Bexley News

Local history playing a role in Chautauqua

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Local history won't be left out when the Ohio Chautauqua historical celebration comes to Bexley Sunday, July 16, through July 20.

The event will feature interactive workshops about Ohio history at Capital University, 1 College and Main; the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, 1125 College Ave.; the Drexel Theatre, 2254 E. Main St.; the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St.; and Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave.

Most of the events will focus on Ohio historical figures such as Johnny Appleseed, Iroquois leader Chief Logan and Battle of Lake Erie hero Oliver Hazard Perry. But participants also will have an opportunity to learn about Bexley history, said Pat Cramer, chairwoman of the event's steering committee.

"In the program that (participants) receive every night, there will be a piece on Bexley history," she said. "That was one of my personal goals: to inform people about Bexley, what it's like now and how it's been in the past."

This year marks the first time Bexley has hosted the Ohio Chautauqua, which is presented by the Ohio Humanities Council and funded locally by a $20,000 grant from the Bexley Community Foundation. It's also sponsored by the Whitehall-Bexley Rotary Club, the First Bexley Bank, the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wasserstrom Foundation, the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce, Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Foundation, Mike and Paige Crane, and Bonnie and David Milenthal.

"The city did its own Chautauqua in 1977," Cramer said. "This is the first time the city has hosted an Ohio Humanities Chautauqua."

Plans got underway to bring the event to Bexley last year when Ohio Humanities Council made a presentation at a meeting of the Whitehall-Bexley Rotary Club, Cramer said.

"We really had a collaborative group who were working together" to form the event's steering committee, she said.

"In addition to showcasing our city and strengthening relationships among community partners, events like Ohio Chautauqua broaden our understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shape our world," Capital University President Denvy A. Bowman said in a press release. "That's an important part of preparing informed and engaged citizens, and we're proud to lend our support as a hosting partner."

Bexley is one of five communities across the state that has hosted or will host the Ohio Chautauqua this summer, in addition to Lakewood, June 25-29; Madison, July 2-6; Rossford, July 9-13; and Coshocton, July 23-27.

Community partners planning the event have included representatives from Capital University, Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce, Bexley Community Foundation, Bexley Historical Society, Bexley Public Library, Bexley Recreation and Parks Department, Bexley Women's Club, the city of Bexley, the Drexel Theatre and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus.

For more information, visit the website at ohiochautauquabexley.com. For more information about volunteer opportunities, call Cramer at Capital University at 614-236-6714 or send an email to pcramer@capital.edu.

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