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Guidelines & Important Dates

  • Applications open Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
  • Deadline for Submission is Saturday, March 30, at 11:59 pm.
  • Paper applications/applications by mail will not be accepted; applicants are required to apply through the application link.
  • The TAF application is available in English only.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Jury after the deadline.
  • Applicants will be notified of the Jury’s decision by email approximately six weeks after the deadline.
  • Only one application per lead artist will be accepted. Please note, artists applying as part of a collective will not be eligible to submit an individual application.
  • Eligible TAF projects must take place within the City of Cleveland.
  • Lead artist applicants and institutional partners require a verifiable Cleveland address.
  • A quarterly check-in is required from TAF awardees, and a brief final report is required within 30 days of project completion.
  • June 3, 2024, anticipated TAF Awardee announcement
  • Projects must be completed by August 30, 2025.

For questions about this program please contact

About the Transformative Arts Fund

The Transformative Arts Fund (TAF) is a $3 million fund for public art projects and initiatives led by artists in partnership with partner institutions based in the City of Cleveland. 

Artists that live in the City of Cleveland will have the opportunity to apply for funds to create innovative, thought-provoking, and inclusive Cleveland-centric public art projects that ignite inspiration, foster dialogue, and drive social transformation. 

Eligible artist applicants must identify an eligible institutional partner to submit a proposal to create a transformative public art initiative with a budget in the range of $250,000 - $500,000.


  • The TAF is open to artists and artist collectives that reside in the City of Cleveland. 
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. 
  • Applicants cannot be staff or board members of Assembly for the Arts, members of the Transformative Arts Fund Committee, or be employed in the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated for funds based on the following criteria:

  • Lead Artist or collective demonstrates past creative project management experience.
  • Lead Artists or collectives that have limited past creative or project experience must be able to illustrate a plan to support the development of their proposed project.
  • The project plan is clearly articulated, feasible, and the budget plan is consistent with the proposed plan.
  • Project centers arts and culture and stimulates the investment and growth of redlined communities in the City of Cleveland.
  • The Lead Artist must partner with an Institutional Partner to be eligible; the institutional partner is the organizational support, the administrative resource for the initiative, Assembly for the Arts would disburse the awards to the recommended and approved projects institutional partner.
  • The project must take place within one of the 17 wards of the city of Cleveland and/or neighborhoods.
  • All public art projects concepts will be reviewed.
  • Although special consideration will be given to project proposals that amplify/address the following: vacant land reutilization, the environment, food insecurity, violence prevention, matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion, safe spaces in Cleveland, and social determinants of health, i.e., Black maternal-fetal health, smoking cessation, and physical and mental health.
  • Applicants are invited to explore city resources at to consider projects to be produced on:
    • Vacant Land
    • Public Right of Way
    • Greenspace
    • Red-lined Neighborhoods

Review Process

  • TAF applications will be reviewed and scored by members of the TAF Committee and the Senior Strategist of Arts Culture & Creative Economy.
  • All TAF applications will be reviewed after the March 30th deadline.
  • Applications will be reviewed in a closed format based on the application selection criteria.
  • All applicants, both those who did and did not receive funding, will receive email communication from the City of Cleveland about the status of their application approximately 6 weeks after the application deadline.

Grant Period

  • TAF awardees will have 14 months from receipt of their award notification to complete their project with the dedicated funds from the grant.

TAF Award Disbursement

  • After the award agreement is signed, grant funds will be sent to institutional partner.
  • The full award amount per the approved final TAF budget will be disbursed within 30 days after final funding decisions have been made and after grantees complete the required paperwork (see below for details).
  • All funds will be distributed to the award institutional partner as paper checks via USPS mail or direct deposit.

Project Requirements

  • All TAF awardees (lead artists and institutional partner contact) will be required to have quarterly status update meetings with staff (Assembly, Senior Strategist) and a brief written summary of activities and funds expended to date.
  • TAF awardees will be required to sign a Grant Agreement and provide appropriate income tax documents to the institutional partner.
  • Bank account information for direct deposit transfer of grant funds is optional.
  • TAF lead artists in collaboration with the institutional partner will be required to track their expenses as outlined in the approved budget and provide documentation of expenses for the project portion of their grant fund.
  • Grantees are required to complete and submit a final report at the end of the 14-month grant period.

Eligible Uses of Funds

Download the Budget Template

  • Applicants
  • The project-related expenses including, but not limited to:
    • Supplies and materials
    • Fabrication/Renderings
    • Permits
    • Documentation
    • Travel
    • Insurance
    • Installation
    • Contract services
    • Artistic Personnel
    • Space rental
    • Marketing/Communications
    • Research and development

Work Sample Guidelines

  • Your work sample files should be a streamlined, quality display of your artistic work and will be used to evaluate your application.
  • Please remember jury members will review all you include in your application, so choose your best work and consider quality over quantity.
  • Choose work samples representative of your creative work from within the last 3 – 5 years.
  • Sketches, mock-ups, digital assets for your proposed TAF project should be included.
  • Each PDF file uploaded may be no more than 4 pages.
  • PDF files that contain images may be no more than 4 pages.