From the modest home of Arthur R. Johnson, elected mayor of the village of Bella Vista Miles Heights in 1929, to landmarks like Karamu House and Shiloh Baptist Church, Cleveland has a rich legacy of African American history. Through its Know Our Heritage program, Cleveland Restoration Society is seeking to document and raise awareness of places associated with it.
Building Public Awareness and Appreciation
“The goal is to educate our members and the general public on African American history in the Cleveland area and the buildings, sites and structures where that history took place — some already landmarks, some only recently identified, some secure and some endangered,” says Michael Fleenor, director of preservation services for Cleveland Restoration Society.
With a $15,000 grant from Ohio’s History Fund, the society is working with designers and web consultants to develop a series of Know Our Heritage e-mail bulletins picturing and telling the stories of places associated with African American history in the Cleveland area.
Larger Goal Is to Preserve Historic Places
Cleveland Restoration Society’s larger goal is to see that places significant in the city’s history and the stories associated with them are preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations and for the richness that they contribute to the fabric of the city.
Learn more about Cleveland Restoration Society at www.clevelandrestoration.org.
Learn more about how you can contribute to Ohio’s History Fund, aiding projects like this throughout Ohio via your state income tax return, at www.ohiohistory.org/makehistory.
How the Tax “Check-Off” Works
• Although we call it a “check-off,” on your tax form, you won’t find a box to check.
• Toward the end of your individual Ohio state income tax return, after you’ve calculated the amount of your refund (if you’re receiving a refund), you’ll find a line that asks “Amount of line 00 that you wish to donate to the following funds.” (The line number will differ depending on which version of the Ohio state income tax return you’re using — hence we’ve used 00 to represent the line number here).
• One of the four options is “Ohio History Connection.”
• Under “Ohio History Connection,” fill in the amount that you’d like to contribute. Last year’s average contribution was $8.63, so even a small donation can make a big difference.
• The amount you contribute to the Ohio History Connection through your Ohio state income tax return goes specifically to support the History Fund, which makes grants that help support local history- and preservation-related projects in communities throughout Ohio.
• Questions? Learn more about the History Fund grants at www.ohiohistory.org/makehistory or call the Ohio History Connection’s Local History Office at 800.858.6878.