If I’m being honest, the rush to get my two children to school is one of my least favorite times of day. Most mornings, I barely get my kids out the door on time. Many days, I’m still wearing a robe and pajamas. Luckily, I’m ensconced in my car where no one can see me. After I drop my kids off, I come home and get ready to go to work in a comfortable office.
Mothers like Imogene Curtis and Gertrude Clemons woke up every single day before dawn, dressed themselves in fine clothes, fed their children breakfast, did their hair, and then marched two-and-a-half miles, round trip, to Washington Elementary—one of the white elementary schools in Hillsboro, Ohio—to demand that their children have access to the same resources as white students. Most days, they faced racial slurs. And every day, they faced the subtle cruelty of disregard.
After the daily march, some of the mothers went to work domestic jobs in the homes of white residents. Others homeschooled some of the children in Hillsboro’s Black community—for no compensation.
Every time I think about the mornings the Lincoln School mothers faced with their children from 1954 to 1956, I am moved to tears. I think about how physically and emotionally tired they must have been. How much they probably wanted to stay in bed on the days when it was cold or rainy, like so many are in Ohio. Yet, every day, for two years, they marched on.
Almost 70 years later, this past fall, several of the children who marched every day for two years—Imogene’s, Gertrude’s and others’—sat among a standing-room-only audience in our new Ohio Humanities headquarters to watch a documentary film that tells their story. To see them being acknowledged and celebrated as they should be—not just within the film, but by people from business executives to government officials who attended the event—was incredible.
Ohio Humanities went all in on the Lincoln School Marchers this year, funding projects to champion this story, because it is one we want every Ohioan to know. We refreshed a documentary about the story and released it to the wider public so anyone anywhere can access it via our website. We hosted a VIP film screening to debut it. We generated media coverage. And we started work on a children’s book with author Carlotta Penn that Daydreamers Press will publish in 2023.
That’s just the beginning, of course. With your generous support, we also funded the telling of many other important stories around Ohio, granting over half a million dollars to storytellers from journalists to museums.
In some cases, without our support, this storytelling would cease to exist. Without our $20,000 sponsorship, for example, Cincinnati’s Books by the Banks Book Festival—a free event that features national, regional, and local authors, book signings, panel discussions, and more—might not have returned after the pandemic. Instead, hundreds of people were inspired by the power of the written word.
As I reflect on the year, I am in awe of the thoughtful and incredible work this organization helps make possible, and I am so proud to represent all of you in doing it. There are walking tours. Podcasts. Museum exhibitions. Events. And more—all that explore thought-provoking topics and ultimately connect us more deeply to each other and the world around us.
This year, our organization also crafted a new strategic plan to guide our work. While you can find a detailed plan on our website, you’ll see an abbreviated version within these pages that will serve as our north star moving forward.
Your support powers this important work. This report is a highlight reel of our impact in 2022, and I hope within it, you find examples of meaningful returns on your investment.
Thank you for sharing stories, sparking conversations, and inspiring ideas with us.Rebecca Brown Asmo Executive Director, Ohio Humanities
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS DIRECTLY FUNDED
2022 GRANTS AWARDED
This year, Ohio Humanities awarded over $500,000 in grants to support storytelling statewide—and invested additional dollars into our own storytelling projects.
