while also establishing new information partnerships in service to Northeast Ohio communities.

 

The priorities of this initial round of grantmaking were to:

             Create topic-based collaborative journalism projects that respond to community information needs and that explore and elevate solutions.

             Encourage media outlets to explore the strengths and resources already present in the region, and to build trust among these communities.

             Conduct restorative journalism that reframes community narratives to spotlight resident resilience and neighborhood progress, lifting up perspectives that are often not reflected in the traditional news media.

 

The nine collaborative efforts span 22 media organizations and individual journalists and nearly 30 community organizations. The projects included in the initial information needs cohort are:

 

  • Black maternal health & infant mortality – This project will use restorative journalism by empowering women in Cleveland to tell their first-person narrative via a number of channels, including written stories, radio and photography.
  • Witness protection and rights – This collaboration will help close a gap in understanding about the safety and rights of those who witness crime, while pushing for solutions that could promote a safer system in Cleveland.
  • Basic information needs in Woodhill Estates – This project will involve and inform residents of the 80-year-old public housing development on Cleveland’s East Side around pending changes as a result of a proposal to rebuild the estates.
  • Literacy – This collaborative will explore how media partners and other community organizations can come together to build a culture of reading at Charles Dickens Elementary School in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in order to address the K-3 literacy rate.
  • Food insecurity – With 59 percent of Cleveland residents living in food deserts, this project will provide a platform for residents in the MidTown, Glenville and Kinsman neighborhoods to tell their stories through a number of different channels. It will strive to better connect residents to food and other key resources around health and well-being.
  • Eviction – This collaborative will tackle the issue of eviction and tenant rights in Akron and Cleveland across a number of communication platforms from the perspective of both tenants and landlords, ultimately producing a tenant’s guide in both English and Spanish.
  • Infant mortality – This project will address the issue of infant mortality in Akron and Cleveland in a two-pronged approach: 1) educating traditional media audiences about how bias and racism play into the treatment of women of color; and 2) use storytelling across a number of social platforms to reach and inform the most at-risk residents of these two communities.
  • Basic information needs in Buckeye-ShakerSquare – By empowering the residents of the Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhood via a central news hub and first-person storytelling, this collaborative aims to arm residents with the information necessary to advocate for their own well-being.
  • Safety and representation – This restorative journalism project will engage the residents of the Goodyear Heights neighborhood in Akron to elevate an unheard community perspective in regard to the importance of safety and representation at Reservoir Park Pool and access more generally to recreation opportunities.

 

City Scrapers Debuts in Northeast Ohio

Akron Community Foundation and Cleveland Foundation have partnered with Chicago-based City Bureau to bring the organization’s open-source City Scrapers technology to Northeast Ohio. It includes public meeting dates, times, locations and records from more than 150 government agencies at the city and county level in Cleveland and Akron, all standardized in a single location for the first time – and free and open to journalists and residents alike. To date, there is information on more than 1,600 public meetings and 1,700 official documents such as meeting minutes, agendas and notices for Northeast Ohio.

 

City Bureau was founded in Chicago in 2015 and expanded to Detroit in 2018. The organization’s mission is to “bring journalists and communities together in a collaborative spirit to produce media that is impactful, equitable and responsive to the public.”

 

July Centennial Gift: Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom on Sunday, July 20

 

As part of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 25th annual Star-Spangled Spectacular Concert tonight (7/2) on Public Square, music lovers will become part of the Cleveland Foundation’s year-long birthday celebration. The foundation’s July centennial gift to the community will be publicly announced live on stage while the Orchestra plays “Happy Birthday.”

Halfway through the concert, Cleveland Foundation Executive Vice President Robert E. Eckardt will join conductor Loras John Schissel onstage to announce that July’s gift will be Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom.

On July 20, up to 15,000 Northeast Ohioans will be able to enjoy The Cleveland Orchestra concert featuring the music of Weber, Mozart and Shostakovich while sitting on the Blossom Music Center lawn – for free.

