President and CEO, Playhouse Square Foundation
Art Falco’s background is all business —he jokes that he didn’t even do any theater in college — and it shows. His arts complex, which is the largest in the country outside of New York City, earns 90 percent of its annual budget — meaning it ensures its own survival far better than most nonprofit organizations.That’s because Falco and his foundation were not content to just renovate beautiful theaters and attract fabulous productions. They became developers, turning the surrounding neighborhood into a proper theater district, buying up buildings, and opening a restaurant, a much-needed parking garage and a hotel — everything needed to create a backdrop worthy of the theaters. With that, Playhouse Square became not just an attraction, but an anchor for a neighborhood.