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The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation is the Title Sponsor of “Cleveland Starts Here” at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle

The Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is pleased to announce that the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation is the Title Sponsor of the new, innovative exhibit experience Cleveland Starts Here® opening at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle in November 2017.  The $500,000 gift supports both the installation of the new permanent exhibit and the Cleveland Starts Here® digital portal that will provide global audiences with access to WRHS archives and artifacts that tell the story of more than 220 years of Cleveland and northeast Ohio history.

“We are delighted to partner with the Historical Society on this project that inspires pride in our city and region, and catapults incredible stories about our hometown to national and global audiences.  By providing online access to the stories of great leaders and events in society, we believe that this project has the power to capture human spirit and inspire excellence in our school children, in our families and in our leaders,” said Morton L. Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Mandel Foundation.

“WRHS is honored by the generous support and partnership with the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation to present this dynamic experience that explores the rich and diverse history of our community.  As the trusted steward of the region’s history for nearly 150 years, WRHS uses its collections and resources to educate, enlighten and inspire people to explore our shared past.  With Cleveland Starts Here®, we are creating a place for people to gather to discover our shared past and to provide historical context that informs conversations and the decisions that impact society today, and into the future.”  says Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO.

Cleveland Starts Here®, presented by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation will be installed at the main entrance to the Cleveland History Center in the stately 3,500 square foot Reinberger Gallery, the starting point for the exploration of the social, creative, economic, political, and cultural history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.  Using the latest multi-media technologies and techniques available to museum designers, guests will discover how a small wilderness town on the shore of Lake Erie became an industrial giant, the home of immigrants and American presidents, a world class center for arts, culture, and education, and a world-renowned innovator in medicine and health care.

Cleveland Starts Here®, presented by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation is:

  • A place for newcomers and travelers to discover the rich history of Cleveland and the region once commonly known as the Western Reserve
  • A place for Northeast Ohioans to locate their own stories and place themselves in the rich story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio
  • A place for school children to see and experience firsthand the history of Cleveland and the region, and expand upon the lessons learned in the classroom

WRHS is working with Dennis and Kathy Barrie of Barrie Projects, a local consulting firm specializing in museums, exhibits, and cultural planning projects around the globe.  Gallagher & Associates is subcontracted to the project for content development and exhibit design.  Notable projects among their collective resumes are The Mob Museum: National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the International Spy Museum, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

The convergence of American stories with WRHS’ nationally ranked collections in a high-tech facility will result in a one-of-a-kind first stop for the study and exploration of the humanities, onsite and online.  Through Cleveland Starts Here®, presented by Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, guests to the Cleveland History Center and around the world can explore the history of Cleveland and discover through the lens of local stories how the people, neighborhoods, places, events and movements in our city and region shaped and continues to influence the American experience.

Presently, there is no place in the city or region for audiences to discover this history.  With the generous support of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and a host of community foundations, corporations, and individuals WRHS is pleased to give the gift of Cleveland history to the community on the occasion of its 150th anniversary in 2017.

About the Western Reserve Historical Society and Cleveland History Center

Founded in 1867 as an historic branch of the Cleveland Library Association on Public Square, the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) has been there to preserve and provide access to the stories of Northeast Ohio and beyond – stories of the people, the artifacts and the archives that provide provenance for our region.

Operating six sites throughout Northeast Ohio, WRHS gives a home to exhibits that tell the story of Northeast Ohio through items, documents and artifacts from a variety of collections at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle. Through the use of its vast and varied collections in the areas of family history, community history, entrepreneurship, and technological innovation, Cleveland History Center provides the public with a much-needed sense of place in today’s mobile society, and a base for learning about invention and ingenuity that can be transferred into modern economic expansion. One admission to the Cleveland History Center includes access to two historic mansions, both on the National Register of Historic Places, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum (with support from The Frederick C. and Kathleen S. Crawford Fund of the Cleveland Foundation), Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, Research Library, Kidzibits Hands-On Gallery, Community History Galleries, and two rides on the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel. Cleveland Starts Here®!

WRHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate, a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources.  WRHS is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Sponsorships, bequests, grants, admissions, and other funding are used by WRHS to preserve and enrich the region’s artistic and cultural heritage. WRHS holds a top four-star rating by Charity Navigator, the nation’s most-utilized independent evaluator of charities and nonprofits.