The Cleveland Orchestra Broadcasts MLK Group Service Awards


Cleveland Orchestra press release:

February 8, 2021 Today the Cleveland Orchestra announced its annual recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award in a special video Presented by Jeffery Weaver, chairman of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Community Engagement Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees. The award is presented annually to individuals and organizations for exceptional service to the Northeast Ohio community who share the spirit, example, and teachings of Dr. Reflect King. The full list of the thirteen recipients is given below. This year the orchestra honors several organizations and leaders for their service to the community during this extraordinary time of Covid-19 and the racial reckoning.

“These awardees are just a few of the hundreds of organizations that have worked to serve our Northeast Ohio community during this challenging year.” said Weaver. “Everyone works to meet the most urgent and basic needs of the community, to address issues of systemic racism, or to use the healing powers of the arts to build community. Dr. King has been a lifelong advocate of racial justice, unity, and community strength – Qualities that the recipients of this charitable award are exemplary. “

“While the pandemic is preventing us from personally giving these awards at Severance Hall, honoring these organizations is practically a fitting end to our 41st annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.,” said André Gremillet, President and CEO of the Cleveland Orchestra . “Our community has benefited greatly from the incredible generosity, leadership, and dedication of this year’s award winners. We are proud to have the opportunity to honor these organizations for exceptional service in the spirit of Dr. King, especially at this unprecedented time. “

The 2021 winners are divided into four categories:

3. Promotion of social and racial justice

4. Promoting better understanding through the arts

2021 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

The winners are listed below by group.


Cleveland Foundation – for guiding the convening of the Greater Cleveland Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund, which quickly brought together more than 80 corporate, civil society and philanthropy partners along with individual donors and quickly raised $ 8.6 million in emergency funds. These funds were distributed to nearly 160 organizations in northeast Ohio to provide emergency food, housing, personal protective equipment (PPE), telehealth, virtual learning, mental health access, and community support.

· Three Northeast Ohio CEOs working in partnership: Craig Arnold, Eaton Corp; William Lacey, GE Lighting, a savant company; and Fred Nance, Squire Patton Boggs – for initiating efforts within the business community at the start of the pandemic to bridge the “digital divide” by working with thousands of laptops and providing internet connections to urban, rural, elderly and disabled residents Organizations such as PCs for People and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

· Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) – for acting as an organizer, advocate, and resource for local employers to address systemic racial inequalities that hamper economic growth. GCP’s Equity & Diversity programs train hundreds of professionals, executives, and volunteers from corporate and community organizations to eradicate racial gaps in work, income, and wealth by growing black-owned businesses and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion Workforce will be increased.


· Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) – for its massive efforts to provide comprehensive support for learning and basic needs to students, families and teachers. Abrupt school closings, rapidly changing Covid-19 conditions, and multiple shifts to remote and hybrid learning models created challenges that were compounded by widespread lack of technology and internet access, as well as food and housing insecurity. CMSD worked with local foundations and organizations to address these issues and develop innovative solutions, including Academic Learning Pods – 24 spots in the community for 700 K-8 students from 80 CMSD schools for daily, safe distance learning under adult supervision .

The George Gund Foundation – for their $ 1 million grant to CMSD to support digital access, including laptops, hotspots, and high-speed Internet, for students and families who have had difficulty getting out of one of the country’s worst-connected cities To learn from a distance. This follows a $ 14 million gift in 2019 for Say Yes to Education Cleveland and many other gifts to support CMSD schools

Promotion of social justice and racial justice

The Urban League of Greater Cleveland – for a call to action in 2020 – along with YWCA Greater Cleveland, United Way and others – focused on the general and negative consequences of systemic racism and formed a public-private partnership for change .

  • Cleveland City Council – for passing laws declaring racism a public health crisis and for bringing together a broad coalition of organizations to deeply engage the community and pursue strategies and strategies to promote racial justice in Cleveland to reach.
  • Cuyahoga County Government – for efficiently distributing millions of dollars in CARES Act emergency funding to meet some of the most pressing Covid-19 needs in our community – Health and Safety Covid-19 Protocols; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Rental and supply assistance; Support for local restaurants; Funding to support the local creative industries, including artists and performing arts venues. The county is also recognized for its current work to reduce racial inequalities in health and healthcare, economic opportunities, equitable quality of life and criminal justice in Cuyahoga County as part of the county’s Declaration on Racism as a Public Health Crisis.

· Black Lives Matter CLE – for organizing rallies and working with organizations to combat racism, violence and the need for police reform and accountability. And to raise awareness of these issues through The Mural Project on East 93rd Street, a colorful and hopeful message created by black artists that is now a touchstone for expression, reflection and unity in the community.


Karamu House – the oldest African American theater in the US for its production entitled Freedom on Juneteenth, an artistic and creative response to the 2020 murder of George Floyd, which also educates viewers on the history of Juneteenth. Karamu used his many (virtual) performances of freedom and the subsequent panel discussions to educate and activate the community about the next steps to eradicate institutional racism in order to bridge the segregation of the city, police reform and police brutality.

· Cleveland Public Theater – to raise awareness and promote compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing educational programs, including the Cleveland Act Now and Y-Haven Theater Project, as well as performances like … Or Does It Explode ?, An exploration of what it means to be black in the 21st century to be male and young.

41st annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today’s video announcing the 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award winners is the finale of the social media portion of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. The 41st MLK Celebration includes the following virtual activities:

Martin Luther King Jr.’s 2018 gala concert can be viewed online for free Adella digital streaming service (and with until Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Videos depicting the life and legacy of Dr. King celebrations – including concerts by musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra featuring works by black composers, performances by community partners, and documentary videos written by Dr. Show King’s Connections to Cleveland – Posted on social media. For a full playlist of videos, see The Cleveland Orchestra’s YouTube channel.

· Television and radio broadcasts from previous Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra in collaboration with ideastream® (WVIZ-TV, WCLV 104.9 and WCPN 90.3).

For more information on the celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Orchestra 2021, please see the full press release Here.

Support for the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. in 2021

The Cleveland Orchestra thanks KeyBank, our Community Access Partner, for supporting the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. in 2021.

The programs described in this news release are sponsored in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which is supported by the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts and Cuyahoga Counties through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

The Cleveland Orchestra’s educational and community programs in Northeast Ohio

The Cleveland Orchestra’s commitment to education and community service was central to the orchestra’s formation in 1918 and has never been more important. Over the past hundred years, the Cleveland Orchestra has brought symphonic music to more than four million young people through live concert experiences. Today, with the support of many generous partners from individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments, the orchestra’s educational and community programs have reached more than 100,000 young people and adults annually over the past few years, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music. As music director Franz Welser-Mӧst leads the orchestra into its second century with a renewed commitment to music education and community engagement, based on his belief that the life of every child should include music, he continues to emphasize that the arts are for a well-rounded Critically arts are education and learning is a lifelong pursuit and journey.

Looking ahead, we strive to be Cleveland’s orchestra, engaging our diverse citizenship and building community through music, removing barriers to participation, advocating for and promoting equitable access to full music education in schools and the next generation of Encourage musicians and viewers, and harness the life changing power of music to make the world a better place through new initiatives designed to make an even bigger impact. For more information, see the following links: education, Community, and Learning aids.

This press release was produced by the Cleveland Orchestra. The views expressed here are the author’s own.