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
For Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Women’s Suffrage Monument Commission Franklin $25,000
For women’s suffrage monument at Ohio Statehouse
WVIZ/Ideastream Statewide $25,000
For Ohio Newsroom
Books by the Banks Hamilton $20,000
For Books by the Banks Book Festival
East Mount Zion Baptist Church
For oral history project Opening Eyes and Ears to History Lessons about Cleveland, Ohio
LADD, Inc. Hamilton $20,000
For Over-the-Rhine Film Festival
Mandel Jewish Community Center Cuyahoga $20,000
For Cleveland Jewish Book Festival
Shawnee State University Scioto $20,000
For Scioto Historical 4.0 mobile app and website
Trumball County Historical Society Trumbull $20,000
For local history and storytelling podcast
We Amplify Voices Franklin $20,000
For Life: In Focus, an oral history project with incarcerated women
Wood County Museum Wood $20,000
For exhibit Allure & Illusion: A Rose Colored Romance
Holocaust and Humanity Center Hamilton $19,940
For oral history project Tell Me your Story: Cincinnati Holocaust Survivors
Midstory Lucas $19,800
For documenting Asian American and Pacific Islander voices in Ohio
Athens County Historical Society and Museum
For Finding Invisible Ground: Immersive Storytelling historic markers
MARCHING ON SPOTLIGHTING THE LINCOLN SCHOOL MARCHERS
After Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954, a group of Black mothers in Hillsboro, Ohio marched their children to the white school, demanding admission. After being rejected, they woke up the next morning and marched again. And again. For two years. Their fight was among the longest sustained protests of the civil rights movement and had a ripple effect that extended nationwide. Ohio Humanities sees the value in this story, though it remains relatively unknown. We’re on a mission to change that by championing the Marchers’ story in very intentional ways through
self-funded projects. We updated “The Lincoln School Story,” a documentary we first helped fund years ago. We hosted a standing-room-only crowd for the film’s VIP screening in Columbus. We unearthed new research and perspectives on the story for a feature in our new annual magazine, Lumen. And we generated media coverage around the story, including from NBC and CBS in Columbus. We will continue sharing this story in many ways, including through a children’s book now in the works.
DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING LEANING IN
Ohio Humanities has a rich history of supporting interesting and impactful documentary films, and we leaned into that in major ways this year. We sponsored the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival—a five-day film fest that draws thousands— and the Over-the-Rhine Film Festival, which celebrates inclusive documentary filmmaking. We also teed up an exciting, three-year partnership with Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts to support independent filmmakers-inresidence at the Wex who are producing humanities-informed documentaries. Plus, we continued supporting other documentary filmmakers in myriad ways. Congratulations to the documentaries and filmmakers we’ve funded in the past on these noteworthy achievements:
“QUEEN CITY KINGS”
by AfroChine was chosen for national distribution by PBS
“LET OHIO WOMEN VOTE” by ThinkTV/CET was awarded a regional Emmy
Cincinnati Art Museum
For exhibition Henry Mosler Behind the Scenes: In Celebration of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Cuyahoga $15,000
For documentary film “On Our Watch: A Death in the City and Other Stories”
Mandel Jewish Community Center
For Mandel JCC Jewish Book Festival
Ohioana Library Association
For Ohioana Book Festival
Dennison Railroad Depot Museum Tuscarawas $7,500
For Historic Schoenbrunn Village’s 250th Celebration!
Hudson Library & Historical Society
For An Evening with Annette Gordon-Reed, author of “On Juneteenth”
ish Festival Hamilton $7,500
For expansion of walking tour Jewish Cincinnati: A Walk Through History
Marion Voice Folklife + Oral History
For Marion Voices in the Schools: Folklife + Cultural Heritage K-12 Residency
Ohio University Office of Research & Graduate Studies
For Hotel Berry audio storytelling project
For Biography in Brick exhibition
Southern Ohio Folklife Scioto $7,500
For Latina/o/x in Southwest Ohio, a folklore-based community development project
University of Cincinnati Department of History
For Wyandot Virtual Removal Trail Prototype
Wexner Center for the Arts
For Carol Newhouse: WomanShare exhibition and events
Wexner Center for the Arts
For education programs and resources for “To Begin, Again”
Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor Mahoning $7,487
For Women and Work, an oral history project and exhibit
North Union Farmers Market
For workshop Living Roots: Ohio’s historical foodways, alive today
Bowling Green State University
For Music in Arab America, a set of online programs and podcast
University of Cincinnati, Center for the City
For Becoming Story Bearers: Cincinnati Comprehensive Oral History Training
Stewards of Historical Preservation
For Portage Path Public Archaeology
International Women’s Air & Space Museum
For Women in the Early Space Program—Mercury 13 exhibit reinterpretation
Ashland Main Street
For The Famous & Infamous Chautauqua—Living History
Robert O’Neal Multicultural Arts Center
For Cincinnati Black History Activity Book
For Fall Literary Festival Literary Cleveland
For Inkubator Conference humanities panels
Ohio Local History Alliance
For Ohio Local History Alliance Annual Meeting
Central State University
For Hanif Abdurraqib Presents: A Celebration of Black Performance
Clinton County Historical Society
For Talking Tombstones: A Sugar Grove Cemetery Living History Walk
Historic Southwest Ohio, Inc.
