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Akron Community Foundation awards nearly 270 grants totaling $1.46 million

UPublish story by Tracy Burt

Arts & Culture grants bring dance, theater events to community

AKRON, Ohio (June 11, 2013) – On Friday, June 7, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved more than $1.46 million in grants, including 238 grants totaling $1,019,165 from designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds, and 30 arts and culture grants totaling $443,500 from discretionary, or board-directed, funds.

A $50,000 discretionary grant went to the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Series, making Akron Community Foundation a top funder of the festival. For the first time in its 39 years, the series will feature an international ensemble, the Vanaver Caravan, which incorporates live music into its shows. The Vanaver Caravan is one of four troupes in the series. Each troupe will give free performances throughout the city’s parks and host master classes for young dance students through the Lock 3 Summer Arts Experience.

Another $50,000 grant will fund operations at the Akron Art Museum, which recently hired a new executive director, Mark Masuoka. Masuoka is the former executive director and CEO of the Bemis Center in Omaha, Neb. He will lead efforts to heighten community engagement, increase accessibility and develop a new model for the 91-year-old museum. “We are confident that the Akron Art Museum is headed in the right direction and look forward to working with its new leadership,” said Steven Cox, chairman of the community foundation’s Community Investment Committee.

The following is a complete list of discretionary grants that were awarded:

Act II Productions: The Illusion Factory, for theater productions that stress the importance of children telling the truth, including "The Untold Story of the Three Little Pigs," "The Lincoln Project," and "The Emperor's New Clothes," $10,000

Akron Area Arts Alliance, for Summit Artspace exhibitions, free arts workshops, public programs and artist receptions, and to improve artists' exhibit walls, $17,500

Akron Art Museum, to provide operating support for exhibitions, educational programming, and collaborations that address the cultural needs of those who live and work locally, $50,000

Apollo's Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, for subscription and outreach programs that introduce audiences to neglected masterpieces through fresh interpretations, $12,000

Ballet Theatre of Ohio, for "Take Me Out to the Ballet," a partnership with the Akron Public Schools that brings grade school students to an in-theater performance of “The Nutcracker," $5,000

Center for Applied Theatre and Active Culture, for performances, workshops and educational activities during the Balch Street Theatre’s 2013-14 season, $2,500

Central Summit County Choral Society, for the Summit Children’s Choir, a vocal and musical education program for local 6-8 year-olds, $8,000

Children's Concert Society of Akron, for the In-school Concert Series, which introduces approximately 34,000 students to diverse types of live fine music, $10,000

Cleveland Modern Dance Association: DANCECleveland, for BalletX’s Akron performance, residency and pre- and post-show receptions and talks, $10,000

Coach House Theatre, for the Elder Theatre series that features four elder-focused plays for senior centers and retirement facilities, $2,500

Community Hall Foundation, Inc. - Akron Civic Theatre, for the 2013-14 season of in-house programming, including community-based productions like the All-City Musical featuring performers from public and private high schools throughout Summit County, $20,000

Cuyahoga Valley Art Center, to replace a 21-year-old roof at the Cuyahoga Falls facility, $5,000

Greater Akron Musical Association, Inc., for a summer music camp, youth orchestra coaching, Concert for Kids series and the annual Gospel Meets Symphony production at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall, $35,000

GroundWorks DanceTheater, for collaboration with choreographers on new works, and for performances, workshops, master classes and open rehearsals at the University of Akron, $10,000

Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, for the 39th year of free dance performances in Akron parks, $50,000

Keepers of the Art, Inc., for the Akron Hip-hop and Neo-soul Music Showcase at Lock 3, $10,000

Magical Theatre Company, to engage young people in the arts through after-school classes, workshops, summer camps and age-appropriate on- and off-site performances, $10,000

Master Singers, Inc. Chorale, for the all-volunteer, non-audition chorale’s 2013-14 concert season, $5,000

Musical Arts Association dba The Cleveland Orchestra, for the 2013 Blossom Music Festival and the Sound for the Centennial Campaign, $35,000

Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc., for cultural arts and performance programming on Western Reserve PBS, $15,000

Ohio Shakespeare Festival, for the 2013 summer season of plays performed on the grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $8,000

Project RISE, Akron Public Schools, for the Performing Arts Can Teach (PACT) program that offers children and families experiencing homelessness access to the arts, $9,000

RED Company, to support the modern dance company's third season of performances and outreach locally, $5,000

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, for educational and historical programming, $40,000

Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, for John Brown House and Summit Hall of Honor open houses and events, $10,000

Tuesday Musical Association, for the 2013-14 opening night concert featuring Cantus, an all-male vocal ensemble, $10,000

Verb Ballets, for Summit County performances at such venues as the Akron Civic Theatre, Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival and Tuesday Musical Association, $4,000

Weathervane Community Playhouse, for the 2013-14 season, $10,000

Western Reserve Historical Society, for educational programming at Hale Farm & Village, $10,000

Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, to introduce urban youth to the arts while developing leadership, teamwork and performance skills through the 2013 summer workshop, $15,000

About Akron Community Foundation

Celebrating 58 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. Today, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $150 million with a growing family of more than 430 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation welcomes gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $106 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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