Skip to main content

LAKERS TOGETHER: Find COVID-19 updates and resources. Also, be sure to complete the online daily self-assessment.

Strategic Plan for Kutsche Office of Local History

Mission

Giving voice to diverse communities through history

Vision

The Kutsche Office of Local History will be a regional and national model for fostering intentional and deep community connections through the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the diverse histories of underrepresented populations.

Value Statement

We value deep community connections, respect for storytelling and academic rigor to strengthen communities throughout West Michigan. These values involve bringing together faculty, staff, students, local historians, and community members to facilitate conversations and develop programs that leverage the lessons learned from the region's past. We value diversity in local and regional histories. We value interdisciplinary methods to unearth, collect, and preserve local and regional histories.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

From 2017-2020, at least 75% of programming supports undergraduate students' participation in at least one high-impact practice (e.g. research assistantships, internships, fellowships). In 2015-2016, we had undergraduate students supporting 75% of our projects. To continually ensure that we meet this goal, we will: 1) take an inventory of the various ways projects can involve students in high impact practices (Director, Office Coordinator); 2) explore different avenues to increase student involvement in programming (Advisory Council); c) ensure the longevity of the Community Collaboration Grant program (Director, Advisory Council).

Baseline

20% of programming supported HIL practices in 2015-2016

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office of Local History offered a variety of opportunities for students to engage in high impact learning practices. Through our Community Collaboration Grant, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston hired an undergraduate research assistant (URA) for Winter 2019. The URA worked closely with Dr. Preston as part of the project, “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” which documents the histories of congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. A second URA was hired to support the project in Fall 2019, as Dr. Preston's Community Collaboration Grant was renewed for a subsequent year. As part of the Office’s National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, “Stories of Summer,” we worked with two undergraduate students and a special projects graduate assistant in Winter 2019. The work that semester included: 1) an undergraduate research assistant capturing the metadata associated with the more than 2,000 digitized objects of ephemera collected in summer 2018; 2) an undergraduate student designing the exhibit boards and working directly with the Kutsche Office staff and special projects graduate student; and 3) the Special Projects Graduate Assistant worked on oral history transcription. The exhibit was installed in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2019 and at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s Old School House in June 2019. As part of our Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues About Water in Michigan grant-funded project, “Connections Along the Grand River,” we worked with an undergraduate student designer affiliated with University Promotions in winter 2019. We subsequently worked with a new student designer in summer and fall 2019. Beginning in summer 2019, we worked with an undergraduate student designer on materials related to our tenth anniversary celebration. An undergraduate student was also hired in fall 2019 to support administrative tasks while the office coordinator position went through a transition.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The Kutsche Office of Local History offered a variety of opportunities for students to engage in high impact learning practices. In Winter 2018, Dr. Kathryn Remlinger, the inaugural recipient of the Community Collaboration Grant, continued to work with her undergraduate research assistant on the project, "How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland Michigan.” Additionally in winter 2018, as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant project, “Growing Community: Oceana County,” an undergraduate research assistant worked on transcribing and translating oral histories collected in English and Spanish. Her work was supervised by that project’s primary investigator, Dr. Melanie Shell-Weiss. We also completed the design of the exhibit, “Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement.” This exhibit was first held in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in Winter 2018, and has since traveled to multiple locations in the Midwest. This project reflects a partnership with Levi Rickert, editor of Native News Online, and features 53 photographs on 21 panels documenting the Standing Rock resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline. An undergraduate design student created the exhibit boards, which were finalized in January 2018. Through our Community Collaboration Grant, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston hired an undergraduate research assistant (URA) for Fall 2018 and Winter 2019. The URA worked closely with Dr. Preston as part of the project, “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” which documents the histories of congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. In addition to working with the URA, Dr. Preston and a group of undergraduate students enrolled in a special topics course collected the oral histories of 18 members of the congregation. B’nai Israel has been in operation for nearly 130 years, and the congregation has been shrinking in the last three decades. As the membership ages, the temple itself is at risk of closing completely in a few years. The project examines the unique experience of living as a Jew in Muskegon, the rise and decline of the congregation, and the relationships between congregants and their religious and cultural identities. As part of the Office’s National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, “Stories of Summer,” we worked with two undergraduate students and a special projects graduate assistant in Fall 2018. This work continues into Winter 2019. This project documents the voices of Saugatuck-Douglas residents and their memories of summering in the region in the mid-twentieth century. Our undergraduate research assistant is capturing the metadata associated with the more than 2,000 digitized objects of ephemera collected in summer 2018. Our undergraduate student designer is designing the exhibit boards and working directly with the Kutsche Office staff and special projects graduate student. The Special Projects Graduate Assistant is transcribing the more than twenty oral histories collected. The exhibit will be in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2019 and at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s Old School House in June 2019. Finally, the Kutsche Office received a Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues About Water in Michigan grant in 2018 to support our project, “Connections Along the Grand River,” which captures the histories of the communities and towns along the Grand River—how they came into being—and the role of the river in their survival and revitalization. We are working with nineteen organizations and five individuals interested in local history as part of this project. An undergraduate student designer affiliated with University Promotions is supporting the design of exhibit boards and materials associated with our March 2019 symposium. This work began in Fall 2018.

