FOR RELEASE: September 2014

Major $150,000 grant from the Jean, Harry, and Brenda Fuchs Foundation supports Heights Arts

Cleveland Heights, OH — The community arts organization Heights Arts has received a significant donation of $150,000 from the Jean, Harry, and Brenda Fuchs Foundation, the largest single gift to Heights Arts in the history of the organization. The grant will support operations at Heights Arts as well as ongoing improvements to the gallery space at 2175 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Says Heights Arts executive director Rachel Bernstein, “We are proud, humbled, and excited to be the beneficiary of this transformative gift, and we are honored to celebrate the creative energy and talent of the Fuchs family.” Heights Arts will officially name its exhibition space “The Jean, Harry, and Brenda Fuchs Gallery.”

Since its founding in 2000, Heights Arts has worked to support and celebrate the arts in the Heights community, fueled by the belief that when creative expression and appreciation are a part of daily living, life is simply better. Founding executive director Peggy Spaeth won a Cleveland Arts Prize in 2013 in recognition of her contribution through Heights Arts to the quality of life in the region, and Heights Arts continues its community mission under its second executive director, Rachel Bernstein. Brenda Fuchs and her family subscribed to the same philosophy, participating in, patronizing, and supporting the arts over many decades, and this initial gift represents the family’s continuing commitment to the creative spirit of the Heights area. In particular, the family’s interests in music and visual arts align well with the Heights Arts Close Encounters concerts and the Heights Arts gallery. Brenda Fuchs died in 2011 at age 72. Her father was Harry Fuchs, principal cellist with the Cleveland Orchestra; her mother Jean Fuchs was a daughter of the Akron-based Polsky family that owned Polsky’s department store, whose landmark building is now part of the University of Akron. Brenda graduated from Shaker Heights High School and the Cleveland Institute of Art, and remained deeply involved in the arts throughout her life.

A spokesperson for the Fuchs Family Foundation explains that the gift is intended to inspire additional support for Heights Arts and the arts in general: “We appreciate the continuing efforts of Heights Arts to promote and advance arts in the area, and would hope this this donation will provide a catalyst for others to join this effort in the future.”


Contact: Rachel Bernstein