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Friday, October 28, 2005
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Community and Campus Days to take place Nov. 3-5

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 28, 2005) -- This year's Community and Campus Days, Nov. 3-5, will feature a presentation on Ohio University forefather Manasseh Cutler and his oldest son, Judge Ephraim Cutler; two performances of the play "From Here: A Century of Voices from Ohio;" and the annual Community and Campus Day showcase.

Click to watch Community and Campus Day preview videoThe weekend begins on Thursday, Nov. 3, with a presentation by Marietta historian Henry Burke titled, "Manasseh Cutler and Judge Ephraim Cutler: Their Roles on the Underground Railroad and Underground Railroad Communities in Southeastern Ohio." It will take place at 6 p.m., in the State Room at Baker University Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Ephraim Cutler was born in 1767 at Edgartown, Maine. He became a prominent leader and lobbyist for the Ohio Company and Associates. He drafted the legislation for the Ohio Constitution that prohibited slavery in Ohio. Manasseh Cutler is a co-founder of Ohio University. As one of the investors in the Ohio Company and Associates, he followed the dictates of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and set aside land for the establishment of a public university. On Feb. 18, 1804, Ohio University was established and offered its first classes in 1809.

On Friday, Nov. 4, at 2 and 7 p.m., local residents will perform "From Here: A Century of Voices from Ohio." The play, which is based on interviews with residents of the Ohio River Valley that help tell the history of Ohio, will take place at the Chesterhill Theatre above the Chesterhill Library. It is the result of collaboration between Ohio University's Department of African American Studies and the Multicultural Genealogical Center (MGC). Admission is free but donations will be appreciated.

The play, which was originally part of Ohio's Wallpaper Project, was performed all over Ohio in 2003 as part of Ohio's Bicentennial celebration. Rachel Barber, organizer of the Wallpaper Project, began collecting oral histories for the program in 2002. The play was written by Cleveland playwright Eric Coble and is directed by Jay Smith of East Liverpool, Ohio.

More than 800 Ohioans were interviewed for the project. Their stories were incorporated into the play, using the words of interviewees to tell Ohio's history through the eyes of those who lived it.

"The goal of the play is for people to learn about the lives of the past as seen through the eyes of everyday people," said Ada Adams, coordinator of the performance and member of the MGC. "We want to have the new generation connect with the older generation and we hope they grow from it."

As the play traveled around the state, the content was altered to incorporate the special histories and recollections of the county in which it is performed. This version of the play to be performed Nov. 4, focuses on the lives of people from Morgan and Athens counties.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, the fourth annual Community and Campus Day showcase will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Nelson Commons on the Ohio University Athens Campus. This year's event focuses on the Underground Railroad and its relationship to the Ohio River Valley. The theme is titled "Linking the Trails and Connecting the Communities." Each of Ohio University's six campuses and their surrounding communities will be represented.

The annual event consists of a variety of activities and booths that celebrate the history and accomplishments of people of color in the Appalachia region. Exhibits from artists, historians, photographers and painters are a few of the items that will be on display. Entertainment will include musical and dance performances from students and community members. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Department of African American Studies at (740) 593-4546.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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