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Fairmount Center for the Arts
8400 Fairmount Road
Novelty, OH 44072




In 1970, Ron and Jan Kumin had a vision for a community arts center that led to the construction of a 9,000 square-foot facility on Fairmount Road in Russell Township which included three rehearsal studios, a visual arts and pottery classroom and a gallery for the fine arts.  Enrollment grew rapidly in the early years and soon several performing companies were formed, including the Fairmount Spanish Dancers, the Fairmount Dance Theatre and the Fairmount Theatre of the Deaf. 

In 1979, financial hardship forced the closing of the Fairmount Theatre of the Deaf, which had operated in the library on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, as well as the Fairmount Dance Theatre. New leadership led the way through these troubled times and partnerships with a professional dance company and various school systems were developed. Fairmount Dance Theatre was reinstated, and a performing youth theatre was integrated into the programming.

In 1987, Marsha Carl took the reigns as Executive Director. Under her direction from 1987 to 2003, a Suzuki music program was added, along with a performing community orchestra, the Chagrin Valley Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Carl expanded the programming at Fairmount to include workshops in art, pottery, dance, music, theatre and gymnastics.

In 2003, a new executive director – Thomas Q. Fulton – was hired. Mr Fulton, who has a long history of work as an artistic and executive director in the arts in northeast Ohio, led the board through a vigorous development of mission, vision, values and beliefs, organizational philosophy, goals, and a long-range operating plan. Additionally, the name was changed to Fairmount Center for the Arts and new programming was introduced, including the Fairmount Performing Arts Camp, School of Writing and the Fairmount Center for the Arts Writers' Conference.

In the summer of 2011, the Fairmount Board of Trustees appointed Jessica Leary Allen as the new Executive Director of Fairmount Center for the Arts. Ms. Allen has worked for organizations of various size and scope as a fundraiser, editor, and program manager and brought 15 years of experience in not-for-profit management to Fairmount Center.

In spring 2018, Jeannie Fleming-Gifford was hired as Executive Director of Fairmount Center for the Arts.  Jeannie Fleming-Gifford worked closely with Matthew P. Figgie until his unexpected death in August 2018.  In November 2018, a new Board of Directors was elected and Fairmount is positioned for growth and moving forward to ensure that arts programs are part of the community for generations to come. 

Today, the Fairmount Center's programming includes classes in Art, Dance, Music, Theatre, & Fitness as well as performance opportunities through the Fairmount Spanish Dancers, Fairmount Dance Theatre (FDT) Fairmount Dance Company (FDC), and Fairmount Youth Theatre (FYT). The Fairmount Center's performance venues includes the Mayfield Village Civic Center and the Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Center.

Fairmount Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization that is generously funded by the Ohio Arts Council and the Figgie Foundation. 


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