Announcing Rainey’s 2024 Glissando Honorees

Rainey Institute is proud to honor this year’s class of notable Rainey supporters, champions, and alumni.


Each year at Glissando, Rainey Institute honors an individual for their contributions and commitment to the Rainey mission. Our Glissando Honorees include outstanding public servants, deeply engaged philanthropists and community leaders, dedicated partners in providing neighborhood services, as well as up and coming young artists who are Rainey Kids.

Read more about our 2024 Glissando Honorees, and be sure to join us at our Par-Tee on April 18th to celebrate their achievements.


Jeffrey Weiss

Community Impact Honoree

Martin J. Sweeney

Public Service Honoree

Eliot Palcisco

Rainey Kid Alumni Honoree

Jeffrey Weiss

Community Impact Honoree 2024

Jeffrey Weiss was born in Baltimore, grew up in New Jersey, and moved to Cleveland at age 12. He graduated from Shaker Heights High School, received an Economics degree from Yale University, and graduated from Law School at University of Michigan. Jeff was a partner at Cavitch, Familo & Durkin and practiced there for 18 years specializing in general corporate and tax law. In 1997, he joined the Freedonia Group, a 30 person market research firm. As CEO, he grew the firm to 100 employees and opened a satellite research office in Beijing, China. Jeff sold the company in 2017 and retired in 2018.

Jeff joined Rainey’s board of directors in 2017 and has served as treasurer since 2021. He was drawn to service at Rainey thanks to its timeless values of mutual respect of others and achievement and success through hard work. Some of his favorite moments with Rainey include his first visit in the morning to our preschool program, watching El Sistema perform with Black Violins at Cain Park and at Severance Hall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

In his service on the board, Jeff has been active on almost all of our committees at one time, including: Glissando, Development, Finance, Pivot Center, and Endowment and recently supported the establishment of a 401K for staff. He always wears the “Rainey” hat by connecting the organization to resources and other potential supporters. Jeff is also a generous supporter of Rainey as an officer of the William M. Weiss Foundation, and has contributed substantial gifts in support of programming and our new site in Clark-Fulton at the Pivot Center for Art, Dance and Expression. Jeff is excited about Rainey’s future and hopes to see us continue to develop relevant new programs that fit the times and needs of our students. Rainey Institute is thrilled to recognize Jeff as our 2024 Community Impact Honoree for his ongoing commitment and support of Rainey.

Councilman Martin J. Sweeney

Public Service Honoree 2024

Councilman Martin J. Sweeney is the Cuyahoga County Council representative of District 3, which includes the City of Brooklyn, the Village of Linndale, and a number of Westside wards in Cleveland, including Rainey Institute’s new Clark-Fulton campus. His focus has always been on economic development, health and human services, and public works to improve all the lives of those living in Cuyahoga County. Councilman Sweeney serves as the Vice Chair of the Heath, Human Services & Aging Committee and is also a member of the Human Resources, Appointments & Equity Committee, the Public Works, Procurement & Contracting Committee, and the Council Operations, Intergovernmental Relations & Public Transportation Committee. Prior to his time on Cuyahoga County Council, Marty served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, serving the State’s District 14. Before that, Councilman Sweeney served 18 years on Cleveland City Council, where he represented Ward 16 and was later elected as Cleveland City Council President. A proud graduate of St. Ignatius High School, Marty earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Cleveland State University.

Councilman Sweeney was a champion of Rainey’s west side expansion project from the very beginning. When the campaign started, Marty advocated for $250,000 in ARPA funding from Cuyahoga County Council which allowed us to leverage additional funds and raise $1.25M to support our expansion campaign. Thanks to Marty’s steadfast support, Rainey’s Clark-Fulton campus has been open for nearly one year, allowing us to impact more youth through the arts, and making our dream of “a Rainey in every neighborhood of Cleveland” one step closer to reality. For his ongoing support, we are thrilled to honor Councilman Sweeney at Glissando 2024 as our Public Service Honoree.

Eliot Palcisco

“Rainey Kid” Alumni Honoree

Eliot Palcisco will join Rainey’s newest class of alumni when she “graduates” from the STAGES drama program this spring. Eliot started attending Rainey’s After-School Program when STAGES was first introduced, and has been involved in the program ever since. She has also attended Rainey’s Summer Arts Camp for a number of years.

All her life, Eliot has been a creative person and has been drawn to the arts whether it is acting, music, or drawing. She finds inspiration from all different art forms. When experiencing art, she always wants to know the whole story. She loves to learn about the actors, performers, and pieces of work to understand their deeper meaning. She is even working with a local artist to paint a mural as part of a school project.

Eliot says Rainey has made a large impact in her life by helping her to gain more confidence, a stronger stage presence, and many friends. Rainey has enabled her to build relationships and learn meaningful dances, plays, songs, and monologues that allow her to deepen her appreciation for the arts. She will never forget her experiences at Rainey.

Her mother, Kristen, tells us more about how Rainey has shaped her life: “Having come into the program with a level of introversion and unfamiliarity with the arts and theater, Eliot has gained immensely from becoming part of the Rainey community. She unexpectedly found both mentors and mentees, through which she’s gained knowledge, connection, interpersonal skills, and confidence personally, as a student, and (in many ways) as an educator in training. Through life’s many challenges in recent years, Rainey has been a consistent presence for Eliot. She has learned patience, an understanding of commitment, identifying personal strengths and challenges, as well as the importance of communication and functioning as a unit (whether on the stage or at home).”

Eliot plans to continue taking music, theater, or musical theater lessons. It is Eliot’s dedication to the arts that earns her recognition as Rainey Institute’s “Rainey Kid” Alumni Honoree. As such, Eliot will receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue her arts education in high school.