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Gay Community Endowment Fund awards $25,725 for local Gay Games projects

UPublish story by Kristen Ashby

The Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation recently awarded seven grants totaling $25,725 for projects supporting the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation. Akron Community Foundation’s board ratified the grants at its quarterly meeting Feb. 21.

Coming to Cleveland and Akron in August 2014, the Gay Games is a world-renowned sports and culture festival that emphasizes inclusion and participation. Nearly two-thirds of the grants awarded by the Gay Community Endowment Fund supported Gay Games-related arts and culture programming, including dance performances, concerts and theater productions. Other grants will fund conferences held before and during the Gay Games that raise awareness about LGBT issues.

In October, the Gay Community Endowment Fund announced a $100,000 commitment to the 2014 Gay Games, making the fund the official host sponsor of 2014 Gay Games sports in Akron and Summit County. The commitment – which includes $35,000 from Akron Community Foundation, a $10,000 contribution from Ron Bailey and Bill Edwards, and proceeds from the fund’s 2013 Sugar Plum Tour – is the largest collective award in Gay Community Endowment Fund history.

The following grants were approved:

Actors Summit, for productions of the critically acclaimed My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding during the week of the Gay Games, $3,000

Akron Area Arts Alliance, for a real-time digital and online photography exhibit that captures the community pride sparked by the Gay Games, $5,000

Akron Independent Film Festival Inc., for screenings of LGBT-inclusive films the week before and during the Gay Games, $1,000

Community AIDS Network, for a one-day conference at the University of Akron that explores LGBT issues in sports and culture, with a particular focus on LGBT elder, youth and transgender issues, $5,000

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, for a special “Music in the Meadow” concert in the national park for Gay Games participants and the general public, $5,000

Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, for an LGBT awareness and inclusiveness program for small business and nonprofit government professionals held in the weeks leading up to the Gay Games, $3,725

Verb Ballets, for the creation of LGBT-themed dance performances that will increase public awareness and excitement about the Gay Games, $3,000

About the Gay Community Endowment Fund

Founded in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment of Akron Community Foundation. It facilitates and perpetuates philanthropy by supporting programs and services that support or positively impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as the entire greater Akron community. Since its inception, the fund has grown to more than $900,000 while reinvesting more than $275,000 into the community. Contributions of any amount are welcome and support future grant-making. Checks may be sent to the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307-2407. For more information, or to contribute, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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 $181 million with a growing family of more than 440 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 $111 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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