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Gift Enhances Film and Media Arts at CSU

Ageleke & Lee Zapis endow new scholarship fund


Longtime Clevelanders Ageleke and Lee Zapis have created a new scholarship fund to promote education in film and media arts at Cleveland State University. The Ageleke and Lee Zapis Film and Media Arts Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide annual financial support to junior and senior students in CSU’s School of Film and Media Arts. The Fund, which is the first scholarship created in the Film School, is designed to support students in good academic standing, who are close to graduation but need additional monetary support to complete their degree.

“Ageleke and I want to support the next generation of story tellers and are committed to enhancing higher educational attainment for all. This fund will help talented individuals get the extra help they need to ‘cross the finish line,’” Lee Zapis says.

The CSU School of Film and Media Arts was created in 2017 thanks to a $7.5 million appropriation from the state of Ohio and is the first stand-alone film school in the state. The School has just opened a new state-of-the-art facility on the sixth floor of the Idea Center located in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square district. It features high tech teaching laboratories, digital editing bays, smart classrooms, and access to additional facilities in the Idea Center, in which ideastream, the corporation that houses all of Cleveland’s public broadcasting, is located.

“Film and television production is a booming industry for the state and through this gift we hope to ensure that Ohio has the talented actors, directors and technical professionals necessary to further boost development of the sector,” adds Ageleke Zapis.

Lee Zapis, who graduated from CSU with a degree in Communication in 1978, is the president of Zapis Capital Group and an active investor in early stage companies. Ageleke Zapis is a longtime entrepreneur and founder of ETIMI Outerwear, a fashion and lifestyle brand geared towards active women.  She also serves on the board of the Cleveland Animal Protective League.