Kathleen Cerveny Moves to New Role at the Cleveland Foundation

Takes over newly created position of director of evaluation and institutional learning

Release Date: 12.01.2008

The Cleveland Foundation today announced that Kathleen Cerveny has been appointed to the new position of director of evaluation and institutional learning. Cerveny, who has been with the foundation since 1991, previously served as program director for arts and culture.

In her new role, Cerveny will evaluate Cleveland Foundation initiatives to assess their impact and effectiveness and recommend strategies for strengthening them. She also will conduct research and develop proposals for future programs that will contribute to the foundation’s mission.

“In these uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever for the foundation to carefully evaluate its work to ensure we are having the greatest possible positive impact on the community,” said Robert Eckardt, senior vice president for programs and evaluation. “Kathleen has had considerable experience in program evaluation through her work here in the arts over nearly 18 years, and we are pleased that she now has an opportunity to broaden her influence across the many vital areas the foundation supports.”

Eckardt stressed that the Cleveland Foundation remains steadfast in its strong commitment to the arts in Northeast Ohio. In recent years the foundation has contributed an average of $4.5 million annually in response to grant requests from local arts-related nonprofits. Additional contributions from donor-directed funds and special projects authorized by the board increase that amount significantly.

“Most arts-related grantmaking at the foundation falls within our community-responsive grantmaking area,” said Eckardt. “I know that Kathy Hallissey, our director of community-responsive grantmaking, and her team will continue to work closely with local arts groups and our funding partners. In addition, we’re thrilled that Kathleen Cerveny will be available to assist with arts programs as needed.”

Cerveny is a poet, though in her career she also has been a ceramic artist, educator, development officer and award-winning producer of arts programming for public radio station WCPN 90.3 FM. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, she has exhibited her artwork nationally and is a former member of the Executive Committee of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national professional organization. She serves as an advisor to the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and to Positively Cleveland.

“The Cleveland Foundation has been a leader in the field of philanthropy for all of its 95 years. For nearly two decades, I have been privileged to help provide some of that leadership for our arts community,” Cerveny said. “Now I am very excited to have the chance to serve the foundation as a whole as it evaluates its work and strengthens its continuous learning practices.”


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and the nation’s third-largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2007 grants nearing $85 million. The foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. Currently the foundation proactively directs two-thirds of its flexible grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs: economic transformation (including advanced energy and globalization), public school improvement, early childhood and youth development, neighborhoods and housing, and arts advancement.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.