A combined $1 million donation to Cleveland State University’s School of Film & Media Arts from Lee and Ageleke Zapis and the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation will enhance what has become a regional hub for film education and training.

With the donation, the school’s production facilities on the sixth floor of the Idea Center in Playhouse Square will be upgraded and expanded. It will also fund the creation of the Odyssey Program, a summer film camp for local youth.

“The tremendous generosity of the Zapises and the Smith Foundation will allow us to further develop our state of the art film labs, production facilities and classrooms, while helping to inspire our next generation of filmmakers and creators,” CSU President Harlan Sands stated in a news release. “I want to personally thank them for their commitment to CSU, to arts education and to our community as a whole.”

Launching as an online summer camp in July 2020, the Odyssey Program will transition to an in-person camp in 2021.

Campers will learn from practitioners in the field and have the opportunity to create an original film. In 2021, the three-week-long camp will also allow high school students from across the United States to stay overnight in CSU dormitories, experience campus life and explore Cleveland.

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