For YouTube video series Crafts and Trades of 19th Century Southwest Ohio
The International Black Business Museum
For creating the Ohio Virtual Black Civil Rights Business and Cultural Heritage Trail exhibits
For Susan B. Anthony exhibit
Ohio Museums Association
For Ohio Museums Associations Conference sponsorship
For “Why I Stay” documentary planning
Shaker Historical Society and Museum
For Horseshoe Lake Digital Exhibition
Warren County Historical Society
For public lecture and discussion The History of Fibers
ATHENS YOUTH PODCAST PROJECT
After years of focusing our funding on adults, Ohio Humanities began championing youth storytellers this year, too. For the Invisible Ground podcast project, local historians and audio professionals teamed up with Athens Middle School students to develop four short podcasts on local historically significant Black stories. The podcasts broadcasted on WOUB radio and the Invisible Ground and Tantrum Theater websites.
Why I Give
“I give to Ohio Humanities because I agree with late Nobel Laureate and fellow Ohioan Toni Morrison, who said, “Narrative is radical, creating us at the moment it is being created.” When Ohioans learn the stories of our fellow Ohioans, and what their struggles and triumphs have been, we get to learn how we are interconnected. Our stories of how we are interconnected can inspire us to do the work of building stronger, more caring, more just communities that can strengthen our democracy.”
—Dr. Marilyn Mobley
Ohio Humanities is powered in part by the generous contributions of donors who invest in our work.
Thank you for supporting us with your financial gifts.
C hampions $10,000+
Anonymous Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation*
David Descutner & Delysa Burnier*
Kathleen L. Endres*
Tom and Kathryn Law
Kevin & Carla Miller
Mary Jane Pajk
Susan Ferraro Smith
Brodi J. Conover
Kenneth F. Ledford*
Thomas Van Nortwick*
Allan Winkler & Sara Penhale*
Douglas & Marisa Brown
Henry C. Doll*
Laura & Pat Ecklar
Deena Mirow Epstein
Jay P. Giles*
Lance R. Grahn*
Carol & Frederick Jarosz*
John Phillip Keyes*
Stacia L. Kuceyeski*
Marilyn Sanders Mobley
Kevin R. Rose*
Patricia N. Williamsen* InmemoryofJohnBryant
$100-$249 Annual Emancipation Celebration Committee
Mary Ann & Michael Abrams
Jane & Stanford M. Ackley
James D. Aldridge*
Mark & Sandra Auburn*
Arthur & Kathleen Bauer
Barbara H. Brothers
Patricia A. Diller
Christine F. Donaldson*
Marvin E. Fletcher*
Ashley & Barbara Ford*
Richard & Barbara Gebhardt*
Gay Marie Goden*
P eter & Lee Haas
Earnest & Nancy Hatfield*
Edith F. Hirsch Philanthropic Fund, Jewish Federation of Cleveland*
Herman & Judy L. Hoerig*
Richard C. Irwin
Why I Give
“In taking the lead on the Lincoln School story, Ohio Humanities has proven to be a trustworthy organization. The enthusiasm shown and multi-faceted attention given to the story proved to me that Ohio Humanities is worthy of my trust in donating to support the forward movement of the expansion of the film. From the beginning, I have admired the sensitivity given not only to the story, but to my friends who lived the story. The expansion of the Lincoln School story into so many facets gave such a boost to the participants that it took on a fresh life. This was very exciting to me. I hope my gift does inspire others to donate to Ohio Humanities to support their favorite programs.”—John Glaze
Why We Give
“We contribute to Ohio Humanities because we believe in its mission and strongly support the creative, educational work it funds in communities all across Ohio. We also believe that the humanities, in all their expressive forms, are essential to preserving and indeed strengthening America’s democracy. Unfettered exposure to the humanities ensures citizens know history and how to think critically; learn to act with empathy as they develop a deep appreciation for personal, cultural, and religious difference; and value the importance of securing social justice and equality for all Americans.”—David Descutner & Delysa Burnier
CONVERSATION STARTERS (continued)
Sharon Jo Kern
Eleanor W. Kingsbury
