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Museums as Vehicles for Social Change: Over-the-Rhine Welcomes Ruth Abram

  • The Mercantile Library 414 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH, 45202 United States (map)

Cincinnati’s new Over-the-Rhine Museum will host nationally celebrated museums expert, Ruth Abram to speak in Cincinnati on Friday, January 22, 2016. Ms. Abram’s talk on “Museums as Vehicles for Social Change,” will take place at Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library located at 414 Walnut Street #1100. Doors will open at 5:30 pm and Ms. Abram will speak at 6:00 pm.

Ruth Abram is the founder of New York City’s world-renown Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the National Women’s Agenda and Coalition, the Institute on Women’s History and Behold! New Lebanon, among other museums and organizations. Abram’s writing has been published in publications including The Midwest Poetry Review. The New York Times Book Review, History News, The Washington Post, The Public Historian, and The Guardian. A popular speaker, she has appeared before audiences including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Family Service Association of America and numerous museum conventions. She has consulted on historic interpretation for museums around the world including the National Park Service, the National Public Housing Museum, Lincoln’s Cottage, Historic Weeksville, the Gulag Museum in Russia, the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh, and the English Workhouse Museum. Her pioneering museum work has recently been rewarded by the J.M. Kaplan Foundation which recently named Ms. Abram a winner of their $175,000 Kaplan Innovation Prize.


Launched in early 2015, The J.M.Kaplan Innovation Prize was designed to seek out boldly promising ideas in the field of social-sector innovation—however untested or wherever they arise. From a pool of more than one thousand applications from every corner of the country, ten outstanding awardees were selected to receive multi-year support for their visionary ideas. Ruth Abram is one of these visionary leaders. Ms. Abram’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum will serve as the model for Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine Museum to open a permanent location in 2020. Founded in 2015, the Over-the-Rhine Museum seeks to bring the history of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood to life by discovering, interpreting, and presenting the stories of Over-the-Rhine’s residents and urban environment, through an immersive experience with the community’s past. The Over-the-Rhine Museum is hosting Ms. Abram to expose our local audience to her innovative museum work, particularly at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan's Lower East Side, America's iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America's evolving national identity. The Tenement Museum tells the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.

This event is generously funded by Ohio Humanities. Additional support has been provided by Patricia Feghali, Attorney at Law. Promotional support has been provided by American Legacy Tours, Cincinnati Preservation Association, Cincinnati Preservation Collective, The Harriet Beecher Stowe House, The Over-the-Rhine Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and The Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education.