Annual Report 2021 Updated

Page 1

Engaging Ohio’s Communities

Annual Report FISCAL YEAR 2021


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO & BOARD PRESIDENT As a statewide history organization, the Ohio History Connection was chartered in 1885 to carry out public history services for Ohio and our citizens. Public history is widely defined as the use of historic skills outside of a traditional classroom. In the past, we primarily focused on practicing public history through preservation—to hold and care for the evidence of the past, in archives, objects and physical places. More recently, our work includes helping people understand the past so they can use this knowledge to inform the present and shape our future. We are all living in historic times and our story, Ohio’s story, is still being written. Last year we embraced the complexities of a global pandemic and civil unrest, issues all too familiar to historians, to develop our new 10-year strategic plan. We defined our priorities—sustainability, equity and relationship building—as the path to making connections between the past, present and future. Just one year into the plan we are eager to share substantial results with you.



•W e awarded $130,900 in grants this year through the Ohio History Fund. These grants directly support local history projects in communities both large and small all across our state. This program is crowd-funded and made possible by Ohioans who voluntarily donate a portion of their state income tax refund. Since 2012, the Ohio History Fund has made a total of 94 grants in almost half of Ohio’s 88 counties totaling nearly $870,000.

•A national spotlight shines brightly on the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce and their Queens of the Heartland exhibit. The American Association for State and Local History presented them with the Award of Excellence, a gold seal for public history, for this important exhibit highlighting pioneering Black women in the fight for equal rights.

•W hile the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges, it also pushed innovation and created more access for Ohioans and people interested in Ohio history. We were honored to receive the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund to develop virtual tours that bring our sites to life online. Designed for teachers and families alike, soon our American Indian sites and Ohio Village will be accessible no matter where you live.

2 • Ohio History Connection

•W e welcomed Alex Wesaw, a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, as our new Director of American Indian Relations. We also welcomed Nekole Alligood, a member of the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma, as our new NAGPRA Specialist. Together they will allow our organization to more fully engage with the tenets outlined in the Native American Graves Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). •A fter a year of planning and development, we ended FY21 poised to reopen Ohio Village. In FY22 expect new villagers, experiences and more diverse stories. This is part of our larger effort to include and uplift the most robust and representative aspects of Ohio’s history.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING •D uring the Serpent Mound summer solstice, we welcomed the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the Shawnee Tribe back to their ancestral homelands in Ohio. The weekend gave us the opportunity to partner together to share the important story of this sacred American Indian site. •W e sought feedback from the nearly 40 local organizations who maintain daily operation of our historic sites. This critical input on our site management support and operations allows us to deliver even more meaningful experiences to visitors.

•A s we aim to submit our formal nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks to UNESCO for World Heritage inscription, we also aim to bring fans near and far closer to the sites with our new group, Friends of World Heritage and through our new Ancient Ohio Today monthly newsletter. This group is an important education and advocacy arm for bringing awareness to the world’s largest concentration of ancient American Indian monumental landscape architecture. Also, we are happy to share that this year we received two separate $250,000 gifts to support Ohio’s World Heritage Nomination efforts.

We are all living in historic times and our story, Ohio’s story, is still being written." We are deeply proud to welcome visitors to the reimagined Warren G. Harding Presidential Sites. The home and grounds were restored to their appearance during Harding’s 1920 election to the presidency, and we partnered with the Marion community to open a new, state-of-the-art Presidential Library and Museum. Lastly, this past spring we presented our case to the Ohio Supreme Court to provide full public access to the Octagon Earthworks. While we wait to hear the Court’s final decision, we are unwavering in our goal to make this significant American Indian earthworks site open to all. As a result of these efforts, we’ve secured both local and national media coverage, including with the New York Times and Smithsonian Magazine.

Burt Logan

These highlights reflect the commitment and expertise of our staff and Board of Trustees. We thank everyone, including our members and donors, who has made these efforts possible. A special thanks to Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly for their continued financial support of Ohio history. We look forward to serving you and all Ohioans in even more impactful ways in the year to come.


Thomas V. Chema

Burt Logan,

Thomas V. Chema,

Executive Director & CEO

President, Board of Trustees

FY2021 Annual Report • 3


Ohio History Service Corps members served 192 local history organizations and provided over 17,000 hours of service.

