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Mission statement

The Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society’s mission is to preserve Hungarian culture and the history of Hungarians in Northeast Ohio, so that present and future generations can draw upon its collection for education, inspiration and enrichment. To carry out its mission, the Society sponsors educational and research activities, and operates a museum and library as a repository and exhibition center for Hungarian historical, literary and artistic items.

News about the Museum: hours we are open and future programming!

Come visit us!

The Museum is open to visitors on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 11-3. If you would like to visit us on another day when we are not open, you can make an appointment by either calling the Museum telephone number, 216-523-3900 and leaving a message, or you can write a message to our email address, museum@clevelandhungarianmuseum.org, and we will reply and arrange for your visit.  Please give us at least a 4 day notice! Winters in Northeast Ohio can be challenging. When we are experiencing severe weather, please call the Museum after 11 o'clock to verify that we are open.

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded two grants by the Hungarian Government through the Bethlen Gábor Fund Management, in support of our efforts to share with the greater community our Hungarian culture and history and the Hungarian immigrant story of Northeast, Ohio.

Our last program of the 2024 Spring Lecture Series will be on Saturday, May 11th-Theater life in Budapest from the turn of the century to nationalization - 1896-1949. This program will be in Hungarian.

 The Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society held its Annual Meeting on November 15th at the Museum. President Janos Szigeti gave his report, followed by the financial statement prepared by treasurer Hajnal Kezdi. Eva Szabo reported on the Society's IRS Tax return submitted in 2023, and Elmer Meszaros reported on the Society's Endowment Fund. Curator Andrew Lazar summarized the last 12 months of exhibits and cataloging. The membership elected the Officers and Board members presented by the Nominating Committee. The Annual Meeting ended with the swearing in of those elected.

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On Saturday May 11th, our Spring Hungarian language program will concentrate on theater life in Budapest.

Join us on Saturday, May 11th at 2 p.m. for the last program in our Spring, 2024 lecture series!

This program will be in Hungarian, and will be held at the Museum, located in the Galleria in Downtown Cleveland, Lower Level.

The title of the Program: Theater life in Budapest from the turn of the century to nationalization - 1896-1949; presented by Zoltán Csadi. 

Zoltán Csadi

Zoltán Csadi, actor and director, was born in Feketenyék, a small Hungarian village in Slovakia. He completed his theater studies in Budapest. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the Eötvös Lóránd University of Science, in theater and cultural history. In addition, he is the artistic director of the Bartók Theater and this year he is a recipient of the Canadian Rákóczi Foundation's Kőrosi Csoma Sándor Program scholarship in Toronto.

The program itself will concentrate on theater life in Budapest from 1896-1949. At the turn of the century, Budapest began to develop rapidly. People flowed from rural towns and villages to the capital in the hope of work and a better life. At the same time, magazines were started one after the other to serve the needs of the population, and institutions were built to ensure development, learning, and entertainment. Budapest suddenly became a world city, with a vibrant cultural and artistic life, which had two main venues: the theater and the coffee house. This period was an extremely colorful and rich period not only for the capital, but also for our Hungarian culture, including theater art. New theaters opened one after the other. Actors, directors, playwrights and hundreds of other artists filled Budapest's cultural spaces.

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Saying farewell to our founder....

Otto Friedrich

How do you say good-bye to someone who breathed life into a dream, and that dream became the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Museum? How do we say "Isten Veled Ottó", when what we really want to say is "wish you were still here"?  Our beloved founder, Otto Friedrich, passed away this year on February 13th, on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He was 92 years old. It seems like only yesterday that Otto, along with a few other committed Hungarians, grabbed the opportunity to form the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society. That was in 1985. That was 39 years ago; today the Hungarian Museum is an ethnic gem in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, and we have Otto's unbounded enthusiasm and energy to thank for these 39 successful years.

Everyone who worked with Otto could not help but being swept away by his relentless energy, positive outlook and practical sense. We shared his conviction that what this Hungarian community here in Northeast Ohio needed was a permanent Museum featuring our culture and immigrant history. To so many of us he was like an older brother who led the way, challenged us to do our best in this endeavor, and who supported us as we worked to grow this project into a lasting testimony to those hardworking immigrants who lived here and prospered. He understood that each successive generation stood on the shoulders of the previous generation, and he wanted this Museum to reflect the contributions of all the generations who identified with their Hungarian heritage.

Opening at St. Elizabeth 1986

Otto was the perfect Executive Director of the Museum. He was outgoing and friendly and treated  dignitaries as well as tourists and visitors who came to our Museum with courtesy and a hearty welcome. He loved socializing, meeting people, dancing and tasting wine with Museum supporters, but most of all, he enjoyed working with people. He was open to new ideas, and also welcomed projects and programs that required a lot of planning and organizing. He succeeded, because few could say no to Otto!

Our Board and officers, along with our members, will miss him. But we will keep his dream alive, and will work to maintain this Museum that serves as a reminder to every Clevelander, that there is a vibrant  Hungarian-American community living on the shores of Lake Erie.

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We have launched our Online Collections Catalog
and we are excited to share them with the world!

~ WELCOME to our ONLINE COLLECTIONS DATABASE ~

You can see the many wonderful items that have been entrusted into our care ** no matter where you are **

Click here to visit the Museum’s exciting new resource!  There’s a lot more to come, so check back often!!

 

In February, 2020, the Museum received a grant from the Ohio History Connection, which allowed us to purchase software that will enhance our ability to catalog our collection, and incorporate donor and support information into one database. As a recipient organization, we are please to announce that this project is made possible in part by the Ohio History Fund, a grant program of the Ohio History Connection. The Ohio History Fund is made possible by voluntary donations of state income tax refunds, sales of Ohio History “mastodon” license plates, and other donations.

The Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society which sponsors the Museum and its Programs, is an Ohio state registered non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. Your donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.