Objective 1.A.2

From 2017-2020, we apply for a Special Projects Graduate Assistant to facilitate their engagement in at least one high-impact practice every 2-3 years. The SPGA will be responsible to work on a dedicated project. The position will be linked both to Kutsche Office strategic plans priorities and reflect our commitment to offer professional development opportunities to students

Baseline

We worked with graduate assistants in the 2015-2016 (Grandville Avenue project) and 2016-2017 (Gi-gikinomaage-min project) academic years.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
We received a Special Projects Graduate Assistant (SPGA) to support our National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant project, "Stories of Summer," during the 2018-2019 academic year. This project documents mid-twentieth century life in the twin lakeshore communities, Saugatuck and Douglas. The SPGA work involves transcribing the oral histories collected in summer 2018 and developing content for the exhibit. This exhibit will be first housed in the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library in February 2019 and then at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center in June 2019. As part of their work, the SPGA also supported the Kutsche Office director at a community dialogue in Fall 2018.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
We applied for a SPGA to support our Stories of Summer project in Fall 2017. We received notification of our success application on January 18, 2018. We look forward to reporting on the work the SPGA does project during the 2018-2019 academic year as part of our 2018 strategic plan report next year.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

From 2017-2020, at least two students affiliated with the office (e.g. interns, Community Collaboration Grant research assistants) per academic year are first generation or non-traditional undergraduate students.

Baseline

We previously have worked with non-traditional and/or first generation undergraduate students in 2015-2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
In 2019, Community Collaboration Grant undergraduate research assistants identified as a non-traditional undergraduate student. We also worked with two first generation undergraduate students. One supported our work with the Stories of Summer project, while the second student supported our Connections Along the Grand River project.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
In winter 2018, our undergraduate research assistant supported the Growing Community: Oceana County project. In fall 2018, our undergraduate research assistant supported the Stories of Summer project. The undergraduate research assistant identifies as first generation.

Objective 1.B.2

We will implement at least one program in the next three years (2017-2020) that focuses on using local history as a way to teach leadership skills, promote positive identity formation, and enhance self-esteem among diverse undergraduate students (e.g. first generation, veterans, non-traditional, underrepresented communities).

Baseline

We currently engage undergraduate students through our on campus events. And developed a new project in Fall 2016 that examines student experiences while at GVSU.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
In 2019, we held our tenth anniversary celebration event in an effort to update our donor base as part of our efforts to cultivate a donor base to create a stipend for undergraduate students to make intentional connections via fellowships/internships. This was our second year sending out a fall appeal letter with our new donor tiers. We look forward to seeing whether our not this tier system is successful as we continue to explore ways to encourage targeted donations to support students' ability to engage in local history initiatives. As noted in our update to 1.D.3, we also continue to seek ways to consider how to better integrate the work of the Kutsche Office with existing academic programs (e.g. students conducting OURS research).

