Callahan Foundation Announces Spring 2021 Grant Recipients

The Callahan Foundation is pleased to announce it has awarded $449,500 to 26 Northeast Ohio nonprofits and initiatives in its Spring 2021 grant cycle. These organizations embody the Callahan Foundation’s mission, demonstrating superior leadership and creating value for those in need through programs in higher education, the arts and social services. 

Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio’s (BGCNEO) mission is to help improve the lives of the youth who are most in need, targeting low-income youth in the most underserved areas throughout Northeast Ohio. Year-round youth development programming targets academic success, healthy lifestyles, and positive character & citizenship, as well as the arts. During the global pandemic, access to the arts to ease stress is especially important as many of the youth served have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In 2021, BGCNEO was awarded $5,000 to provide greater access to Arts programming for the most underserved populations in Northeast Ohio, helping to improve the lives of youth through access and exposure to the Arts.

CWRU Inamori Ethics Prize Events: The Callahan Foundation supports the Inamori Ethics Prize events by awarding $20,000 and honoring the year’s recipient. The Inamori Ethics Prize honors those who embody ethical leadership, and exemplify founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori’s philosophy: “people have no higher calling than to serve the greater good of humankind and society.” Due to COVID-19, funding in 2020 shifted from the delivery of an Inamori Ethics Prize to a virtual “Conversation on Justice” series held throughout the academic year. Prize events have returned in 2021, with the 2020/2021 Inamori Ethics Prize going to Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi, a leading figure in international justice, humanitarian law, and human rights, and the first woman to serve as president of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Learn more about Judge Silvia Alejandra Fernández de Gurmendi

Children’s Museum of Cleveland: The Children’s Museum of Cleveland’s mission is to promote learning through play using innovative exhibits and programs designed for young children. The Museum was awarded $5,000 for their Discover Diverse Artists program, designed to promote representation in the arts by educating young learners on the work and history of artists of color. Studies have shown that youth are more likely to engage and stay engaged in areas of study where they can see representation of people who look like them, contributing to an increased sense of belonging. In addition to providing representation in the arts, the Discover Diverse Artists program also encourages at-home learning and barrier-free access to the arts for low-income youth.

City Year Cleveland: City Year Cleveland’s mission is to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship to help students and schools succeed. The organization’s Whole School Whole Child (WSWC) program offers a clear vision for student achievement and provides supports that are needed for their lifelong success, helping more students get—and stay—on track for on-time high school graduation. City Year Cleveland was awarded $5,000 for the WSWC program, leveraging the power of young people through AmeriCorps to ultimately serve 2,500 students in seven Cleveland schools. 

Greater Cleveland Food Bank: For 40 years, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) has remained committed to its mission of ensuring that everyone has the nutritious food they need every day. As the largest distributor of emergency food in Northeast Ohio, the GCFB provides critical food resources across a six-county service area through both direct distribution and in collaboration with over 1,000 partner agencies. Since opening their current facility in 2005, need and reach have increased significantly – with food distribution tripling and quintupled meal production. GCFB, a first-time grant recipient, was awarded $50,000 towards their expansion plans, which include a new community food distribution center, and the conversion of their current center into a client-focused community resource center. 

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity: The Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity connects families who earn 30-80% of the area median income ($22,800-$60,800 for a family of four) to homeownership, providing zero-interest mortgages, training, and partnership. The organization was awarded $10,000 to support the continuation of home construction for the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood transformation project. The project will construct 40 new houses and rehab 10 vacant homes in the neighborhood, and provide exterior repairs for 50-75 existing residents.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History: The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s mission is to inspire, through science and education, a passion for nature, the protection of natural diversity, the fostering of health, and leadership for a sustainable future. The Museum serves 375,000 people located mainly in northeast Ohio, including 80,000 students, through permanent and special exhibits, educational programs, and research. A first-time grant recipient, the Museum was awarded $25,000 over the course of five years to support their Transforming the World of Discovery capital project, a transformative expansion that pioneers a new model for how natural history museums engage the public, protect the environment, and empower individuals to build a better future.

Cleveland Orchestra: The Cleveland Orchestra’s mission is to inspire and enrich lives by creating extraordinary musical experiences at the highest level of artistic excellence. The onset of COVID-19 resulted in the cancellation of the remainder of the Orchestra’s 2020 Severance Hall season and the entire 2020-21 Blossom and Severance Seasons, and significantly affected the Orchestra’s mission to provide educational and community programming. Immediate measures to minimize expenses were taken, including salary reductions for all staff and musicians, and the initiation of fundraising activities and campaigns. The Orchestra was awarded $100,000 to support financial recovery and general operations during the 2021-22 season.

