Hassan Najjar, the museum center's executive director, reviewed the 2013-14 events and achievements during a presentation to the City Council on Monday.
Events and exhibits during the past 12 months range from our city's industrial past and transformation, to the Civil War and dirt track racing. The Museum Center features arts and artists from the region, hosts community events and is home to annual shows like "Stitches In Time" for quilting enthusiasts.
In April, the Museum Center was among six of the state's museums invited to join the Smithsonian Affiliations by the Smithsonian Institute of Washington D.C.
That affiliation will bring more new and exciting exhibits, important artifacts, workshops, authors, performers and educational opportunities to our city and community.
Hassan says other major announcements are coming soon, including a major, international archaeological exhibit that will only be on display at three locations in the United States — Houston, Los Angeles and Cleveland, Tennessee!
In a few days, Hassan said the museum center will be announcing details about another new, important relationship, with Google.
I am a proud member of the Museum Center at Five Points, and have been since its first day. When I took over as mayor, one of my goals was to help Cleveland get a museum. I had visited other cities’ museums and knew we needed such a venue. I formed a local committee to research the possibilities and the rest is history. This area is rich in history and we have a story to tell, to share and to leave for future generations.
It is hard to believe it has been over 22 years since we formed a committee to study the feasibility of creating a museum in our city. One thing is for certain, the committee consisted of the right people to get the job done. They deserve a lot of credit and thanks for their hard work and dedication to not just create a Museum Center, but to make it one that is among the best. Museum membership is one way all of us can support this exciting institution on Inman Street. It’s a small investment that will continue to pay dividends for generations to come.
Along with telling the story of the Ocoee Region, the Museum Center had another mission from its beginning — anchoring downtown development, especially around the historic Five Points area. With the restoration of the old railroad depot and its new use as a city bus center, with the continued renewal of Inman Street and the creation of First Street Square that mission is also being realized.
Since 1992, the museum staff, volunteers and members have created the excellent center we have now.
And, as Hassan’s report shows, it gets better every year. His report Monday was full of good news and projections for the years ahead.
It is evident that our Museum Center holds true to our city’s motto. It is indeed a “Museum With Spirit!”