Ignite! Impact Awards

Launched in 2019, the Ignite! Impact Awards were created to amplify the voices of those traditionally under-represented in entrepreneurship, providing tools and resources for future success.

What Do Ignite! Impact Award Winners Receive?

1. A cash or in-kind (typically toward space rental in IngenuityLabs) micro-grants which can be used towards project(s) that impact others, or advance and unlock opportunities for growth

2. Consulting time with Ingenuity team members who can provide guidance and direction towards growing your business - this includes a 1 hour introductory discussion, 1 hour session with us or a specialized consultant from our network, and a 1 hour "planning for the future" session.

3. An opportunity to pursue fiscal agency for projects, subject to the review and approval of Ingenuity

4. A marketing package that includes opportunities to exhibit at IngeniutyFest, the Ingenuity Bal and other Ingenuity-sponsored events, social media, e-newsletter spotlights, and more

Recent Grantees

Brandon Graves Studios

Brandon Graves is a muralist who discovered his talent and passion for painting during a 7-year period of incarceration. Originally engaged during the #VoicesofCLE project, Brandon has the goal of using his talents to launch a community engagement program for young artists. Brandon’s Ignite! Impact Award is supporting 1-1 consultation in developing his vision, and contributes to directly covering his time and costs in running prototype programming through IngenuityLabs. Brandon’s first effort with Ingenuity has been to help coordinate a series of large scale VOTE murals placed in the Saint Clair Superior and Collinwood neighborhoods, along with accompanying activations including census education and voter registration.

In the early days of the pandemic, it didn’t take long for Kai Wick, who works by day as an aerospace fabricator in Akron, to spring to action assembling Emergency Makers of Northeast Ohio to gather plan, resources and identify unused capacity in Northeast Ohio production facilities to produce masks, face shields and gowns. An Ignite Impact Award supported 1-1 consulting to help target key businesses, such as signage companies and ultrasonic seem welding facilities; shape early conversations; and produce prototypes for possible distribution.

Chardonnay Graham, Touch Cleveland

Chardonnay Graham is founder of Touch Cleveland, a full service marketing and PR strategy firm that uses their network and knowledge to help entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color, overcome marketing obstacles and gain knowledge of valuable resources. The Ignite! Impact Award will support Touch's Unspoken series, a no-nonsense look at challenges, opportunities, and honest conversations among entrepreneurs.

Meganne Stepka - 48 Hour Virtual Music Festival

Cleveland's 48 Hour Virtual Music Fest began as an online event created to give local performers an opportunity to continue their profession, while also benefitting programs and charities in need of financial support during the early days of pandemic uncertainty. Now in its eleventh month, the festival has become a focal point of pandemic performance and generosity recognized not only across northeast Ohio, but reaching across the country and even globally.

Jaered Andrews, Artists in Recovery (AIR216)

AIR 216 is an organization that seeks to enhance the lives of individuals in recovery from long term substance abuse disorder by providing an outlet for creative expression, a network of support, and opportunities for development and growth of inherent artistic ability.  Their goal is to create an environment that encourages mentorship, partnership, and the arts. It is AIR's desire to use our artistry to educate, inspire, and uplift the people they serve.

Matt Tyrrell of Have a Happy Today Produces Ingenuity Presents

Matt Tyrrell, a video content producer, is working in partnership with us to create monthly Ingenuity Presents videos.  These videos highlight programs and important initiatives that Ingenuity is spearheading.  For example in summer 2020,  Matt had the opportunity to speak with artists working for a change in our community. Check out some of the content by visiting our facebook page!

Kenny Perdue, RollinBuckeyez

Known for his pop-up roller rinks, RollinBuckeyez nonprofit goes far beyond skates and helmets. Kenny creates and provides space that encourages diverse, inter-generational community-building, uninhibited artistic expression, and healthier lifestyle choices. His impact award will enable him to continue to build on this mission and reach further into the communities around us.

Emerging Leader Grant - Amanda Nyx Drummond

The Ignite! Emerging Leader Grant was inaugurated in 2020 to help an emerging arts professional undertake projects of their own direction, under the Ingenuity umbrella, with Ingenuity oversight. Emerging Leaders are able to hone their skills on key projects relevant to Ingenuity’s overall mission, expanding Ingenuity’s reach while building resumes and learning the ropes of arts management. Amanda’s Emerging Leader award supported the development of a peer-leadership framework within IngenuityLabs, and helped refine Ingenuity’s goals with respect to #VoicesofCLE – a city-wide art initiative to amplify voices from artists of color in the wake of 2020’s spring social justice and racial equity demonstrations – and the 48 Hour Virtual Music Festival, while allowing Amanda to test out her own capabilities and pursue key sub-projects of her own choosing.

Amanda serves as a programming coordinator and peer coach for Ingenuity’s Ignite program, helping newer Ignite! recipients plan their projects and navigate budgets, grantwriting, and other “business of being an artist.”

Ben Smith - Splice-Cream Truck

An Ice cream truck with a fully analog recording studio, splicing communities together through stories, music, and of course, Ice cream!

Emerging Leader Grant - Arron Bound of No Numbers

Artist and photographer Arron Bound, also known as No Numbers, is working on a number of projects in partnership with Ingenuity Cleveland.  From community-building initiatives focused on racial equity and inclusion, to artistic installations, Arron has been instrumental in project managing efforts in Cleveland's creative community.

Malaz Elgemiabby, Habobba

Inspired by her late grandmother's legacy, Malaz is converting a campervan into a mobile storytelling studio, called Habboba. Habboba is a vehicle (literally!) for transformation to our communities, and a safe space to learn about and from each other. Habobba's first stop is "Salam" which means "peace" in Arabic. The goal of this series is to engage the Sudanese communities in Cleveland in a dialogue about peace and what it means to them.

Myra Rosario, Latino Cleveland

Founder of Latino Cleveland, Myra has worked tirelessly to give a voice to entrepreneurs and creatives in the Latino Community. Her Impact Award allowed for weekly web shows which support the growth of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic community, bridge the gap between the Hispanic and Non-Hispanics, and fulfill the need for innovative bilingual Hispanic-centered media. 

Apply or Nominate Someone!

2021 Update: In light of the political and health events that occurred in 2020, we have expanded our Ignite! Impact Award program to focus on the following key aspects of community recovery and healing: 

  1. Solutions focused on immediate COVID-19 relief.
  2. Solutions focused on long-term COVID-19 recovery, community resiliency, and connectivity.
    • Strategies that improve digital access and digital equity
    • Socially-distanced interventions that uplift and enliven
  3. Solutions and conversations centered on social and racial justice, equity, and police-community relations.

Immediate cash & consulting assistance is available and recipients will be notified with acceptance or deferral within two weeks of application. Successful applications will leverage resources to support a network beyond the applicant.*

Examples of COVID-19 relief could include (but are not limited to): strategies to improve digital access to arts & culture and enhancing long-term networks and resources for community resiliency.

Equity & Justice Solution examples could include (but are not limited to): creating spaces for community dialogue which reach across social and cultural boundaries; expressing messages of hope, healing and change that amplify voices of those who are most impacted; providing immediate support to marginalized communities through creative, entrepreneurial or artistic solutions

Please contact emily@ingenuitycleveland.org with any questions.

This program supported by:

Interested in joining as a Corporate Sponsor of this program and making change in our community? Email alyssa@ingenuitycleveland.org