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Akron History Center receives grant from Akron Community Foundation


Two-year, $100,000 grant will support History Center, Akron Bicentennial celebration

A sign on a building in Akron reads: Future Home of the Akron History Center, Opening 2023
Future home of the Akron History Center

A recent Akron Community Foundation grant will help support the Akron History Center, a long-lasting, free, museum-quality exhibit that is being created to highlight the 200-year history of Akron and serve as the lead project of Akron's 2025 Bicentennial celebration.

Akron Community Foundation's board of directors approved a two-year, $100,000 grant to help complete development of the History Center, located in the Bowery, a multi-use development project on South Main Street in the heart of downtown Akron. The History Center is expected to be completed in late 2023.

"We're excited to be a part of this effort that has been decades in the making," said John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO of Akron Community Foundation. "The foundation at its core is dedicated to making a lasting impact on our community, and I can think of no better way to do that than by helping to preserve the history of our community."

"For the first time, Akron will join major Ohio cities that have one place where the history of the city's founding and growth is told, not only its industrial and social history, but also the stories of our diverse population," said David Lieberth, moderator of the Steering Committee that's overseeing plans for the History Center.

"The exhibits will tout Akron's prowess in innovation in the cereal, clay products, farm machinery, rubber and polymer industries and will include a complete and honest portrayal of forgotten stories - Indigenous People, African-born freedom-seekers, European and Black Migration, the roots of organized labor, the contributions of Black people and women to industry, and the birth of social movements, including Alcoholics Anonymous," added Lieberth, who is executive secretary of the Akron Bicentennial Commission.

The $2 million project will be located next to the Akron Civic Theater's Knight Stage and is part of the recent renovation of the long dormant Bowery building, which includes multi-unit housing and other amenities.

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 67 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $260 million with a growing family of more than 800 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded nearly $209 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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