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
While we created the syllabus and received approval to run a 1-credit IDS 180 course in the 2018-2019 academic year, we did not meet enrollments. Consequently we are taking this current academic year to rethink how we can best share oral history methodologies with students. This may include developing the web-based components first and then running the IDS 180 course with intentional connections made to other departments whose students might benefit from this specified methods work. Additionally, we are working on ways to cultivate a donor base to create a stipend for undergraduate students to make intentional connections via fellowships/internships. This was done through the creation of a new donors tiers when the 2018 Fall Appeal was sent. We look forward to seeing whether this is successful, and consider ways to move forward to encourage targeted donations to support students' ability to engage in local history initiatives. Part of this work includes considering ways we can transform our youth leadership work with high school students, as seen in our Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck project, with Saugatuck High School and transform it into relevant programming for undergraduate students.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

By 2021, we will be a go-to resource for faculty and FTLC re: best practices for intentional, impactful community based learning (CBL) opportunities that reflect ethical engagement with underrepresented and diverse communities. We will facilitate relationships between GVSU faculty, students, and community partners through the Community Collaboration Grants. We will model best practices for deep, sustained, mutually beneficial community-university engagement.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, our programming involved 11 community organizations.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The Kutsche Office continues to develop meaningful relationships with community organizations invested in local history. A collaborative project, Connections Along the Grand River includes more than twenty organizations and local historians that represent communities spanning from Grand Haven to Portland, MI. An estimated half of those organizations represent new relationships. These organizations include the Grandville Historical Commission, Boston/Saranac Historical Society, Allendale Historical Society, Portland Area Historical Society, Lamont History, Ionia County Historical Society, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation, Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Eastmanville History, West Michigan Tourist Association, and the City of Walker. At the same time, our Community Collaboration Grant yielded success for its second grant recipient (2018-2019) Dr. Marilyn Preston. Her project, “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” involves the collection of oral histories from congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. The Kutsche Office is excited to report that Preston used the Community Collaboration Grant as seed-funding to launch the project’s growth. A student interested in working with Preston on creating an exhibition received a Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship S3 grant, and Preston received a Catalyst Grant from the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence. Additionally, Preston received a Humanities Grant from Michigan Humanities to support curating an interactive exhibition at the Lakeshore Museum (Muskegon, MI). Due to the success of her project, the Kutsche Office elected to extend her Community Collaboration Grant for a second year (2019-2020).

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The director of the Kutsche Office served on the Brooks Guidelines on Community-Based Learning Task Force. This opportunity resulted in the creation of a report given to Dean Hiskes at the end of the Winter 2018 semester. She drew upon the work of the Advisory Council community based learning sub-committee. Additionally, as part of the Community Collaboration Grant program, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston established a relationship with the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan as part of “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation.” The project examines the rise and decline of the congregation and the relationships between congregants and their religious and cultural identities. Moreover, as part of our Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan, we are working with nineteen local history organizations. Of those organizations, nine are new organizations that we have not previously been in contact with. The director of the Kutsche Office also visited the Tri-Rivers Historical organization, meeting with various organizations affiliated with that network in Fall 2018.

Objective 1.C.2

By 2021 we will have worked with at least one community partner and/or on one project to enhance digital offerings (e.g. online primary source documents) and model online curriculum.

Baseline

In 2016, we developed plan to digitize two projects with University Libraries and Special Collections (Oceana County and Gi-gikinomaage-min)

Progress

2020 Status
Substantial Progress
The Kutsche Office continues to work with GVSU Special Collections and Archives concerning the digitization and online availability of oral histories and/or ephemera related to the following projects: Stories of Summer, funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant; Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are All Teachers); and L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation (supported by a Kutsche Office Community Collaboration grant). As materials related to Stories of Summer are ingested by Special Collections, they have become available online (https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/collections/show/38). Materials from L'dor v'dor are also available online (https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/collections/show/39).

