ArtsinStark Gives Out $1.2 Million in Grants

At its December 11 board meeting ArtsinStark’s Board of Directors approved $1,189,000 in grants to 66 organizations and individual artists across Stark County.  Grants were awarded in four categories: Major Arts Organizations (7), Special Projects, (19) SmArts (22), and 20/20 Vision (18). “This roughly $1.2 million is all raised through the Annual Arts Campaign each spring” says ArtsinStark board chair Brian Zimmerman, “In fact, 75% of the dollars we raise each year go across Stark County to change lives through the arts.”

Majors Arts Grants Amount Description
Canton Ballet $130,500 To host 10 performances of 3 major productions, do
    school presentations, and offer hundreds of classes
    to more than 300 students.
Canton Museum of Art $256,800 To host 10 exhibits, 2 major art shows, and 60
    community events, classes and outreach programs
    for more than 30,000 participants.
Canton Symphony $329,300 To host 7 classical concerts, 3 pops concerts, and a
    range of intimate musical performances and
    interactive programs for young audiences.
Massillon Museum $64,800 To host 6 Main Gallery exhibits, various permanent
    collection and Studio M exhibits, 5 intimate concerts
    and numerous community lectures and workshops.
Palace Theatre $44,800 To provide over 100 movies and art films, live
    concerts, dance performances and special events at
    its historic theatre.
Players Guild Theatre $191,800 To present 8 major shows, touring productions for
    K-12, along with classes and workshops.
Voices of Canton $43,500 To host 12 concerts by the adult chorus, and provide
    educational outreach to schools.



The first category is Major Arts Organization Grants which go to the seven major arts organizations.  “These big arts organizations attract more than 150,000 people a year,” says committee chair Duncan Darby, “and much of that audience is tourists whose economic impact is growing every year.”











The second category is Special Project Grants which go this year to 19 smaller arts organizations, non-profits, and individual artists and totals $33,000.  The Alliance for Children & Families got a grant to create artwork in new homes for families who were formerly homeless.  The North Canton Public Library received funds for a new “artwalk” as part of the annual Main Street Festival.  Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon was awarded dollars to present a live theatre series.  “Over the last 14 years we’ve awarded more than $2 million in 900 Special Project Grants to every single community in Stark County,” says committee chair Vicki Conley, “and the impact on families and kids has been amazing.”


Special Project Grants
  Organization/Artist Award City New Project
1 Alliance Area Preservation Society $    1,000 Alliance To create signage and brochure for downtown historic district
2 Alliance for Children & Families $    3,500 Alliance To create artwork in new homes of families formerly homeless
3 Aultman Hospital $    3,500 Canton To provide a music therapy program for patients
4 Bluecoats $    3,500 Co-Wide To hold summer clinics for high school marching band students
5 J.R. Coleman Sr. Outreach Services $    2,600 Canton To host an intergenerational program for seniors and preschoolers
6 Domestic Violence Project $    2,400 Canton To provide jewelry making classes to victims of domestic violence
7 Early Childhood Education Alliance $     1,000 Alliance To hold an art demo and lesson with author Jamey Christoph
8 Early Childhood Resource Center $     1,000 Canton To host a painting workshop with artist Kat Francis
9 Goodwill Industries $     1,000 Canton To present a monthly lunchtime concert series
10 Kent State Univ – Stark $     1,657 Co-Wide To produce Black History Arts lecture & music events
11 Martin Center $    2,750 Canton To present spoken word poet Donte Clark
12 Massillon Public Library $     1,000 Massillon To conduct family stories workshop as part of The Big Read
13 McWhorter, Jack $     1,000 Co-Wide To conduct a student mural project focused on watersheds
14 North Canton Public Library $     1,000 N. Canton To provide an art walk during the Main Street Festival
15 Resch, Barb $     1,000 Canton To publish and distribute free books to schools & libraries
16 Robinson, Chrystal $     1,000 Alliance To provide live entertainment at Historic Main Street festival
17 Spring Hill Historic Home $    2,093 Massillon To present a live theatre series in collaboration with community
18 Timberlake, Brenda $     1,000 Canton To provide painting classes for a domestic violence shelter
19 YMCA, Paul & Carol David  $     1,000 Jackson Twp To design an art themed little free library
$  33,000


SmArts Grants are the third category.  They go to school systems that want to partner with ArtsinStark to supercharge learning.  “We’ve put 250 SmArts projects for 30,000 kids in every one of the 17 public school districts in Stark County and all the Catholic Middle and Elementary Schools,” says committee chair Livvy Mull.  The chart below shows all the SmArts Grants processed to date with more still coming.


