You're invited to Cleveland, Ohio for

AJPalooza 2023

Join us in Cleveland!

May 1-2 for everyone
May 3 for our portfolio (current + alumni grantees)

We’re convening the leaders of our more than three dozen grantees — some of the most innovative practitioners in the sector — together with the leading national and local philanthropies involved in the nonprofit local news movement, and the American Journalism Project board and staff. We invite you to join us for conversation and collaboration, and to learn from each other about new, sustainable approaches to solving the country’s local news and information crisis.

What we’ll do

You can find a detailed agenda here, but take a look at our quick schedule overview:

  • Monday, May 1: Plan to check-in with AJP staff starting at 4 p.m. and join us for a happy hour at the hotel. We’ll then move to cocktails and dinner, beginning at 6 p.m. ET, to welcome you all to AJPalooza and where you’ll hear from our awe-inspiring grantees!
  • Tuesday, May 2: A day of learning from each other, followed by an immersive experience exploring Cleveland through the lens of our grantees serving the community. Programming on Tuesday will include dinner, where we’ll hear from PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, The Cleveland Foundation about their support of local journalism, and from practitioners who are exploring innovative local news models to make an impact on their city.
  • Wednesday, May 3 (AJP portfolio of current + alumni grantees only): Breakfast and lunch together, with some more discussion and learning in between. We’ll officially conclude by 1 pm ET.
Tips, tricks and frequently asked questions

Please unplug

We hope you’ll use this time together next week to unplug. We’re excited for our guests to learn from each other, share their stories, and network together. So, we ask that you don’t plan any phone calls or meetings during the sessions and try to go electronics-free during AJPalooza — including emailing during sessions. If you’d like to take notes, please do so the old-fashioned way — using paper and pen, which we’ll have on site.


AJPalooza will be held under the Chatham House Rule, which states “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” We encourage open and free discussions for everyone to speak as individuals, and to express views that may not be those of their organizations with the assurance of confidentiality.

Directions from airport

The Westin Cleveland Downtown (777 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114) is approximately a 15-minute drive from the Cleveland airport (directions to hotel).

When will we start?

We’ll have registration tables set up starting at 4 p.m. ET on Monday in the Westin’s Orchid Foyer on the 6th floor, along with an AJP Happy Hour! Come check in, grab your materials, and join us for a drink. 

We’ll then head to dinner at 6 p.m. at Nuevo (1000 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114). The restaurant is a half-mile walk from the hotel. If you prefer, use this code (rOIHvH9ZOEu) to call an Uber for yourself and another AJPalooza guest on AJP.

What should I wear?

AJPalooza attire is business casual — with emphasis on the casual! Jeans are fine; we’d like you to be comfortable and happy during this event. For dinner on Tuesday (only), we’ll dress it up a bit with smart casual attire. The weather in Cleveland in May can vary, so please check the forecast when packing. 

What’s the wifi password for AJPalooza?

The network name is Westin_CONFERENCE and the password is AJP2023.

Note taking

AJP staffer Heidi Zheng will be taking light notes throughout this event, so you have something to refer back to. If a resource comes up during your conversations that you want to be sure gets captured, feel free to drop a link directly in the document or walk up to Heidi in the room and let her know to follow up with you later.

What should I do if I’m not feeling well before my trip?

We ask that all attendees experiencing symptoms of any kind of illness please refrain from attending the event. AJP will provide optional face masks and rapid COVID-19 antigen tests for those who wish to test.

Why Cleveland?

We have started a tradition of visiting a different place each year that is home to some of our grantee partners. There is a growing movement of nonprofit local news in Cleveland – including Signal Cleveland (home to Cleveland Documenters and an Open Campus reporter) and The Marshall Project’s first local news operation – who are all working to expand original reporting and meet community information needs of Clevelanders. We’re excited to introduce you to them in-person and learn more about their work.

What to do in Cleveland if you have time

If you want to keep exploring Cleveland, here are some ideas for where to go and what to eat!


Email us!