The KULAS FOUNDATION, founded in 1937 by music patrons ELROY JOHN KULAS and his wife, Fynette Hill Kulas (d. 1957), has focused on MUSIC appreciation and music education in northeast Ohio, one of the few philanthropies to do so. Music auditoriums or buildings named for Kulas exist at the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, JOHN CARROLL UNIV., the CLEVELAND MUSIC SCHOOL SETTLEMENT, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV., and BALDWIN-WALLACE and Oberlin Colleges. Other organizations, such as the WEST SIDE COMMUNITY HOUSE, PARMADALE, the CLEVELAND SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND, the SALVATION ARMY, and the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, have sponsored programs and/or purchased musical instruments with Kulas grants. Kulas monies have also enabled prisoners, the mentally ill, the elderly, the retarded, the blind, and students of all ages to attend concerts. In the late 1960s the foundation provided half a million dollars for the construction of the Blossom Music Ctr., summer home of the CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA, and in 1973 commissioned a sculpture for the Blossom grounds. No grants are given to individuals or for endowment funds. Organizations which have received Kulas grants over $100,000 include the CLEVELAND BALLET, the MUSICAL ARTS ASSN., and Case Western Reserve Univ. In 1992 the foundation was developing guidelines for a new interest—music therapy.
In 1991 the Kulas Foundation, with assets of over $25 million, disbursed over $1.6 million for 74 grants. In 1995 assets were recorded at $26 million, with over 200 grants allotted. Herbert E. Strawbridge served as the foundation's president and treasurer in 1995, with offices located in TOWER CITY CENTER.