The Ohio State Reformatory

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society is raising funds to develop The Frank & Rae Darabont Art Gallery.

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society (MRPS) is currently making plans to develop The Frank & Rae Darabont Art Gallery. The breathtaking new exhibit space will be created inside the second-floor hallway of the administration building.

While attending special events related to the 25th anniversary of the release of his film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” Director Frank Darabont donated 20 rare and beautiful works of art related to the movie. 

MRPS needs approximately $80,000 to establish the gallery. First, the plaster and wood walls of the corridor will be restored. Next, the art will be carefully framed and mounted. Finally, the lighting and security cameras will be mounted to protect these rare movie treasures. 

Frank & Rae Darabont

Frank & Rae Darabont donated 20 rare works of art related to "The Shawshank Redemption." The Darabonts visited the Ohio State Reformatory during the 25th anniversary of the movie.

The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society was formed in 1995, and has evolved from a group of dedicated preservationists offering weekend tours of the Ohio State Reformatory (OSR) into a fully staffed, historic site and first-rate tourist destination with two complete museums as well as educational, historic, paranormal and cultural programming.

MRPS is dedicated to restoring and rehabilitating the historic, iconic reformatory for local citizens and tourists to enjoy. 

The organization raising restoration funds year-round by serving the public through historic, cultural, and paranormal programs, including:

  • educational tours
  • Halloween haunted house
  • ghost investigations
  • photographer opportunities
  • rock concerts
  • business competitions
  • trade shows
  • dinner-theatre events
  • corporate initiatives
  • music videos and feature film location

“We are helping ensure that this fascinating, historic, and educational site continues to offer thrills, chills, and instills a sense of wonder into the hearts and minds of our many visitors for generations to come,” said Thomas Clark, a Shawshank Specialist from the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society. 

MRPS is working on the development of a Shawshank-related escape room attraction that will be opening in 2020. The East Diagonal wing is also being restored for the creation of yet a third museum inside the building. 

“On behalf of all of us at OSR, we would like to thank the community for your generosity and kindness in helping us restore Levi Scofield's "Castle" back to its original glory,” Clark said. “As they say in the movies, ‘they don't make 'em like this anymore.’ That's why we believe OSR is worth preserving and restoring.”

This article was paid for by the nonprofit organization mentioned. Leading up to Giving Tuesday on December 3, we will feature profiles on various local nonprofits. Read all the stories here.