For over 100 years, Rainey Institute has invested in our community’s people. Founded in 1904, Rainey Institute originally served as a settlement house, providing social service programs to Eastern European immigrants. In 1966, Rainey recognized the needs of the neighborhood had changed significantly. Later that year, the organization directed its focus to arts education to better serve the families of Hough and surrounding neighborhoods.
In January of 2011, Rainey Institute moved into its new home. The state-of-the-art, 25,000 square foot facility welcomed more children into Rainey’s programs and provided a dedicated performance area within the Debra Ann November Theater.
Today, Rainey is dedicated to instilling positive change in Greater Cleveland’s youth and families through education and participation in the performing and visual arts. Up from serving just a handful of immigrant families, the institute now reaches over 2,500 students, mostly from Cleveland schools, both onsite and in our outreach programs.
Miss Anna Edwards starts boys’ and girls’ clubs in and around the neighborhood to provide recreational and educational activities to restless youth. The programming becomes a great success and Eleanor B. Rainey takes notice.
Philanthropist Eleanor B. Rainey arranges for the construction of a settlement house at East 55th and Superior to expand on the work of Miss Edwards.
Eleanor B. Rainey passes away, but social services continue at the newly built settlement house.
Anna Edwards, first-ever Executive Director of Rainey Institute, passes away. Flora Edwards, Anna’s sister, becomes Executive Director.
Upon her death, Grace Rainey Rogers, daughter of Eleanor B. Rainey, creates a bequest in her will that includes the title of the building and a trust fund of $200,000 to be administered by a group of Trustees.
Flora Edwards, second director of Rainey Institute, passes away. Mrs. Jessie L. Peloubet, longtime volunteer and worker of Rainey Institute, becomes Executive Director.
Rainey Institute receives its IRS 501c3 tax exempt status.
Mrs. Jessie Peloubet retires and the group of Trustees seek the guidance of the Neighborhood Settlement Association (NSA) regarding the future of Rainey. Miss Elizabeth Lewis of League Park Center becomes acting Executive Director.
Miss Shirley Lautenschlager becomes Executive Director of Rainey Institute.
The Long Range Planning Committee of the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association becomes concerned that Rainey Institute is duplicating services of the nearby Goodrich-Gannett and League Park Centers. Rainey Institute’s Board of Trustees requests that the organization enters into a partnership with the Cleveland Music School Settlement to conduct music programs within Rainey Institute’s facility.
Zandra Richardson becomes Executive Director of Rainey Institute.
Rainey Institute discontinues its affiliation with the Cleveland Music School Settlement.
Zandra Richardson retires and Lee Lazar becomes Executive Director.
Rainey Institute moves into its newly constructed 25,000 square foot facility located at East 55th and Payne
Lee Lazar retires and Dr. Jennifer Harris becomes Executive Director. Rainey Institute now serves 2,500 youth per year through after school, group class, private lesson, preschool arts education, dance mastery, outreach, and summer day camp programs.
“I really appreciate Rainey, and I thank God that Rainey was able to grow into this beautiful edifice of a building where children in the neighborhood will have the opportunity to be involved in the arts.”
— Rainey Grandparent