Sunday, February 1, 2009

African-American Exhibits Bypass Freedom Center

Even developers of freedom-themed shows avoid NURFC

Subsidized with more than $65 million in tax dollars, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has tried to position itself as a center for African American culture and study in the Cincinnati region. However, those who develop and fund exhibits with themes involving the history of slavery and the civil rights movement in America have consistently bypassed this institution bloated with tax dollars that it does not deserve.

Here is just a partial list of prestigious exhibits that have avoided the Freedom Center in favor of the Museum Center, less than two miles away.
It appears that even projects devoted to themes of slavery, African American freedom and civil rights avoid the Freedom Center like the plague. Why can’t our lawmakers figure this out?

The Museum Center, in contrast, appears to be an institution that has responsibly used its tax dollars and leveraged these and other tremendous exhibits that bring praise for our community. Some other CMC facts:
  • The CMC combines the formerly independent boards of the Historical Society, Natural History Museum, Museum Center Foundation, and Children’s Museum into one entity.

  • Instead of devouring public funds to construct a new building, they took over Union Terminal, a national historic landmark that Cincinnatians wanted to preserve, and gave the building a new purpose in our community.

  • The CMC had 1.3 million visitors last year; more than the Art Museum, Contemporary Art Center, Taft Museum and Underground Railroad Freedom Center combined!
Today’s point is that CMC has been remarkable in their success and has developed a national reputation for the Museum, our city and amazingly exhibits on African American issues and history.


  1. Agree that Freedom Center has been a flop on a number of levels, but was also less than impressed with the Museum Center's decision to show the Bodies Exhibit. Good move financially, but morally and integrity lacking.

  2. It's because these African-American exhibits are racist against black people.


We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.