GAR rounds out the year with more than $1.6 million in grants to local organizations

November 27, 2018

Akron, Ohio (November, 27 2018) – GAR Foundation announced today grants totaling $1,696,250 to key organizations that support the Foundation’s strategic priorities.

A grant of $350,000 was awarded to the Greater Akron Chamber’s nonprofit subsidiary to support implementation of Akron’s new economic development strategy known as Elevate AkronThe New Fundamentals. The plan brings together entities including The Greater Akron Chamber, The City of Akron, and Summit County to advance the region’s economy. The initial findings underlying Elevate Akron’s five strategies were announced at a special convening of the Akron Roundtable and the partners are beginning to implement the plan. GAR’s efforts to convene the key partners advances the Foundation’s strategic priority of designing and supporting a networked approach to economic and workforce development.

“Elevate Akron is aligning economic development players around the present and future realities of our region’s economy,” said Christine Mayer, GAR Foundation’s president. “Through this data-driven framework, economic development partners will be able to support stronger opportunities for Akron’s residents and companies.”

The next phase of work will focus on implementing the plan’s five strategies: taking a fresh approach to business retention and expansion; understanding and addressing Akron’s economic inclusion issues; supporting innovation and dynamism among young companies; refocusing on key job hubs including downtown; and establishing a unified culture of high-performing economic development in the region.

“GAR is very encouraged by the early momentum of Elevate Akron, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities to advance the local economy through smart, collective effort,” Mayer said.

In the arts area, The Northeast Ohio Center for Choreography received $20,000 in support of its holistic approach to immersing national artists into the Akron community by providing them with the space, time, and support needed to generate new work and the opportunity to discover untold stories in dance.

Other notable grants include $200,000 to Summit Education Initiative for its work to improve educational outcomes; $30,000 to BMe Akron for its programming to uplift, inspire, and empower black men who are improving their community; and $7,500 to Torchbearers Akron for its efforts to strengthen the connection between Akron-area nonprofits and emerging leaders.

Some of the organizations receiving support this quarter include:

  • Akron Civic Theatre, $85,000, for operations
  • ArtsNow, $100,000, for the Arts & Culture Plan
  • ASIA, Inc, $50,000, for International Community Empowerment Project
  • BMe Akron, $30,000, for operations
  • Building for Tomorrow, $90,000, for the Early Childhood Initiative
  • Foundation Center, $10,000, for operations
  • Fund for Our Economic Future, $500,000 for operations over three years
  • Greater Akron Chamber, $350,000, for the Elevate Akron – New Fundamentals plan
  • Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, $20,000, for operations
  • Nightlight Cinema, $30,000, for operations
  • None too fragile, $8,750, for the 2019 Off-Broadway Series
  • Northeast Ohio Center for Choreography, $20,000, for operations
  • Project GRAD, $60,000, for the College and Career Central Program (C3)
  • Summit Artspace, $10,000, for strategic
  • Summit Education Initiative, $200,000, for operations
  • Torchbearers, $7,500, for operations
  • Tri-County JOG, $75,000, for operations
  • Tuesday Musical Association, $50,000, for operations


For more information contact Dina Younis [email protected], 330.572.2809

GAR Foundation

GAR Foundation was established in 1967 by Galen Roush, co-founder and chief executive officer of Roadway Express, and his wife Ruth Roush. GAR Foundation’s mission is to help Akron become smarter, stronger, and more vibrant. Visit for more information.