Partnership Grants Project Amount
1 Alliance City Schools To teach language arts to 3rd graders by producing a poetry café performance. 1 $     2,500
2 Canton City Schools To provide 12 varied residencies in elementary and middle schools. 1 $   22,000
3 Canton Local Schools To support an in-house performing arts residency.   $     2,500
4 Fairless Local Schools To strengthen language arts through a district wide family art competition.   $     2,500
5 Holy Cross Academy To provide arts focused learning in all elementary and middle schools. 1 $     5,000
6 Jackson Local Schools To support 1st grade writing skills through the art of storytelling.   $      1,000
7 Lake Local Schools To support in-house visual arts team.   $     2,500
8 Louisville City Schools To create outdoor art with 2nd graders to learn mapping skills. 1 $     2,500
9 Massillon City Schools To use varied art forms to teach math, and science to 3rd & 4th graders. 1 $     4,000
10 Minerva Local Schools To teach 5th graders science concepts through various arts disciplines. 1 $     2,500
11 Osnaburg Local Schools To provide a variety of residencies for all 1st-3rd grade students.   $     2,500
12 Plain Local Schools To teach 3rd and 4th language arts through producing an art installation. 1 $     2,500
13 Sandy Valley Local Schools To host multiple residencies for all 1st-5th grade students in school.   $     2,500
14 Stark County ESC To work with artist Kris Kiko-Cozy to reach a variety of academic goals.   $     2,500
 $   57,000
Mini Grants Project Amount
15 Heritage Christian To learn Greek history by creating clay story pots with 1st-6th graders.   $         750
16 Marlington Local Schools To provide storytelling performance for both elementary buildings.   $         750
17 North Canton City Schools To create an in-house project with art teacher Candice Hall.   $         750
19 Perry Local Schools To strengthen 2nd grade language arts skills through theater.   $         750
20 Tuslaw Local Schools To use theater to teach language arts to 2nd graders.   $         750
 $      3,750
Special Grants Project Amount
21 Pathways To provide visual art and music residencies for youth at summer camp. 2 $     4,000
22 Enrichment To provide visual arts residencies for youth at summer camp.   $      1,000
 $     5,000
1) Combination of new dollars and dollars remaining from previous years $   65,750
2) Because on different fiscal years, represents only portion of what is being spent for total 12 months  


The fourth category is 20/20 Vision Grants.  In 2012 ArtsinStark completed a countywide arts and economic development plan called 20/20 Vision.  “One of the focuses was revitalizing downtowns,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins. Halloweenfest in Louisville got funding to host a one-day event around the grand opening of the new UnHitched Brewery and the upcoming “Umbrella Alley.”  Another grant went to Jupiter Studios in Alliance to host an OddMall Fest in their downtown.  The North Canton Playhouse received funding to present a series of acting workshops for young people.  The chart below represents 20/20 Vision grants allocated to date, with aggregate projects indicating a number of grants were made to support a larger effort.


  20/20 Vision Grants 2020    
# Org/Artist City Project Amt
1 Ahh Gallery* Louisville To provide live music at openings  $      300
2 American Legion Post #44 Canton To produce 4th of July celebration  $      500
3 Art at Airport * County To host multiple exhibits at airport  $  1,300
4 Artful Living & Learning County To support artists at early learning centers  $  5,000
5 Artist Career Workshop* County To assist artists to market themselves  $  1,133
6 Carmany, Tim Canton To implement an Artist career marketing grant $ 1,000
7 Halloween Fest* Louisville To produce October streetfest downtown  $  6,693
8 Ford, Julie  Canton  To implement an Artist career marketing grant  $  1,000
9 Jupiter Studios Alliance To host Oddmall fest downtown  $  1,000
10 North Canton Playhouse North Canton To host acting workshops for young people  $  2,500
11 Phillips, Scot  Canton  To implement an Artist career marketing grant  $  1,000
12 Stark Cty Fatherhood Coalition  Canton  To host arts workshops for families  $      500
13 Stark Econ Developmt Board County To help artist small businesses  $      500
14 Thompson, Alaska Canton To produce Fusion fashion show  $  2,000
15 Various Artists*  Canton  To feature live musicians at AiS board meetings  $      200
16 Waalkes, Michele*  Minerva  To repair public artwork in Minerva/Alliance  $  1,843
17 Walker, Clint Canton To produce sculpture of letters “Art”  $      400
18 Williams, Kelly County To host Hip Hop workshop and concert  $  1,500
 $      28,369


ArtsinStark uses the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities.   We are a 50 year old private, non-profit organization that gives out grants, owns and manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign — and much more (Canton Arts District, First Fridays, SmArts Program, the Genius Project, 20/20 Vision, the ELEVEN, and the Canton Music Block).  Our annual budget is $3 million.  What we don’t earn, we raise each spring through the Annual Arts Campaign.  In May 2019 we raised $1.66 million to become the only united arts fund drive in America to ever make goal for 14 years in a row.  More at

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