Release Date: May 24,2017

John Brown House presents community forums this summer

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 be held at the John Brown House in Akron on the fourth Thursday of each month, May through September from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

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 that 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:

(For each program, the Open House starts at 4:00 pm, the program at 6:00 pm.)

Thursday, May 25, Arnold Tunstall, Director, University Galleries at Myers School of Art – University of Akron, will speak about the artwork of African American artist Jacob Lawrence. “The Legend of John Brown,” is a series of prints owned by The University of Akron focusing on the local abolitionist who raided the arsenal at Harpers Ferry to end slavery in the United States.

Thursday, June 22, Judi Hill, president of the Akron NAACP chapter, will discuss the agency’s current work in the community.  Hill is a past board director of the Summit County Historical Society and a retired administrator and educator for Akron Public Schools.

Thursday, July 27, Jason Ferrell, of the Wayne County chapter of Standing Up for Racial Justice, will share how he started the group in a neighboring county and the possibility of one developing here.

Thursday, August 24, a representative from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s office (OH -11) will visit the John Brown House to share information and to participate in the discussion on the neighborhood.

The John Brown Open House is open free and to the public from 4 – 6 p.m. Seating is limited for each 6 p.m. presentation, reservations are not required.

For more information, call 330-535-1120 or e-mail curator Ted Mallison at