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The Phillis Wheatley Association

The Phillis Wheatley Association has a history of adapting to the changing needs of the community. During the 1930’s, when it was referred to far and wide as the “black YWCA”, Phillis Wheatley was a prominent meeting place for leaders in the African American community. The Association not only offered a gathering place for social events, but provided music and dance lessons through its Sutphen Music School. PWA also assisted working families when its Josephine Kohler Day Care Center opened in 1937, and provided recreational alternatives to African American youngsters outside the urban area when Camp Mueller, a residential camp was founded in 1938.

From its genesis as a residence for young women, to its new focus in 1967 as a neighborhood center, on through its continuing evolution in response to community needs, The Phillis Wheatley Association remains an important civic resource.

For more information, visit the Cleveland Historical Society at