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
As part of our NEH Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer we digitized over 2,000 objects of ephemera and more than twenty oral histories. In Fall 2018 we began metadata processing for the ephemera and transcribing the oral histories. We also worked with GVSU Special Collections and Archives on the transcription of Gi-gikinomaage-min oral histories and ensuring the ephemera and oral histories from the NEH Common Heritage grant funded project, Growing Community: Oceana County, were available online (https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/collections/show/37). We are still working on the creation of a Library Guide for the work completed as part of Histories of Student Activism.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

By 2021, there will be at least two faculty in CLAS and Brooks developing new CBL partnerships in their courses.

Baseline

We currently do not have developed CBL partnerships with faculty.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Marilyn Preston's Community Collaboration Grant was renewed for the 2019-2020 academic year. We continue to promote the Community Collaboration Grant program. We also will work with faculty interested in developing partnerships with local history organizations as well as those faculty developing relationships with community partners to see the ways their work intersects with local history. We will assess the Community Collaboration Grant program to ensure its meeting the needs of faculty, students, and community partners.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
In March 2018, we awarded our second Community Collaboration Grant (2018-2019) to Dr. Marilyn Preston (Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies). Her project, tentatively titled “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation,” will collect oral histories from congregants at the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan. B’nai Israel has been in operation for nearly 130 years, and the congregation has been shrinking in the last three decades. As the membership ages, the temple itself is at risk of closing completely in the next decade. As such, there is timeliness to this project’s goal to capture a record of the temple; it’s congregation, and Jewish life in Muskegon before it is too late. Many of the current temple members have been a part of the B’nai Israel congregation for their entire lives, thus they have rich memories of growing up Jewish in Muskegon, the rise of Jewish community, and the ongoing disappearance of Jewish life on the lakeshore. Part of this work included Dr. Preston's development of the course, LIB/REL 380: Jewish Histories of West Michigan, in Fall 2018. This Community Based Learning designated course resulted in the collection of the oral histories of 18 members of the B'nai Israel congregation by Dr. Preston and her students. The stories will be stored in the GVSU Special Collections and Archives and presented in exhibit form both digitally and in- person. The project examines the unique experience of living as a Jew in Muskegon, the rise and decline of the congregation, and the relationships between congregants and their religious and cultural identities.

Objective 1.D.2

By 2021, we will have created curricular materials based at least two of our project or programs. These materials will support existing course offerings and broader community members interests' in the histories of West Michigan. These materials will be available online and involve creating best practices for working with local history institutions.

Baseline

We currently do not have curricular materials available.

Progress

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
We are still working on completing a library guide for Histories of Student Activism. More time was spent on the development of the Connections Along the Grand River exhibition concerning the exhibit's creation and execution, which meant less time was focused on potential ties to curriculum. With the development of an associated magazine booklet for that project, the Kutsche Office is considering ways to tie this in with potential curriculum after meeting with project partners. We will also reach out to faculty teaching in units whose work might overlap with Kutsche Office projects to assess whether they are interested in specific curriculum to accompany those primary sources available via University Special Collections and Archives, or if the Kutsche Office should center our efforts in promoting the existing materials and ways people may incorporate them in the classroom.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
We have identified potential projects to develop curriculum. These projects include the Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement travel exhibition, which falls under the scope of our Gi-gikinomaage-min Project, and the Histories of Student Activism project. For the Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement exhibit, our project partner Levi Rickert, editor of Native News Online, expressed interest in developing curriculum to support teachers who bring students to the exhibit as it travels to various venues across the United States. We are in the preliminary stages to identify potential persons to work with on this curriculum. We are also working to develop the library guide for issues of the GVSU student newspaper that highlights relevant articles related to the Histories of Student Activism project. Faculty previously informed the Office that they have used the exhibit boards, available on our website, in their teaching. As part of our Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan project, Connections Along the Grand River, we are working to develop an exhibition to be completed in October 2019. This work began in 2018 and project partners expressed and interest in making this exhibit available to travel. We will work with them to see whether or not they would be interested in developing a related curriculum.

