CLEVELAND (August 26, 2011) — The Cleveland Museum of Art announces an extraordinary gift from long-time museum and community supporters Sally and Sandy Cutler. The couple has established the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Director's Chair, a $2.5 million endowment that will provide resources needed to spark innovation, support forward thinking and fund the initiatives and priorities identified by the museum director as important to the institution's future. The presence of this endowment is expected to ensure the museum continues to recruit and retain the brightest candidates for the director's position.
"Speaking on my behalf and for those directors who will succeed me in the future, this endowment will be instrumental in getting innovative new ideas and projects off the ground and supporting important priorities that might otherwise go unfunded by the museum's annual operating budget," said David Franklin, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. "It will be a privilege to have the freedom to choose projects and initiatives that are experimental, that lead to new discoveries and, ultimately, have the potential to impact the museum field. These funds provide the stability to do those things regardless of the economic forecast for the general operating budget."
The Cutlers have been involved with the museum for many years. They are already significant donors to the current renovation and expansion campaign having named the neo-classical gallery off the museum's rotunda in its historic 1916 building. Sally Cutler currently serves as a vice president of the museum's Board of Trustees and chair of its Committee on Trustees. This endowment allows the Cutlers to make a mark on the larger institutional initiatives and priorities determined by the director each year. While other museums have endowed the director's position to fund its salary and benefits, few museums are known to have created a discretionary fund for the director's projects and initiatives.
"Under David Franklin's exciting new leadership, we felt this was the time for us to provide support that gets to the heart of the museum's mission," said Sally Cutler. "These resources should provide David and those directors after him the seed money to take calculated risks, innovate and ultimately to move the museum to new heights in its second century."
"The Cleveland Museum of Art's collection and programs have had a profound impact on our family, and our support at this time of new leadership, restored facilities and bright optimism can ensure the museum continues that transformational power in the community's life," said Sandy Cutler.
The new endowment is expected to be initially tapped in 2012 by David Franklin as he begins his second year as director and kicks off major elements of his vision for the museum.
About the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top five comprehensive art museums in the nation, and the only one that is free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of more than 21,500 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org
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