Broadcast date: March 26-30
Contact: Jeff Kallet, Publicist, Ohio University Press
(740) 593-1158 or kallet(at)


Community Calendar/ Program Director / Interviews

A free public reception celebrating the first published history of the former state mental hospital at The Ridges, in Athens, Ohio, has been scheduled for Friday, March 30th, from 5-7 p.m.

The event will be held at the Kennedy Museum of Art, located at The Ridges.

The social gathering will feature Athens author Katherine Ziff, whose book, Asylum on the Hill: History of a Healing Landscape, was published in March by Ohio University Press. Books will be available for purchase and buyers can have copies signed by the author. Some brief remarks followed by a public Q & A session with the author will take place about halfway through the event. Items relating to the former mental hospital will be featured in displays arranged by Ohio University’s Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections and the Athens County Historical Society. Light fare and a cash bar will be available. Photographs of The Ridges by Kenner Bush will also be on display.

Asylum on the Hill at the Ohio University Press

Earlier the same day, from 3-5 p.m., the public is also invited to experience a Ridges “open house.” A select number of currently occupied buildings on The Ridges have agreed to allow visitors inside to see their facilities. Participating buildings will be marked with signs on the day of the event. A new guide/map of The Ridges will be available at Ohio University Press (Building 19, Ridges Circle) during the 3-5 p.m. open house; the guide/map will also be given away to visitors who attend the Kennedy Museum of Art author reception. At 3:15 and 4:15, local members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will offer guided tours of the Ridges Cemeteries Nature Walk, starting from the parking lot behind The Ridges baseball diamond.

Visitors to the 3–5 p.m. open house should park in the lower lot in front of the Kennedy Museum of Art (Lot 201) and come to Ohio University Press, Building 19, to get guide/maps and general directions. Visitors to the 5–7 p.m. author event can park in one of several lots surrounding the Kennedy Museum of Art. People wishing to walk on the guided Ridges Cemeteries tours should park in the lot beside The Ridges baseball diamond (Lot 212).