Cleveland Starts Here

New multimedia exhibit experience shares 220 years of Northeast Ohio’s stories. It’s a new twist on old CLE. 

Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is thrilled to share Cleveland Starts Here®, a new Cleveland history exhibit experience and digital portal, sponsored by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle.

On the occasion of its 150th anniversary, presented by PNC, WRHS is giving the gift of history to the community with Cleveland Starts Here®, an entirely new exhibit experience. First-time visitors of the region and life-long residents will immerse themselves in Cleveland’s stories from the 1790s to today. Using the latest technologies and digital media, rarely seen images, films, art and historical artifacts are now accessible for visitors to experience. From the first Cleveland map and early survey tools, to a lunar descent engine and LeBron James’s championship shoes, Cleveland Starts Here® tells the stories of the triumphs and tragedies that define Cleveland. These stories of innovation, immigration, entrepreneurship, and diversity inspire visitors to create their own chapter in this ever evolving story.   Audiences around the world can also access WRHS’s extraordinary collections online via the Cleveland Starts Here® digital portal.

“We are excited to share Cleveland Starts Here® with the world. After three years of development and the incredible support we’ve received from donors and community leaders, we can’t wait for history buffs, sports enthusiasts, parents, grandparents, students, educators and CLE lovers around the world to experience our collective stories. It’s a celebration of the past and the present, and we welcome everyone to come and make connections to their lives,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO.

“Our Foundation is interested in supporting fine, successful institutions like WRHS and its Cleveland History Center,” said Morton L. Mandel, Chairman and CEO of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. “Museums like this one preserve stories that shape our culture. The new Cleveland Starts Here® exhibit at the Cleveland History Center should make it possible for generations to pass along the stories and experiences that help connect the past with our world today.”

About Cleveland Starts Here

WRHS is working with Dennis and Kathy Barrie of Barrie Projects, a local consulting firm specializing in museums, exhibits, and cultural planning projects around the globe.  Gallagher & Associates is subcontracted to the project for content development and exhibit design.  Multimedia elements and the orientation film are produced by Northern Light Productions.  Fabrication, equipment, and gallery preparation are in partnership with ExPlus, Zenith, and AECOM.

WRHS surpassed its $2.5 million fundraising goal for Cleveland Starts Here® with title sponsorship coming from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. Other much-appreciated leadership support came from the Jim and Anne Schoff Family Foundation for the Cleveland Starts Here documentary film, the Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and The Reinberger Foundation. A complete list of donors is available at www.wrhs.org.

About the Western Reserve Historical Society and Cleveland History Center

Founded in 1867 as an historic branch of the Cleveland Library Association on Public Square in downtown Cleveland, the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) shares the dynamic stories of Northeast Ohio and beyond – stories of the people, the artifacts and the archives that are the provenance for our region.

Operating six sites throughout Northeast Ohio, WRHS presents exhibitions, programs and experiences that tell the story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio through art, documents and artifacts from a variety of collections at its headquarters, the Cleveland History Center in University Circle. Through the use of its vast collections of family history, community history, entrepreneurship, and technological innovation, the Cleveland History Center provides a much-needed sense of place in today’s mobile society. It is a base for learning about innovation that can be transferred into modern economic expansion.

Admission to the Cleveland History Center includes access to Cleveland Starts Here®, two historic mansions, both on the National Register of Historic Places, the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum (with support from The Frederick C. and Kathleen S. Crawford Fund of the Cleveland Foundation), Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, Research Library, Kidzibits Playzone, Community History Galleries, and rides on the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel.

WRHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate (www.affiliations.si.edu) a national outreach program that develops collaborative partnerships with cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources.  WRHS is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Sponsorships, bequests, grants, admissions, and other funding are used by WRHS to preserve and enrich the region’s artistic and cultural heritage. WRHS earned a top four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s most-used independent evaluator of charities and nonprofits.  Visit us at 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106, at www.wrhs.org or on social media @clestartshere.