Tuesday, August 06, 2002

CCM drama program gets $3.8M boost




By Jackie Demaline jdemaline@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A $3.8 million gift to College-Conservatory of Music's drama department, the largest in its 18-year history, will lay a foundation for the University of Cincinnati program to position itself among the nation's top degree programs.

        The A.B., Dolly and Ralph Cohen Foundation will establish a chair in drama with a $2 million endowment. The gift also will name The Cohen Family Studio Theater.

        The chair will translate to scholarships, master classes and visits by prominent guest artists. “I can safely say that CCM drama will never be the same again,” said drama department chairman Richard Hess.

        Until this gift, drama has not been as well-financed as CCM's acclaimed musical and opera departments, both of which have chairs funded by the Corbett Foundation.

        The remaining $1.8 million will be established as an endowment to be used at the discretion of CCM Dean Douglas Lowry.

        While Mr. Lowry would not address specific plans or name potential guest artists, he stated his commitment to bringing “important, influential forces” to UC whose participation at CCM “would set us apart from other institutions.”

        The Cohen family has a history of philanthropy with University of Cincinnati. Dolly Cohen, widow of A.B. Cohen, founder of U.S. Shoe Co., created an annual Award for Teaching Excellence. Daughter-in-law Julia Winter Cohen, who administered the foundation from 1974 until her death in January, loved the performing arts, particularly drama.

       



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