KeyBank Invests in Canton Organizations

Nov 3, 2023 9:00 AM ET

The KeyBank Foundation has awarded Stark State and ArtsInStark with grant funds to further their missions of bettering the Canton community and surrounding area.

Stark State received $35,000 to fund 50 $500 scholarships for students residing in Stark and Summit Counties who are seeking financial support and enrolled in a certificate or degree program at Stark State.

Currently, more than 230 high quality associate degrees and certificate options are available for in-demand careers in business, education, engineering, health and public services, information technology, liberal arts, CDL, welding, mathematics and sciences. All students receiving scholarships will be residents of Stark or Summit counties, with the majority of these students coming from underserved communities with a preference given to low-to-moderate income families.

Key has supported Stark State with $135,000 in grant funding since 2015.

“At KeyBank we believe everyone should have access to higher education – regardless of their financial situation,” said Mattie Jones-Hollowell, KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Officer. “The programs available to students at Stark State are top notch and provide a clear pathway to additional opportunities for success. We are proud to play a small role in their educational journey.”

“We are grateful to the KeyBank Foundation, long-time partners with Stark State College, for their continued financial support to help students in Summit and Stark counties complete degrees and certificates in high-demand fields,” said Para M. Jones, PhD, president of Stark State College. “Our students graduate and go to work for local companies and employers. Thanks to KeyBank for assisting in developing the workforce of today and tomorrow by helping our students complete degrees in advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, business and other fields.”

KeyBank also awarded ArtsInStark a $25,000 grant to support the proposed Arts Pocket Park. The park would be located on the grounds of the Cultural Center for the Arts.

With the park, ArtsInStark is aiming to introduce green space into an area of Canton lacking in such space. Proposed elements include play mounds, gardens, a terrace, walking promenade, ornamental fencing and traffic-calming features.

An additional element in the park plan will be a performance and audience space that can be used by Cultural Center residents Canton Ballet Company and Sing Stark. The space will also be available to non-resident theatre companies with significant education programs and the community around the park.

“ArtsinStark appreciates the KeyBank contribution to our pocket park in a neighborhood of Canton lacking in greenspace,” said Emil Alecusan, Interim President and CEO of ArtsinStark. “The outdoor learning space will serve underserved youth with educational and life skills activities, and it will also be used by our Cultural Center’s Art Museum for youth and adult art instruction. We would also like to thank KeyBank for their support of ArtsinStark’s education programming for the past 10 years.”

ArtsInStark believes the space will create a place where people meet and socialize, and where children can play and learn. Research shows green spaces provide recreation opportunities, help improve physical and mental health and improve quality of life.

“The Arts Pocket Park will not only provide usable park space for our neighbors, but it will also encourage community collaboration amongst children, families and students,” said Jones-Hollowell. “A space that will inspire learning and growing.”

Key has supported ArtsInStark with more than $400,000 in grant funding since 2000.