An Event Venue with a Mission
Photography provided by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center offers an exclusive experience for anyone looking for an event venue. It has hosted a variety of events from political rallies to galas, from wedding ceremonies and receptions to business meetings, from educational programs to family reunions.
“People choose [the Freedom Center] for all kinds of different reasons, whether it’s centrally located to where their guests are coming from or because of the mission,” says Hillary Gentry, manager of events for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
The Freedom Center’s mission is to bring to light the heroes from the Underground Railroad era to contemporary times, inspiring visitors to take courageous steps for freedom today. And although the museum revolves around the Underground Railroad and the Civil War, it’s also an educational center and convener of dialogue.
“But its view and the location also sells itself,” Gentry says.
Situated downtown on The Banks, the Freedom Center is within a short walk from restaurants, bars, Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park and U.S. Bank Arena.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will work with every budget and every need, whether it’s five or 1,500 guests. From start to finish, the Freedom Center’s events department is involved.
“There is an on-site coordinator the day of to coordinate the logistics,” says Gentry. “They’re there throughout the planning process and to answer any questions. We all communicate through the process to keep everyone in the loop.”
Tables, chairs, security and cleaning costs are included in the rental fee. Caterers will bring the linen and china, as well as the staff for set-up and tear-down.
The Freedom Center’s view of the Roebling Suspension Bridge and Ohio River from the second floor’s two-story windows and the third-floor balcony is the perfect backdrop for weddings, nonprofit galas or corporate holiday parties.
The museum’s location, which allows these views, underscores the history of the Ohio River in the Underground Railroad.
With a panoramic view of the Ohio River and Covington, guests can watch the wedding party arrive while sipping cocktails next to the Freedom Flame on the third-floor balcony. Also on the third floor, there are two meeting spaces that are ideal for everything from corporate training to bridal suites.
At 6,816 square feet, the Grand Hall on the second floor is a commanding space. There is also a mezzanine level, which is perfect for event photographers. Also on the second floor, the 300-seat Harriet Tubman Theater is perfect for panel discussions or lectures, or even for a more theatrical wedding. Pin lights dot the theater’s ceiling to replicate the stars in the sky. Runaway slaves followed the North Star which was sometimes the only guide northward to freedom.
The Freedom Center also has events throughout the year that are open to the public, including the annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast, community outreach events and women’s history month activities.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located at 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.333.7500 or visit www.freedomcenter.org.