Cleveland's Playhouse Square Receives $10 Million Gift

Playhouse Square, a not-for-profit performing arts center in downtown Cleveland, has announced a $10 million gift from the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation in Brooklyn, Ohio, the Plain Dealer reports.

The largest gift to date to a $100 million capital and endowment campaign brings to $46 million the total raised by the center. The public phase of the campaign was launched in June with the announcement of a $9 million gift from Chris Connor, chairman and CEO of the Sherwin-Williams Co., and his wife, Sara. In recognition of that gift, the Palace Theatre has been renamed the Connor Palace.

Funds raised during the campaign will be used to support a production fund, repair and renovate the State and Ohio theaters as well as Connor Palace, and bolster Playhouse Square's $16 million endowment — "a very small amount for an organization of our size," Playhouse Square president and CEO Art Falco told the Plain Dealer. With ten thousand seats, Playhouse Square is the second largest unified arts complex in the country, after Lincoln Center in New York City.

Fasenmyer, who died in 2002, served on the Playhouse Square board and was a longtime champion of the Cleveland arts scene as both an economic engine and a means to enhance the quality of life for the city's residents. "We are pleased to make this commitment to Playhouse Square, an important catalyst for economic growth and vitality within the Northeast Ohio region," said Fasenmyer Foundation board president John Baechle in a statement. "We are proud to support their continued efforts."