Cleveland Starts Here


Cleveland Starts Here Is:

A place for newcomers and travelers to discover the rich history of Cleveland and the region
once commonly known as the Western Reserve.
A place for Northeast Ohioans to locate their own stories and place themselves in the rich story of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
A place for schoolchildren to see and experience firsthand the history of Cleveland and the region, and expand upon the lessons learned in the classroom.

We are pleased to announce that we have reached the campaign goal for this project thanks to the
generous support from the community.

Closing campaign gifts include a $250,000 award from the Schoff Family Charitable Fund for the Cleveland Starts Here® documentary film, a permanent feature of the exhibit, $200,000 from the Cleveland Foundation, $50,000 from the Catherine L. and Edward A. Lozick Foundation and $50,000 from the John P. Murphy Foundation.

WRHS received broad support from the community for the exhibition from many individuals, foundations, and corporations, including a title sponsorship for the exhibit from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation in December 2016.  

Click here to see the complete list of donors to date..

In 2017, we’re creating a dynamic, new exhibition experience called Cleveland Starts Here® – a permanent core exhibit and digital portal that explores the rich and diverse history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Presently, there is no place in the city to discover our history, and as the trusted steward of our region’s history for over 150 years, WRHS uses its vast collections and resources to educate, enlighten and inspire people to explore our shared past. With Cleveland Starts Here®, we are creating a special place for people to gather to share memories, to discover a shared past and understanding of one another, and to engage in conversations about our world today. Cleveland Starts Here® is the context for these conversations, presented as never before with hundreds of artifacts, multi-media interactives, and a digital portal for audiences world-wide.

Cleveland Starts Here® will be installed at the main entrance to the Cleveland History Center, in the recently renovated 3,500 square foot “Reinberger Gallery,” the starting point for audiences’ exploration of the social, creative, economic, political, and cultural history of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Using the latest technologies and techniques available to museum designers, guests will discover how a small wilderness town on the shore of Lake Erie became an industrial giant, the home of immigrants and American presidents, a world-class center for arts, culture, and education, and a world-renowned innovator in medicine and health care.

This November, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary year, WRHS is giving back  to the community with the grand opening of Cleveland Starts Here® to tell the story of more than 220 years of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio history and provide the context for the critical conversations taking place in our region, nation, and around the world. Through Cleveland Starts Here, guests to the Cleveland History Center and around the world will be able to explore the history of Cleveland and how the region helped shape and continues to influence the American experience.


Exhibit Opens to the Public November 29, 2017.