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Grant number like: PY-253076-17

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Cleveland Restoration Society, Inc. (Cleveland, OH 44115-2746)
Kathleen H. Crowther (Project Director: May 2016 to June 2019)
The Lee-Harvard Heritage Project

A project to document African-American cultural history through informed community storytelling and the digitization of heritage materials that chronicle the history of the Lee-Harvard neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. The project builds on ongoing work by the applicant to conduct oral histories with elders in the Lee-Harvard neighborhood. The applicant would offer two public events. The first would be a public presentation by scholar Todd Michney on his research into the settlement of the black middle class in Cleveland that would lead into community storytelling; the second would be a community digitizing event. Digitized materials, including photographs, letters, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings and other documents, would supplement oral history video footage already obtained by the ongoing project and would be made available online through the society’s website and that of its partner Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Memory Project website.

What started as a classic historic preservation survey project for the Cleveland Restoration Society has evolved into a humanities project of sweeping importance. Built-up after WWII, the Lee-Harvard neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, became the preferred "suburb in the city" for the emerging African-American middle class. Many of Cleveland's leaders have rich memories of growing up there. The Lee-Harvard Heritage Project will preserve and celebrate the story of this important neighborhood through digitization of cultural heritage materials and storytelling events that bring people together. Humanities scholar Dr. Todd Michney will provide the contextual framework. The emerging stories of Lee-Harvard promise to enlarge the understanding of African-American history in the industrial cities of the North during the twentieth century. This work aligns with the National Park Service's commitment to prioritize sharing the stories of underrepresented communities.

Project fields:
African American Studies; Architecture; Cultural History

Common Heritage

Preservation and Access

$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018