June 23, 2023


The out-of-school time organization raised $1.25 Million toward west side arts education expansion and hosted inaugural summer camp for 56 children in June



Rainey Institute gathered community partners, families, public officials, and funders Thursday at an opening celebration at its new location in the Pivot Center for the Arts, Dance, and Expression on West 25th Street in Clark-Fulton. Construction was completed this spring as a result of Rainey’s comprehensive expansion campaign, which has raised $1.25 million toward the location’s buildout, operations, and new west side programs. The celebration marks new opportunities for low to moderate income families in Clark-Fulton to access affordable out-of-school time care and superb arts education in their neighborhood.

The celebration also helped to wrap up Rainey’s first program in their new space. Throughout the month of June, Rainey welcomed 56 campers, in 4th-8th grade, for the inaugural Musical Motion Picture Summer Camp. Campers attended Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30 for the low cost of $200 for a full three weeks. The cost of Rainey’s camps are kept intentionally low in order to ensure hard-working Cleveland families who face economic barriers or otherwise can have access to affordable, nurturing childcare.

Rainey’s programs are affordable to families thanks to the local foundations, individuals, and public allies who make contributions and grants year after year. Rainey raised the support for their expansion locally and broadly with key donations from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Cuyahoga County, the Plum Family, the George Gund Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bill and Peggy Lipscomb, Carolyn, Ron, and Jennifer Lang, the Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation, the William M. Weiss Foundation, the Reinberger Foundation, the Fowler Family Foundation, the Nord Family Foundation, the Hershey Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, the David & Inez Myers Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Jonathan Ivy Kidd Charitable Fund, and many dedicated individuals.

Rainey Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Harris also credits the facilities and development committees of Rainey’s Board of Directors for their efforts in realizing this project. “Our facilities and development committees, made up of field experts Tom Charek, Michele Crawford, Bill Fehrenbach, Joe Smucny, Bill Lipscomb, Monyka Price, Sung Cha, Rob Matousek, and Jeff Weiss, 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.

Rainey’s first summer program is offering 56 young students the opportunity to engage in the multi-disciplinary creative art forms and digital technology involved in making musical motion pictures. Campers have worked with teaching artists and industry professionals to learn musical composition and digital recording, acting-for-film and voiceover performance, cartooning and animation, choreography for musicals, cinematography and more. Camp also featured an exciting field trip to a local cinematic escape room.

In September, Rainey’s programs will expand options for exploratory and mastery-based arts opportunities for youth after school, including their popular mastery-based orchestral music program, El Sistema. 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 entire community who have carried us into this moment,” said Harris. “We are looking forward to many years of affordable, excellent arts education programs in Clark-Fulton.”

West Side families can sign their children up for programs at Pivot Center by visiting

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, 1,000 youth from the Hough and St.Clair-Superior neighborhoods, East Cleveland, and in Clark-Fulton 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 and their hard-working families.

Hi-Resolution images are available upon request.  Email [email protected]