CONNECTING PEOPLE total visitation across our historic site network.

CREATING VALUE From TV coverage, newspaper stories and more, we reached

local history organizations and individual members make up the Ohio Local History Alliance, supported by the Ohio History Connection.

new history markers were installed and dedicated by local communities. Many such events were put on hold until the communities could properly celebrate. To date, there are over 1,750 markers located around Ohio, at least three in every county.

granted from the Ohio History Fund to organizations throughout the state.


Since the program started in 2012, the Ohio History Fund has made a total of 94 grants to history organizations all across the state totaling nearly $870,000.


fourth graders used Ohio As America, our electronic history textbook.

students took part in Ohio History Day. Of those, 796 students competed in regional, state, and nationals.


in earned media.

unique page views on

4 • Ohio History Connection


was invested in historic buildings via the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. Often paired with the federal historic tax credit program, these credits are a vital economic driver for Ohio businesses.

new nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, for a total of 4,185 Ohio listings.



Ohio is third in the nation for the number of National Register listings. FY2021 Annual Report • 5






Leadership FY2021



1% 10%

FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 Capital




Earned Revenue


† General Revenue Fund




Site Operations, Education and Interpretive Programs State Archives and Library

2% 2%

Historic Preservation Office


Management and General

State Capital Projects


Contribution Services




Contributions (Financial, Materials and Services) Earned Revenue




Lauren Barber Director, Human Resources Ann Ruege Chief Development Officer Jen Cassidy Director, Ohio History Center & Ohio Village

James F. Dicke II Vice President, New Bremen Elizabeth Weibel Vice President, Chagrin Falls Charles R. Moses Vice President, Columbus Suhas Kakde Treasurer, Spring Valley Melody Young Secretary, Laurelville

Stephen George Senior Advisor to the CEO


Alex Wesaw Director, American Indian Relations

C. Ellen Connally, Cleveland

Ann Bair, Columbus

Loann W. Crane, Columbus Jon T. Elsasser, Zoar Chief W. Billy Friend, Wyandotte, OK James B. Hadden, Columbus

Stacia Kuceyeski Director, Outreach

Alex Hastie, Columbus

Theresa Hopewood Executive Assistant to the CEO

Jen Miller, Columbus

Jamison Pack Chief Marketing Officer

Gregory H. Simpson, Milford

Robert "Bob" Lucas, Pemberville

Robert M. Roach, Columbus

Guadalupe Velasquez, Columbus

Matt Huffman President, Ohio Senate Kenny Yuko Minority Leader, Ohio Senate Robert Cupp Speaker of the Ohio House Emilia Strong Sykes Minority Leader, Ohio House of Representatives Christy Davis President, Ohio Local History Alliance Dr. Donna DeBlasio President, Ohio Academy of History Randy Gardner Chancellor, Ohio Department of Higher Education Michael Woytek President, Ohio Academy of Science Paolo DeMaria Superintendent of Public Instruction Lydia Mihalik Director, Ohio Department of Development Laura P. Battocletti Director, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board Suhas Kakde Chair, Ohio History Connection Foundation Board

Charles Wash Director, National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center


Megan Wood Director, Cultural Resources



Thomas V. Chema President, Westlake

Jeff Ward Chief Financial Officer

From FY2010* to FY2021, the Ohio History Connection has seen the following results:

Earned Revenue Number of Visitors Across Site System

-6% 6 • Ohio History Connection

Mike DeWine Governor, State of Ohio

Amanda Terrell Director, State Historic Preservation Office

Total: $25,178,000

volunteers donated 15,422 hours of their time, providing a value of $439,362 in support.


Todd Kleismit Director, Community & Government Relations


Contracts and Grants


Burt Logan Executive Director & CEO

Sherry Henning Director, Accounting

Capital Projects

State General Revenue Fund


Jen Aultman Director, World Heritage Project




Ben Garcia Deputy Executive Director & Chief Learning Officer




-24% -34%

* Decreases are a result of COVID-19 closures. FY2021 data is preliminary and not final. For audited FY21 information, contact 800.686.1537.

FY2021 Annual Report • 7

800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211-2474 • 800.686.6124 •

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