Helping The LGBTQ+ Community
The West 117 Foundation has identified these initial programs to help the LGBTQ+ community in Cleveland.
LGBTQ+ Youth Sports League
Among the first of its kind in the country, this youth-focused initiative affords LGBTQ+ youth the ability to participate in athletics as their authentic selves. Youth have access to a wide range of sports activities, from structured sports leagues and tournaments to summer camps and unstructured recreational activities. The LGBTQ+ Youth Sports League is dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ youth utilize the program to address, influence, and embrace mental and behavioral health solutions to the challenges these youth may face. Through our partnership with the Studio West 117 neighborhood, we’re proud to utilize new facilities that are currently being constructed to help launch this two-year pilot program.
The LGBTQ+ Youth Sports League continues to rely on research findings from The Trevor Project as to the rationale for why this program is needed for LGBTQ+ youth. For more information on their research, please visit The Trevor Project website.
Fieldhouse Art Mural Program (Phase One)
To help showcase LGBTQ+ creativity, the Fieldhouse Art Mural Program features over two dozen interior and exterior canvases. These canvases have been identified and designated for display as public art from local and national LGBTQ+ artists. This program conveys the unrelenting spirit of LGBTQ+ pride, joy, and celebration while simultaneously recognizing the beauty, struggles, and triumphs of queer Cleveland and beyond. It’s also an excellent way to enhance the visibility of local LGBTQ+ artists within the growing Studio West community.
Phase One of the Art Mural Program was successfully completed thanks to the generous support from The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation. Phase One includes murals in the Gymnasium, a facility that will host an LGBTQ+ Youth Sports League, Stonewall Sports Dodgeball, as well as numerous community and private events. Phase Two of the Art Mural Program includes remaining murals of the Fieldhouse at Studio West. This will include the Courtyard, restaurant and bar spaces, and additional locations that encourage physical activity and well-being. If you'd like to help support Phase Two, please donate here.
The West 117 Foundation provides grants to support LGBTQ+ people and programs through its Standing Committee on Grants. When issuing grants, the needs of marginalized and low income LGBTQ+ community members are prioritized. Some examples of previously awarded grants include a residential subsidy to a BIPOC transgender woman looking for a safe place to live, a grant to the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland to fund food cards distributed to transgender youth with unstable living conditions, and a grant provided to Cleveland Black Pride to support its annual picnic.