MOCA Cleveland Announces Completion of 10-Year, $36M Capital Campaign

May 10, 2016


Contact: Peter Vertes

216.658.6913 |

MOCA Cleveland Announces Completion of 10-Year, $36M Capital Campaign with Endowment Gifts from Kohls, Mueller and Lewis

-          New Strategic Plan Aims for Increased Global Reach by 50th Anniversary Year in 2018

CLEVELAND (May 10, 2016) – The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland announced today the completion of its $36M comprehensive funding campaign. The 10-year effort is comprised of $4M in recent gifts raised to complete a $5M endowment along with $31M previously raised for MOCA’s now-iconic Farshid Moussavi building at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in Cleveland’s Uptown district.

“MOCA’s exceptional board leadership got us to this triumphant place,” says Jill Snyder, the Donna + Stewart Kohl Executive Director of MOCA. “This milestone represents a culmination of the board’s vision, as well as its capacity for risk-taking and entrepreneurship. In our Carnegie Avenue location, we were an undercapitalized player with a $1.6M operating budget and 15,000 visitors per year; MOCA now has a $3M operating budget with 41,000 visitors per year, and is known internationally for its vanguard building and exhibition program. Today’s MOCA is a tribute to the trailblazing spirit of its founders, Nina Sundell and Marjorie Talalay, who in 1968 channeled their passion for contemporary art to Cleveland at a time when its exhibition was mostly restricted to New York.”


“The project has been transformational to the new Uptown district, to University Circle, and to Cleveland,” says MOCA Co-Chairman of the Board Stewart A. Kohl. “We overcame so many hurdles along the way, from finding the perfect land parcel to the economics of the deal to raising money through the global financial crisis. MOCA’s success speaks to the compelling nature of the of the project – it was meant to be.”


“I especially salute our board for their ongoing fiscal responsibility, as well as their will and determination in sustaining MOCA’s comprehensive campaign,” adds Leslie Dunn, MOCA’s Board President.

MOCA’s gleaming new home has been cited as an international emblem of Cleveland’s renaissance in publications ranging from The New York Times to Fodor’s to Travel + Leisure. The Wall Street Journal also named the Museum one of the top buildings of the year in 2012.


Along with Cleveland’s stalwart local funders, The Gund Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation, much of MOCA’s financial success is owed to gifts from The Britton Fund as well as several enlightened philanthropists: MOCA Co-Chairman of the Board Scott Mueller, MOCA Co-Chairman of the Board Stewart Kohl and his wife Donna Kohl, and Toby Devan Lewis. “Each of these pace-setting leaders made signature naming gifts along the way, while their additional gifts and those of other generous donors in 2015 got us to the finish line of creating the $5M endowment,” adds Snyder. Signature naming gifts include MOCA’s Gund Commons (2012), Cleveland Foundation Lobby (2012), Toby Devan Lewis Gallery (2012), Mueller Family Gallery (2014), Donna + Stewart Kohl Atrium + Monumental Stair (2012), and the Donna + Stewart Kohl Executive Directorship (2015). Other generous leadership donors include Dick Cahoon, Becky Dunn, Char and Chuck Fowler, and Agnes Gund.





·         2002-2006: MOCA’s transformation begins with seed gifts from Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust ($.5M), The Britton Fund ($2M), The Gund Foundation ($2.1M) and the Cleveland Foundation ($1M).

·         2006: Building site secured. London-based architect Farshid Moussavi hired.

·         2010: $5M in new market tax credits.

·         2011: Groundbreaking. With the board’s fiscal discipline, the $27M building costs had already been raised.

·         October 2012: New Building Opens.

-          With the board’s additional fiscal prudence, $30M was raised toward building and transition and startup costs.

-          $1M was raised toward the completion of the $5M endowment.

·         October 2012 to December 2015: Endowment Campaign Completed.

-          September 2014
Scott Mueller announces $2M endowment challenge grant at MOCA benefit.

-          November, 2014

Donna and Stewart Kohl make endowment gift of $1M.

Toby Devan Lewis makes endowment gift of $.5M.

-          2015

Additional gifts from various donors.

Other signs of MOCA’s financial health include a 67% increase in contributed income, from $1.5M in 2006 to $2.5M in 2016, and a contributed-to-earned income ratio adjustment from 87% to 13 currently versus 97% to 3% before moving into the new building. MOCA has been successful in attracting a national corporate sponsorship from Lexus, and innovative in bringing a new local sponsor, Clear Choice Lasik Eye, onboard for a summer, 2016 exhibition titled Myopia.


MOCA moves toward its 50th Anniversary in 2019 with the wind of an ambitious strategic plan at its back. The institution aims to increase its global impact while further asserting its public value to Cleveland and the region. To this end, the past year has added to the bench strength of MOCA’s board with new members ranging from social activists and global thinkers to entrepreneurs, thought leaders in architecture and design, civic engagement and strategic communications. New board members brought on in the past twelve months include Yuval Brisker, President and CEO of TOA Technologies; Kathy Futey, Private Wealth Advisor, Caritas Financial; Bennett Guess, Vice President, United Church of Christ; David Lamb, Vice President and General Counsel, The Scott Fetzer Company; Michelle Shan Jeschelnig, Country Director for China, The Fives Group; Karen Hillenbrand; Mark Ross, Managing Partner, PwC; Carolyn Buller, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; Jonathan Kurtz, Principal, Westlake Reed Leskosky; David Loomis, Managing Director, Dix & Eaton; and John Williams, Founder, Process Creative Studios.





MOCA Cleveland, founded in 1968, is a leading force in Northeast Ohio’s cultural scene and is recognized nationally and internationally for its presentation of contemporary art and ideas. For more information on MOCA and all of its programming, visit or call 216-421-8671.





MOCA Cleveland · 11400 Euclid Avenue · Cleveland, OH 44106 · 216-421-8671