Since our founding, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation has been committed to arts access and advocacy. With the firm conviction that the arts should be more accessible and supported in under resourced communities, the Foundation has awarded nearly $20 million, or roughly half of our total funding, to the arts since 2014, supporting 165 arts-centered organizations with nearly 500 grants in Northeast Ohio.
Throughout our tenure, we have consistently identified areas where our work can have the greatest impact through strategic partnerships, and today is no exception. As we’ve continued to research, listen, and understand the complexities of our region’s challenges, we’ve recognized that over the last few years greater disparities have affected individuals and area communities.
With this understanding, our Foundation must prioritize initiatives that center around criminal justice, reproductive rights, and the environment. True to our mission, we trust that by making this shift, we will be better able to help create a more equitable and vibrant community, still in recovery from the effects of a global pandemic.
We will not be eliminating our arts focus area. However, beginning January 2023, all arts funding will be initiated by the Foundation and we will no longer be accepting unsolicited requests.
This decision was not made lightly nor was it made in haste. In order for us to equitably manage our grantmaking over several focus areas — all of which are vitally important to our region — we knew we had to make changes to our processes. Proactively initiating arts grants will allow us to continue to support the sector while also allowing a more equitable portion of our dollars to go toward all our funding areas.
We are grateful for the long-standing partnerships we’ve developed with so many of you and we are proud of the impact we’ve made together through arts initiatives. As new information becomes available, we encourage current and former grantees to revisit our website for more information. We will have opportunities for our nonprofit partners to learn more and ask questions about the specific details in the coming months.