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Arts and Culture leader Tom Schorgl Retiring from CPAC

Tom Schorgl

Cleveland-area arts leader Tom Schorgl announced today he will retire from Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) at the end of the year. Schorgl served as CPAC’s CEO and president for 20 years.

“Cleveland/Cuyahoga County has become more and more aware of the value- the multiple values- of arts and culture,” Schorgl said. “That’s not always the case in other communities.”

CPAC was established by the George Gund Foundation and Cleveland Foundation in 1997 to support greater Cleveland’s arts and culture sector. Schorgl was hired to lead the organization.

“It’s a good time for me to pursue some other professional interests,” he said. “Those will be in the area of consulting around public policy and cultural planning.”

Schorgl was instrumental in leading the effort to establish funding for arts and culture though a Cuyahoga County cigarette tax, which brings in more than $15 million annually. Cuyahoga Arts and Culture handles allocating the public funds.

David Bergholz, former executive director of the George Gund Foundation, said the passage of the cigarette tax was a major success.

“Tom and the organization have proved to the community it’s worth, and hopefully we will go on with this remarkable resource,” Bergholz said.

The decline in cigarette tax revenue is something the arts community is aware of, including CPAC’s COO, Megan Van Voorhis.

"There are many partners that were a part of making sure that [the tax] happened in the first place, and I think there will be many partners and players who are involved in making sure that we resolve that issue.”

Van Voorhis will become CPAC’s next CEO and president. Shorgl will remain in his position through the end of the year.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.