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Miles of Bravery: A Juneteenth Celebration

Celebrate Juneteenth in Findlay!

June 19, is a day to recognize the freedom of the last enslaved people in America. It was on this day in 1865 that the news of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, reached the western-most part of the United States making all people in America free.

In celebration of Juneteenth, several local organizations will be hosting artwork from Mazza Museum’s “Miles of Bravery: The Underground Railroad through Picture Books” exhibit. Each location will have art and books from the collection as well as family-friendly activities.

This event is a self-guided tour through 7 locations throughout Findlay. It is open to the public, family-friendly, and free

Locations participating are the Black Heritage Library & Multicultural Center, Findlay Art League, Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, Hancock Historical Museum, Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, Mazza Museum, and Paint & Partake

Brown Bag Lecture: Underground Railroad Expert Cathy Nelson

Kick off the event by attending a Lunch and Learn with Cathy Nelson. Cathy Nelson is a retired Columbus City Schools teacher and Founder of the Friends of Freedom Society, will deliver a lecture on the history of the Underground Railroad in Ohio. Ms. Nelson has testified to Congress on behalf of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Act of 1997, and she and her extensive research have won numerous awards and widespread recognition.

The day’s activities, including Ms. Nelson’s lecture, are free and open to the public. Walk-in’s Welcome! Registration for lunches is now closed.

Participating Locations and Activities:

See a map of all the locations here!

Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center

Featured Artists: Leo & Diane Dillon, Fred Brenner, Lori McElrath-Eslick, E.B. Lewis, and Floyd Cooper
Noon – 12:30 p.m. The Underground Railroad and Findlay presentation
12:30 – 1 p.m. Harriet Tubman portrayal by Elizabeth Washington followed by a craft for children
6:20 – 7 p.m. The Underground Railroad and Findlay presentation
7 – 7:30 p.m. Harriet Tubman portrayal by Elizabeth Washington followed by a craft for children

Join the Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center as we learn about the important role played by Hancock County residents and other Ohioans
in the operations of the Underground Railroad.

Findlay Art League

Featured Artists: Gloria Kamen, Fred Brenner, Jerry Pinkney, Bryan Collier, Lori McElrath-Eslick, E.B. Lewis, John Holyfield, Floyd Cooper, and Don Tate
Findlay Art League members will be showing how some of the artists on display make their art, and will give visitors opportunity to try some of the methods.  Guests will be welcome to make a simple book, then put their own art into it.  One of the illustrators on display, Lori McElrath Eslick, will be at the Art League during part of the time.

Findlay-Hancock County Public Library

Featured Artists: Fred Brenner, Lori McElrath-Eslick, E.B. Lewis, Floyd Cooper, and John Holyfield
2 – 3 p.m. Patrons will learn genealogical research using the African American Heritage Database lead by Justin Crawfis, Local and Family History Associate. Guests will be shown how to research family history using the databases useful resources, including Federal Census, Marriage and Cohabitation Records, Military Draft and Service Records, Registers of Slaves and Free(d) Persons of Color and Freedman’s Bank. No registration is required. The African American Heritage Database is available at no cost on the library website at www.findlaylibrary.org/dbases.

Hancock Historical Museum

Featured Artist: Fred Brenner
2 – 3 p.m. Harriet Tubman portrayal by Elizabeth Washington
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Harriet Tubman portrayal by Elizabeth Washington
6:30 “Follow the Drinking Gourd” story
Children will be able to color and sew their own quilt square throughout the entire day and there will be hearth cooking in the the Log Cabin.

Marathon Center for the Performing Arts

Featured Artist: Don Tate
Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience the acoustic amplification area within the atrium by reading aloud The Emancipation Proclamation. 

Mazza Museum

Featured Artists: Jerry Pinkney, Lori McElrath-Eslick, FLoyd Cooper, and Don Tate
Mazza Museum will have art on easels in the museum set up to symbolize the journey to freedom. Visitors can stop at each station to enjoy the art as well as complete a small activity related to the book.  The Mazza Book Store will be open with many of the books with art on display for sale.

Paint & Partake

Featured Artist: Gloria Kamen, Fred Brenner, Lori McElrath-Eslick, E.B. Lewis, Floyd Cooper, and John Holyfield

Check out a map of all the locations here!

Illustrators and Books that will be featured throughout this self-guided art tour are:

Fred Brenner: “The Drinking Gourd” (First and Second Editions)
Bryan Collier: “Freedom River”
Floyd Cooper: “Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History”, and “Juneteenth for Mazie”
Leo & Diane Dillon: “Many Thousand Gone”
John Holyfield: “Hammering for Freedom”
Gloria Kamen: Illustrated panels from WETA-TV Series “Cover to Cover”
E.B. Lewis: “All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom”, “I Want to be Free”, “Night Boat to Freedom”, and “Night Running: How James Escaped with the Help of His Faithful Dog”
Lori McElrath-Eslick: Portrait featured in Cricket Magazine and “From Slavery to Freedom”,
Jerry Pinkney: “Ain’t Nobody a Stranger to Me”
Don Tate: “Hope’s Gift”, and “Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton”

Artwork by Floyd Cooper, seen in “Juneteenth for Mazie”