July 19, 2022


Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation awards $250,000 capital grant that will enable west side arts education expansion

CLEVELAND – Rainey Institute gathered board members, public officials, and funders Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony at its new location in the Pivot Center for the Arts, Dance, and Expression on West 25th Street in Clark-Fulton. Construction began July 10th after the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation awarded Rainey a $250,000 capital grant toward its comprehensive expansion campaign – the campaign’s largest gift to date. When construction is completed in late fall, Rainey’s programs will expand options for exploratory and mastery-based arts opportunities for youth at Pivot Center. Rainey’s popular mastery-based orchestral music program, El Sistema, will be the first program to launch in the new location, making out-of-school time music opportunities more accessible to Clark-Fulton’s youth population and students attending neighboring schools. Other programs will include pre-school arts, teen programs, and summer camp.

With architectural plans designed by the firm Smith + Sauer, Rainey at Pivot Center will boast eight classrooms and studios and a multi-functional performance area. A community space supported by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation will serve as a gathering place for youth to transition from their school day to their arts program, have healthy snacks and build nurturing relationships, and participate in large group activities. In its first year, Rainey hopes to welcome 500 students in ongoing programs at Pivot Center.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Rainey’s Board of Directors and our Facilities Committee, and many funders and community partners who have carried us into this moment,” said Dr. Jennifer Harris, the Executive Director at Rainey. “Today we begin building not just a new facility, but continue to strengthen Rainey’s legacy in the community. We are building access to an affordable, excellent arts education across the city of Cleveland so that even more children can discover their talents and nurture their creativity.”

Dr. Jehuda Reinharz, President and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, added, “We are proud to support Rainey’s expansion project in line with the Mandel Foundation’s focus on the humanities and urban engagement. Not only is this project bringing added value to a transformational neighborhood development project in Clark-Fulton; it will allow young people to explore and understand their world and society through artistic expression and creation.”

Rainey has raised over $500,000 in support of their $2M comprehensive campaign with key donations from the Mandel Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Falk Brothers Fund courtesy of Bill and Peggy Lipscomb, Carolyn, Ron, and Jennifer Lang, the Fowler Family Foundation, the Hershey Foundation, and the William M. Weiss Foundation.

Harris also credits the facilities committee of Rainey’s Board of Directors for their efforts in realizing this project. “Our facilities committee, made up of field experts Tom Charek, Michele Crawford, Bill Fehrenbach, and Joe Smucny, have given so much of their time and talent to make this expansion a reality. Their involvement has been crucial, and we are forever grateful,” Harris said.

Stay up to date on all Rainey’s progress by vising its website or following @raineyinstute on Twier and Instagram. Learn more about the Pivot Center at hps://

 Rainey Institute is where the arts change lives by enriching and inspiring a broad community of learners through excellent, accessible arts programming. With a commitment to holistic youth development, Rainey’s programs utilize the arts as a platform to empower youth to become confident individuals who value creativity, learning, diversity, and self-expression. Rainey offers year-round music, drama, dance, and visual arts programs after school, during the summer, and on weekends. Each year, 2,500 youth from the Hough and St.Clair/Superior neighborhoods, East Cleveland, and on the west side engage in Rainey’s programs. Whether a child is interested in the intensive study of one art form, or simply seeking an arts-enriched experience, Rainey is here to provide possibilities to Cleveland’s deserving kids.Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel established their first foundation in 1953 in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Their philanthropic legacy is continued through the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Supporting foundation. The work of the foundations is grounded in the belief that exceptional leaders, inspired by powerful ideas, are key to improving society and the lives of people around the world. The foundations have identified five areas of engagement that receive support, which include: leadership development, management of nonprofits, humanities, Jewish life, and urban engagement. For more information, please visit

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