Current Projects

Lucy Bagby: The Last Fugitive Slave

Lucy Bagby: The Last Fugitive Slave (Photo: Steve Wagner)

(Photo: Steve Wagner)

Were you aware that on the eve of the Civil War, the eyes of the Nation were on Cleveland, Ohio? Sara Lucy Bagby, a runaway slave, had escaped from her Southern ‘owner’, William Goshorn. She made her way North on the Underground Railroad and found work in Cleveland. However, not long after arriving, she was reclaimed by Goshorn and tried under the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, amidst city-wide protests from anti-slavery activists. After showing proof of ‘ownership’, the courts were forced to allow Goshorn to take Lucy back to Wheeling, Virginia. Soon after her return, the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Sara Lucy Bagby was the last person to be tried under the Fugitive Slave Act.

Through the generous support of the people of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Kulture Kids has been awarded a grant to rewrite and expand our existing program, Lucy Bagby: The Last Fugitive Slave. This true story is a critical, but little known, piece of Cleveland’s and our Nation’s history, and it has immediate relevance to the current issues facing our city and country today. Sara Lucy Bagby’s quest for freedom and the community’s struggle for justice are an incredible story, and Kulture Kids, with the aid of several community partners, hopes to reconnect communities to this important part of our collective history.

Please look for community performances of this revised work throughout 2016. To schedule a performance at your school, library, community center, or other venue, please contact us at or by calling (216) 302-4829.