Cuyahoga County Public Library: The Cuyahoga County Public Library’s (CCPL) mission is to be at the center of community life by creating an environment where reading, lifelong learning, and civic engagement thrive. Now more than ever, community programs are needed to support students in meeting grade-level reading standards: A child’s reading proficiency by third grade directly correlates to their high school success and beyond. To address Cuyahoga County’s poor literacy outcomes for children in grades 1-3, CCPL launched the 123 READ program in 2013, now recognized as a best practice among other public libraries. CCPL was awarded $10,000 for their 123 READ program.

Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA): The Downtown Cleveland Alliance was founded in 2006 with a  mission of making Downtown Cleveland the most compelling place to live, work, play, and visit in the region. Now in its 15th year of providing services and leadership to all stakeholders in the downtown community, DCA remains the only organization wholly dedicated to the current and future vitality of Downtown Cleveland. DCA was awarded $15,000 towards their SEEDS Workforce Readiness Program, which provides work experience and training to the clients of a local men’s homeless shelter, helping them overcome significant barriers to employment and housing.

Family Promise of Greater Cleveland: Family Promise is a family homeless shelter that provides families facing the crisis of homelessness with a safe place designed to engage, inspire and guide them toward a future where they feel empowered to control the course of their lives. Of the 65 families Family Promise served in 2020, 67% were headed by a young parent(s) between the ages of 18-27 years old. Families receive services such as temporary housing, case management, employment services and community-based services. Family Promise was awarded $10,000 to support the shelter and individualized supportive services that it provides for approximately 80 homeless families a year, as well as programming guided by a new strategic plan.

The Haven Home: The Haven Home provides emergency shelter to women and children experiencing homelessness, who are awaiting a bed at local family shelters. The Haven Home was awarded $5,000 towards its Volunteer Program, to help engage and retain volunteers critical to providing residents with asset-building resources that can help them find and maintain affordable housing, including initiatives like tenants’ rights and responsibilities, parenting, self-discovery, and educational opportunities. The organization’s team of volunteers logged nearly 500 hours of volunteer time in 2020, as well as supported through financial donations: 20% of Haven Home volunteers continue to make monetary donations.

Hawken School: Founded in 1915, Hawken School is a coeducational private day school with a mission of providing forward-focused preparation for the real world through the development of character and intellect. Hawken launched the Mastery School of Hawken (MSH) in September 2020, designed to take Hawken’s experiential curriculum and innovative approaches to learning to scale. MSH is intended to be accessible to all students, with 25% of the student body of low-income families from Cleveland receiving full-tuition scholarships. Hawken was awarded $20,000 for the Mastery School. 

Intermuseum Conservation Association: ICA-Art Conservation’s (ICA) mission is to preserve and conserve art and material culture for all communities in the region and across the nation. ICA serves museums, libraries, historical societies, galleries, government agencies, and individuals in caring for objects, as well as thousands of participants in educational programming. ICA was awarded $50,000 in general operating support to help retain ICA staff and support the costs of ICA’s relocation to a new space at the Pivot Center for Art, Dance, and Expression.

Joseph’s Home: The mission of Joseph’s Home is to provide a nurturing, caring environment for men without resources who have acute medical needs, helping them heal, attain permanent housing and rebuild their lives. After conducting extensive assessments, Joseph’s Home identified a pressing need for medical respite care among women experiencing homelessness. Currently, there is no facility providing these services to medically-fragile women in Northeast Ohio. In response, Joseph’s Home plans to open Mary’s Home, a medical respite facility for women experiencing homelessness by the end of 2021. Joseph’s Home was awarded $2,000 to help create an art installation at Mary’s Home.

Karamu House: The mission of Karamu House is to produce professional theatre, provide arts education, and present community programs for all people while honoring the African American experience. Karamu furthers this vision by delivering culturally responsive arts education programs and services for youth and life-long learners. During the pandemic, Karamu shifted to a digital platform to ensure continuous learning for previous Arts Academy students as well as providing instruction to students who had never visited Karamu because of proximity, awareness, or circumstance. Online programming is filling a gap for students who are no longer receiving art instruction through their school due to virtual learning. The organization was awarded $10,000 to support Karamu’s Arts Academy.

Lake Erie Ink: Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is a writing space that facilitates high-quality, out-of-school creative writing workshops and in-school project-based programs to improve youth’s access to the arts. LEI reaches more than 2,500 youth through school and community-based workshops and residencies, encouraging creative expression, critical thinking and supporting literacy skills that can be utilized throughout a student’s school career and into adulthood. In 2020, LEI changed its service delivery model to a virtual format to continue to provide creative expression opportunities to youth and teachers and continued to work closely with other youth-serving organizations to deliver high-quality programs and stay connected with youth. LEI was awarded $5,000 for general operating support to sustain and deepen their work.

The Legal Aid Society: The Legal Aid Society’s mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for those who have low incomes and are vulnerable by providing high-quality legal services. Legal Aid ensures families have equal access to educational opportunities by securing and protecting special education accommodations, resolving issues at home that negatively impact a student’s academic potential, and advocating for safe and supportive school environments. Legal Aid was awarded $20,000 to help remove barriers to education for children in families that are experiencing times of crisis. 

