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News . Feature Stories . CIA Announces $5 Million Gift for Campus Project

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July 11, 2012

CIA Announces $5 Million Gift for Campus Project

Donation from philanthropist Peter B. Lewis is largest gift from an individual in CIA history.

The Cleveland Institute of Art announces a $5 million gift from Peter B. Lewis to support construction of a 91,000-square-foot building as the final component of the College’s campus unification project.


“We are thrilled to receive this wonderful gift, not only because it represents a strong endorsement of our vision for a unified campus from this nationally known philanthropist with deep Cleveland roots, but also because it acknowledges the efforts of our University Circle neighbors in developing the Uptown project into a national model of culture and commerce,” explains Grafton J. Nunes, CIA’s president and CEO. The Uptown development is a complex of rental residences, restaurants, and retail anchored at one end by the new MOCA Cleveland and at the other end by the Cleveland Institute of Art.

This is the largest gift from Lewis to a Cleveland institution in over ten years and is the largest gift from an individual in CIA’s 130-year history. In recognition of this gift, CIA will name the auditorium in the new building The Peter B. Lewis Theater. Lewis is the chairman of Cleveland-based Progressive Corporation.

In addition to the theater, which will be the new home of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, the new building will house CIA’s nationally ranked design majors, its acclaimed biomedical artand digital arts programs, art galleries, and administrative offices.

CIA continues to fundraise for its campus unification project to bolster the college’s endowment and to cover expenses related to the build out of spaces and transfer of functions and equipment from its existing Gund Building on East Boulevard to its Joseph McCullough Center in the coming year. This gift should enable the college to break ground on the new building in early 2013, pending approval of the CIA board of directors and banks working with CIA on the project.

The new building will be constructed immediately west of and fully interconnected with CIA’s McCullough Building on Euclid Avenue. The new building will be named for George Gund II, CIA’s board president from 1942-66.

Listen to Grafton Nunes discuss Peter B. Lewis' donation to CIA with Channel 5 by clicking here.

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