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June 18, 2020

Elliott & Gail Schlang Create Student Health and Well-Being Initiative at CIM


Gail and Elliott Schlang
Gail & Elliott Schlang. Photo courtesy of the Schlang Family.

The health and well-being of young people has always been a priority for Northeast Ohio residents and long-time Cleveland Institute of Music Trustee Elliott Schlang and his wife, Gail.   

Thanks to the couple’s generous philanthropic commitment, CIM is pleased to announce the Elliott & Gail Schlang Student Health and Well-Being Initiative. The effort was started in spring 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in preparation for a safe return of CIM’s conservatory students beginning August 10. The initiative will continue through 2021 to address the Institute’s ongoing needs that have stemmed from the extraordinary circumstances of this time.   

Elliott Schlang is founder and managing partner of Great Lakes Review, a Cleveland-based proprietary research firm. Gail Schlang, a retired audiologist and a leading arts and education volunteer and local patron, has worked with children and young adults for many years.  

The Elliott & Gail Schlang Student Health & Well-Being Initiative is already providing direct assistance by:    

  • Refunding dorm fees to students who were unable to return to their rooms in mid-March  
  • Equipping faculty with the tools to continue providing quality instruction, including microphones, cameras, software and training  
  • Continuing student employment, including work study assignments for international students who may have otherwise been furloughed during campus closures   
  • Supplying emergency grants to international students who found themselves in Cleveland, unemployed, and in dire financial situations  

The first two weeks of the new term, which gets underway August 10, will focus on performance-related activities – lessons, chamber music, orchestra and opera – that take place in person in spaces adapted for physical distancing requirements. Classroom-based learning will commence on August 24. All performances and in-person instruction will conclude on Friday, November 20; classes will shift online for the final two weeks of the semester. 

As students return to campus, the initiative is supporting vital improvements to CIM’s learning environment to minimize health risks, including:   

  • Expanded campus cleaning costs with double shifts, to provide the cleanest, most healthy learning, living and working environment  
  • Applying electrostatic environmental cleaning treatments twice a year, a special preventive application in classrooms, recital halls and practice rooms to eradicate viral spread from surface contact  
  • Installing protective equipment and technology needed for lessons and ensembles ranging from clear acrylic and polycarbonate shields to additional electronic equipment  
  • Supplying personal protective equipment for students, faculty and staff, including masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers  

The Schlangs are supporters in CIM’s Century Circle, a group of dedicated philanthropists who have made two-year pledges totaling $100,000 during the Institute’s Centennial and include Barbara Robinson, Rebecca and Irad Carmi, and Rebecca Dunn, leading CIM’s annual fund. Joining these supporters are Susan Rothmann and Philip Paul as the inaugural Founders Circle members, with a two-year pledge to CIM’s annual fund totaling $50,000.

“This is a remarkable effort and tremendous show of support for our students, faculty and staff,” said CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle. “I’m personally very grateful that CIM has friends like Elliott and Gail who have generously given us vital funding that will help us to support the priority short-term financial needs of CIM and our students who are contending with lost jobs, housing challenges and other significant hurdles.”