The Summit County Historical Society will host monthly Community Forums this summer on Summit County’s relationship with the 19th century movement to abolish slavery and the modern history of Civil Rights.
The free events will take place at the John Brown House in Akron on the fourth Thursday of each month through September from 4 to 6 p.m.
In conjunction with this program, the Society will also sponsor free monthly tours to the monument dedicated to John Brown on the grounds of the Akron Zoo, 9 a.m. on Saturdays following each forum (June 25, July 30 and Aug. 27.) Visitors may enter the Akron Zoo through the main entrance, and drive to the farthest edge of the parking lot near Euclid Avenue.
Drawing upon contemporary literature in the field of historic house museums for guidance, the Society is presenting forums that bring the programming focus of John Brown House more in line with the contemporary needs of its surrounding neighborhood.
Each forum features panelists who will make brief presentations on historical and contemporary issues related to John Brown as well as the Maple Valley neighborhood. After each presentation, there will be a moderated question and answer discussion about the history issues presented and how the Summit County Historical Society might use the John Brown House to better serve the Maple Valley community.
The dates and scheduled panelists are as follows:
• Thursday, June 23, Society chairman Dave Lieberth will speak on John Brown’s life and legacy. He will be joined by artist and sculptor Woodrow Nash, nationally recognized contemporary ceramicist, who will speak on working as an artist in the Maple Valley neighborhood. (For each program, the Open House starts at 4 p.m., the program at 5 p.m.)
• Thursday, July 28, Jason Segedy, planning director for the city of Akron, and Candace Eberhart, real estate broker, will speak about racially motivated urban planning and real estate development, and the historic practice of red-lining and how it shaped Akron neighborhoods.
• Thursday, Aug. 25, Margo Sommerville, Ward 3 city council representative and proprietor of Sommerville Funeral Services will speak about living and working in the Maple Valley neighborhood and the challenges facing this community.
Seating is limited for each presentation.
For more information, call (330) 535-1120 or e-mail curator Ted Mallison at [email protected].