E. L. Wiegand Foundation
Born in Dover, Ohio, on September 10, 1891, Edwin L. Wiegand was a visionary who saw the value in heating with electricity. Under the trade name "Chromalox," he developed and manufactured heating elements for home appliances and industrial uses that are still at the heart of every modern electric range, water heater and numerous other electric appliances. As a result of his pioneering genius and achievements, E. L. Wiegand is widely recognized throughout the electrical heating industry.
Mr. Wiegand moved to Nevada in 1971 and throughout the remainder of his life was a major benefactor of Saint Mary's Medical Center (Chapel and Pediatric Wing), the Diocese of Nevada (Cathedral and Little Flower Church), and the University of Nevada (personal collection of violins).
In 1982, shortly after his death in 1980, the E. L. Wiegand Foundation was established in Reno, Nevada, for general charitable purposes. The Board of Trustees adopted grant classifications which focus the Foundation's attention on specific areas of interest including arts and cultural affairs. In furtherance of fine arts education, arte italia was established. In addition, to foster the religious beliefs of E. L. Wiegand, a portion of the annual grants are made to Roman Catholic charitable organizations.
Mr. Wiegand was a modest, unselfish man whose significant gifts and accomplishments are known by few people. He was a man of eclectic talents and held a deep appreciation for the arts.
A charitable organization founded in 2008 and operated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, arte italia is located at 442 Flint Street in Reno, Nevada. Built in 1914, the historic mansion sits in a prominent location in the Reno arts corridor.
In 2004, the E. L. Wiegand Foundation purchased the mansion to commemorate and perpetuate Italian Culture through the exploration and conservation of culinary and visual arts. After extensive renovation, arte italia opened in 2008 with the arrival of Italian Chefs and the Raphael masterpiece La Velata.
Mindful of maintaining its extraordinary historical significance, the mansion was restored to its original splendor after being purchased by the Foundation. Improvements were also made to accommodate an Italian Cultural Center. Two museum style art galleries were constructed on the second floor and a commercial, state-of-the-art kitchen featuring Wolf and Blue Star stoves and a wood-fired oven provide the perfect setting for visiting chefs from Italy.
Programming at arte italia is complimentary with the exception of a small tuition fee to attend the culinary classes. All fees collected are donated directly to local charities throughout northern Nevada.