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage: The Maltz Museum’s mission is to introduce visitors to the beauty and diversity of the Jewish heritage in the context of the American experience; to promote understanding of Jewish history, religion, and culture; to build bridges of understanding with those of other religions and cultural backgrounds; and to serve as an educational resource for Northeast Ohio’s diverse communities. A first-time grant recipient, the Museum was awarded $15,000 to support their Stop the Hate Virtual Anti-Bias Education Program for 6-12th graders throughout Northeast Ohio. For 12 years, Stop the Hate has provided in-person museum tours, classroom experiences, and performances and awards to elevate teen voices on the subject of experiencing and standing against hate. With the onset of COVID-19, the Museum debuted a more comprehensive, effective, and accessible program designed for both distance and in-person learning that can be accessed at no charge by any classroom or student with an internet connection.

Nature Center of Shaker Lakes: Every year, the Nature Center of Shaker Lake’s native habitats, accessible trails and outdoor infrastructure enable the organization to host over 13,000 students and introduce them to science concepts through hands-on experiences in nature. Over 65% of the children served by the Nature Center’s programming are considered economically disadvantaged. For many young students, their visit to the Nature Center is their first real exposure to forests, wetlands, free-flowing streams and native wildlife. The Nature Center was awarded $7,500 to sustain their Applied Science for Kids (ASK!) program and to help restore the trails, habitats and outdoor facilities that make their STEM programming possible.

Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH): NEOCH exists to eliminate the root causes of homelessness through organizing, advocacy, education, and street outreach. NEOCH’s educational programming fills a knowledge gap by providing frontline workers and community advocates best practices for building skills related to trauma-informed care, nonviolent communication, and navigating the local homeless system. NEOCH was awarded $10,000 to support their Education Coordinator position as well as to support speaking honorariums for speakers whose diverse and expert perspectives can be incorporated into educational programming.

Recovery Resources: Recovery Resources’ mission is to help people triumph over mental illness, alcoholism, drug and other addictions. The organization serves more than 9,000 Cuyahoga County residents annually who are seeking treatment and recovery services. Its clients are predominantly low-income with 98% living in households with incomes below 200% of the poverty level. The organization was awarded $5,000 to support transportation to treatment for vulnerable populations where “face-to-face” interaction is critical to their success for assessment, for individuals participating in mental health/psychiatry treatment, and for clients with medication-assisted treatment needs.

Scranton Road Ministries: Since 2001, Scranton Road Ministries has served 19,731 individuals across Cleveland through programs covering strategic workforce development, legal services, educational enrichment, health-related services, and digital literacy training. Scranton Road Ministries was awarded $15,000 for their Youth Jobs Partnership (YJP), an outcomes-driven workforce development initiative that provides evidence-based job training, including workforce readiness skills and job & college preparation services. Funding will provide 315 traditionally under-served Cleveland young adults with best-practice job training (virtual & safely in-person), and help participants transition into sustainable continuing education and career pathways.

Towards Employment: Formed in 1976, Towards Employment (TE) has empowered over 207,000 individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment. TE helps build career pathways for residents of Cleveland and NEO to enter and succeed in long-term employment while creating a talent pipeline for local businesses. Towards Employment was awarded $10,000 to support their Career Pathways program. Career Pathways enhances the economic mobility of low-income individuals and their families by providing industry-informed skills training with wrap-around services and a clear pathway to career advancement.

The Trust for Public Land: The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly 60,000 Cleveland residents do not have access to park within a 10-minute walk from home. Additionally, existing parks are not distributed equitably; parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are half the size and nearly five times as crowded as parks serving majority white populations. A first-time grant recipient, the Trust was awarded $10,000 to support community building and participatory design efforts to ensure every Clevelander lives within a 10-minute walk of a high-quality park, beginning in priority neighborhoods: Clark-Fulton, Glenville, Kamm’s Corners, Union-Miles, Old Brooklyn and West Boulevard. The effort relies on relationship-building with residents, community-based organizations, block-clubs, and neighborhood development corporations; attending in-person community events; establishing trust and building coalitions that support long-term advocacy and stewardship efforts for improving neighborhood greenspace, parks and public spaces.

University Circle Incorporated (UCI): UCI’s mission is to build a community experience that connects all people with Cleveland’s center of culture, healing, and learning, and applies as much to the city’s neighbors as it does to the world at large, as the organization seeks to create a vibrant and complete neighborhood without borders. UCI was awarded $10,000 to support their Your Community summer programming, which will provide Cleveland Metropolitan School District students and their families with high-quality arts and culture-enriched summer experiences through Circle Explorers, a six-week summer camp, and YAY! Youth Arts Saturdays, a six-week learning and performance series on Wade Oval.