Emil & Jean Kmetec
Christine Knisely & David McCoy*
Dennis & Karen Moriarty
Andrea Benza Morwood & Robert F. Morwood*
William J. Muthig
Richard & Leslie Pavlak
Gale E. Peterson
Margaret Piatt & James White*
Roger D. Ray*
Michael Romanos & Carla Chifos
John & Barbara Schubert
Robert Seeman & Karin Jacobson
Doreen Uhas-Sauer & John Sauer
Thursday Conversational Club
Thomas M. Way
Catherine & Nick Wilson
Fred & Joy Bartenstein*
Richard Benedum & Julane Rodgers*
Ronald & Carolyn Cull
Mary & Robert Daley
Jeff Darbee & Nancy Recchie
Robert W. Dorsey
Joseph T. & Kathleen M. Gorman
Ann Whitehead Hanning*
James L. Hart*
Faye A. Heston
FOUNDATION + CORPORATE SUPPORTERS
Joyce M. Kittrell
Raymond E. Leisy
Michael Les & Karen Benedict
Louis & Rene Levy
Eleonora & Sanford Marovitz
Allen & Sue Musheno*
Scarlett Rebman & Jesse Hysell
Springfield Rotary Club
Becky & Larry Trover
Jackson E. Winters
Our new strategic plan will guide our work over the next decade, and we look forward to collaborating with our supporters and partners as we pursue these important goals. This high-level overview offers a snapshot. For the full plan—including one-year goals, three-year goals, and key performance indicators for each tactic—visit www.ohiohumanities.org.
We exemplify how the humanities enhance public life.
Develop a clear case for support for the humanities that demonstrates how the humanities guide individuals to lead lives of consequence and contribute to a vibrant civic fabric through meaningful relationships, intellectual curiosity, successful careers, and civic engagement.
Increase flexible grantmaking by diversifying revenue streams that bring the humanities to communities across Ohio.
Engage cross-sector partnerships with the purpose of advocating for and funding the humanities in Ohio.
We amplify diverse, emerging, and nontraditional leaders in bringing the humanities to life for future generations of Ohioans.
Prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our organization’s makeup and practices.
Contribute to an ecosystem that connects emerging, non-traditional, and experienced humanities practitioners to build cultural capacity and capital on the local and state level.
Provide capacity-building grants to support Ohio’s next generation of storytellers and humanists.
We share meaningful stories that connect us to one another.
Elevate stories that have been historically underrepresented.
Support accessible storytelling modes like documentary film, independent journalism, and digital humanities.
Grow our audience.
OHIO HUMANITIES BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director, Hancock Historical Museum
Senior Program Officer, The Teagle Foundation
Partner, Bricker Gradon, Attorneys at Law
Retired Dean, Ohio University
Retired Senior Program Officer, George Gund Foundation
Chagrin Falls, OH
Katherine Fell President, University of Findlay
Susan Ferraro Smith
Author and Speaker
Policy Specialist, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Former Dean, Kent State University, Trumbull Cortland, OH
Associate Professor of Political Science, Ohio State University
Chief Operating Officer, Ohio History Connection
Kevin Miller Superintendent, Licking Heights Local School District New Albany, OH
Emerita Professor of English and African American Studies, Case Western Reserve University
Dan Moder Executive Director, Greater Licking County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Career Connections Director, Preble County Educational Service Center
Mary Jane Pajk
Head of External Communications, Global Services, Strategy & Operations, Amazon Web Services
Case Manager, Molina Healthcare
Historian and Director of Revitalization, Turner Foundation
Tony Sanfilippo Director, Ohio State University Press
Professor of English, Ohio University
Dean and Professor of History, Defiance College
Executive Director, Urban Frontier Organization
“Ohio Humanities is sharing stories that help us to reflect upon our experiences—both shared and different— to continually learn from one another.”
—Sarah Sisser, Ohio Humanities Board