Czechs in the City: The Czech-American Experience in Cleveland

Dinner with Dr. Sebesta | June 29, 2009

On the evening of June 9th, Dr. Stith, Mary, and I sat down to a dinner and discussion with Dr. Steve Sebesta and his wife Pat from the Bohemian National Hall. We were planning to meet at Marta’s (Cleveland’s own Czech restaurant), but it was closed so we  decided to meet at Trattoria in Cleveland’s Little Italy.

The purpose of our meeting was to gain insight into the delicate issues surrounding the naming of the public history exhibit.  With Steve and Pat Sebesta’s knowledge we were able to uncover valuable information and guidance in our approach.  The issues surrounding the name of the exhibit include being able to incorporate all the intricacies of the immigration of the Czechs into Cleveland while simultaneously keeping the exhibit within a manageable size for what resources we have.  Also, strong political and religious views have shaped the culture and values of the people and these values have been adopted throughout generations.  We want our exhibit to be inclusive of the entire Czech culture, so naming the exhibit has proven to be difficult.

Needless to say, we are very grateful for the input of Dr. Sebesta and his wife, Pat.   We look forward to learning much more from them as we continue our research.  We haven’t decided on a name for the exhibit quite yet, but we are much closer thanks to their experience and knowledge.

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