MassMu Exhibition Earns Top State Honor
The Massillon Museum’s exhibition, Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories, was named “2022 Best Exhibition of the Year” by the Ohio Museums Association (OMA) on April 2, during the OMA’s annual conference. MassMu is included in the top budget category of entries, being judged alongside the largest museums in the state.
Missing History of Massillon: Unheard African American Stories featured oral histories, archives, photographs, and artifacts celebrating the rich narrative of Massillon’s Black community. Some items in the exhibition represented the Museum’s permanent collections; some were recent acquisitions gathered from the community throughout the project. The Marva L. Dodson CHARISMA Collection was featured, as were contemporary photographs by Cleveland artistAmber N. Ford.
The exhibit was part of a larger project to increase MassMu’s representation of content and dialogue both reflecting and created by Massillon’s African American community.
Staff and volunteers recorded oral histories from the past and present. Submissions from the community and scans from the MassMu permanent collection now total more than 4,000 items that document Massillon’s rich Black history. A selection of these can be seen at MissingHistoryOfMassillon.org, which will be augmented as more information is collected and more interviews are conducted.
Community members are encouraged to help preserve the history of African American men and women of Massillon by continuing to share historic photographs, artifacts, documents, family letters, artworks, uniforms, patches, telegrams, and audiovisual recordings for digitization and public commemoration.
Funding for the award-winning exhibition was provided in part by Marathon Petroleum Company and by Fernandez Hillibish History Fund through the Stark Community Foundation. Individual contributions by Martha MacLachlan, Ginger Green, Heather Pennington, and David Harding also helped bring the project to fruition. Operating support was provided by ArtsinStark and the Ohio Arts Council, and marketing support by Visit Canton. The exhibition was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Museum organized this project in partnership with Sisterhood of Jewels Community Connections, Inc., A Wise Way, and numerous community members.
Alexandra Nicholis Coon, MassMu Executive Director • 330.833.4061 x111
Mandy Altimus Stahl, MassMu Archivist • 330.833.4061 x113
Margy Vogt, MassMu Public Relations Coordinator • 330.844.1525
One of the images included in Missing History: Clara Classie Hogan Peterson and husband Arthur, c. 1940, Gift of Mamie Arrington Bodiford (84.38.2)