Tickets are required to attend the concert. With each of up to 5,000 free adult lawn tickets reserved, two additional free tickets for children 17 and under can also be reserved through the Orchestra’s Under 18s Free program for families. Ticketing will remain open until all lawn tickets have been reserved for the concert (click here after 10 a.m. July 7).

“Enjoying the world-class music of The Cleveland Orchestra under the stars in the beautiful park-like setting of Blossom is something that everyone in our area should experience,” Eckardt said. “We are so pleased our July centennial gift to the community will make these two community assets accessible to families across Northeast Ohio.”

The July gift celebrates the special role the foundation, through its donors, has played in helping support the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra and the ensemble’s ongoing commitment to play more music for more people across Northeast Ohio. In just the past four decades, the foundation has granted more than $38 million to the Orchestra, including a $10 million grant in 2013, the largest single grant to an arts organization in the foundation’s history.

“The Cleveland Orchestra is extraordinarily grateful to the Cleveland Foundation for making possible this special offer of music for Northeast Ohio,” said Gary Hanson, Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra. “We are honored to take part in celebrating the 100th anniversary of an organization so committed to the strength and vitality of Greater Cleveland. We owe special thanks to all those who support our region through the Cleveland Foundation, enabling the Orchestra and other arts organizations to create and sustain the thriving cultural community of Northeast Ohio.”

Cleveland Orchestra concertgoers at Blossom are welcome to bring food and beverages for picnics before the concert. Parking is free and shuttles transport visitors from the parking lots to the main gate. Ticketed concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early on July 20 for the 7 p.m. concert. Gates to the Blossom grounds will open at 4:30 p.m.

The Cleveland Orchestra is the 11th nonprofit organization the Cleveland Foundation has partnered with for its centennial gifts to the community. The gifts are meant to highlight organizations the foundation has played a role in establishing or enhancing throughout its 100-year history.

Concert Details:

Cleveland Foundation Day with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom
Sunday, July 20, at 7 p.m.
Blossom Music Center
1145 West Steels Corners Road
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

The Cleveland Orchestra

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor
Francesco Piemontesi, piano

This Sunday evening concert features musical works created in three centuries — from Mozart’s final masterful and melodic Piano Concerto No. 27 (written in 1791) to Carl Maria von Weber’s dramatic Overture to Der Freischütz (1821), and concluding with Dmitri Shostakovich’s soul-stirring and powerful Symphony No. 5 (1937).

The Cleveland Foundation

Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2013 grants of $89 million. For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit http://www.ClevelandFoundation.org/purpose and follow us at Facebook.com/ClevelandFoundation or @CleveFoundation on Twitter.

Enjoy “Cleveland Nights” At Four Cleveland Recreation Centers This Summer

The City of Cleveland and Cleveland Foundation today announced that an $80,000 foundation grant will keep four city recreation centers open until 11 p.m. four nights a week throughout the summer, starting on June 18.

The “Cleveland Nights” program, launched in 2012 with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation,  supported extended hours and special programming at four city rec centers over the past two summers. More than 22,000 adults and young people have taken advantage of the “Cleveland  Nights” program.

“This grant from the Cleveland Foundation will provide a safe place for youth to be where they  will have organized activities that will ensure hours of fun during their summer break,” said  Mayor Frank G. Jackson.  The four city rec centers that are part of the “Cleveland Nights” program are: Cudell (1910 West Blvd.), Glenville (680 E. 113 St.), Lonnie Burten (2511 E. 46 St.) and Zelma George (3155 MLK Jr. Blvd.). The centers will remain open until 11 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday  beginning June 18 through August 9.

Each rec center will have midnight basketball leagues for the youth, as well as game room activities and swimming programs. “In 2012, our board of directors approved a grant to extend rec center hours as a way of keeping  more young people positively engaged over the summer months,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation.

“We are thrilled with the number of young people who have taken advantage of this program and hope that even more will participate in this safe and free neighborhood activity this summer.”

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