The Beachwood High School Parent-Teacher-Association (PTA) in the year 1964-65, embarked on a fund-raising project, the results of which far exceeded their modest expectations. Marilyn Caplane and Adele Rosenberg, co-chairs of fund-raising, with the assistance of Lucy Hart, launched a one-day art festival and sale on Sunday, October 25,1964, in the cafeteria of the High School.
This project had been planned not only as a means of accumulating much needed funds, but also in the hopes of promoting and developing cultural awareness and growth in the community. Works from artists of Greater Cleveland plus that of Beachwood students were displayed to appreciative crowds. Adding to the excitement of the day, artists Robert Laessig and Fred Leach each donated one of their paintings to the High School.
This initial experiment became the start of a series of ten fine arts weekends, the last held in 1976. They included dance, drama, symphony and jazz. Subsequent shows featured demonstrations of ancient crafts, wood carving, glass blowing, portrait sketching, silent films and mixed media light shows. Preview nights included delicious refreshments prepared by devoted and talented women of the community. Refreshments were also offered in a bistro operated by students under the supervision of the Home Economics department.
Needless to say, each festival weekend surpassed the previous one in scope and depth. The ever-broadening dimensions of the fine arts weekends, the vast amount of time and energy required to plan and carry out each one, and the constant hope of each worker that a culturally oriented group could become a permanent and dynamic force in the Beachwood community, resulted in the formation of the Beachwood Arts Council.