Objective 1.D.3

Develop a 1-credit IDS 180 course for 2018-2019 for students interested in oral history methodologies. This curriculum will also be web-based to allow for dissemination with faculty, graduate students, and community members. The curriculum will be adaptable for workshops/trainings. By 2020, the web-based components and offerings for non-undergraduates will be complete.

Baseline

Currently the Office does not engage in academic course offerings as a non-academic unit.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
We began conversations with faculty teaching in the history department concerning the implementation of a 1-credit IDS course focused on oral history methodologies. We also sought ways to consider how to better integrate the work of the Kutsche Office with existing academic programs (e.g. students conducting OURS research). We look forward to expanding on those initial, preliminary conversations and recognize that this work might not transform into a particular course. Rather, we may move to the creation of an online curriculum that can be used across campus and available on Panopto, for example.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
While we created the syllabus and received approval to run a 1-credit IDS 180 course in the 2018-2019 academic year, we did not meet enrollments. Consequently we are taking this current academic year to rethink how we can best share oral history methodologies with students. This may include developing the web-based components first and then running the IDS 180 course with intentional connections made to other departments whose students might benefit from this specified methods work.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2021, we will create a workshop for GVSU faculty and staff to support their intercultural competencies concerning the diverse communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

We currently do not have workshops specifically for GVSU faculty and staff.

Progress

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Due to the director of the Kutsche Office going on leave and an acting director taking on the role for fall semester in combination with the search for a new office coordinator, the Office's work plan adjusted. The director focused on existing work with a commitment to developing this workshop in 2020 with support from the Advisory Council and new office coordinator.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
In 2018 we facilitated a workshop similar to this topic for our community partners. Based on learning from that workshop, we will integrate the best practices shared with community partners along with findings and suggestions from the CBL sub-committee and the Brooks College CBL guidelines. We will spend 2019 identifying the specific need that the Kutsche Office can fill with a workshop.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Facilitate and solidify relationships with at least one new community partner annually to build stronger partnerships in the region and continue our existing relationships with current and former partners.

Baseline

We formed new partnerships as a result of three projects in 2015-2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
We continue to make connections with a variety of new community partners and strengthen our connections with existing partners in West Michigan. As part of our National Endowment for the Humanities funded project, Connections Along the Grand River, we connected with more than twenty local history organizations and local historians. Ten of those organizations represent new relationships. These organizations include the Grandville Historical Commission, Boston/Saranac Historical Society, Allendale Historical Society, Portland Area Historical Society, Lamont History, Ionia County Historical Society, Ottawa County Parks and Recreation, Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Eastmanville History, and the City of Walker. We also strengthened our relationships with the Saugatuck, MI community as part of our Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck, which reflected a new partnership with Saugatuck High School and continuing work with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2018, we solidified our partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center as a result of our Stories of Summer project, which is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant. This project resulted in a new project, Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck, which documents the voices of the Class of 2019 at Saugatuck High School. Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck reflects a partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Saugatuck High School. Additionally, as part of our Connections Along the Grand River project, funded by a Michigan Humanities Council Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan grant, we are working with nineteen local history organizations. Of those organizations, nine are new organizations that we have not previously been in contact with. The director of the Kutsche Office also visited the Tri-Rivers Historical organization, meeting with various organizations affiliated with that network in Fall 2018. Moreover, as part of the Community Collaboration Grant program, our second recipient, Dr. Marilyn Preston established a relationship with the B’nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, Michigan as part of “L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation.”

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 3.C.1

Increase engagement with undergraduate students by 70% from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020.

Baseline

In 2015-2016 our programming impacted 111 undergraduate students.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Our engagement with students lowered in 2019, as the number of events aimed at undergraduate events decreased due to our Michigan Humanities grant funded project. These numbers do not count the students who viewed two exhibitions in the Mary Idema Pew Library, Stories of Summer (February 2019) and Connections Along the Grand River (October 2019). We also increased the number of undergraduate students engaged in high impact learning practices with the Office through our work with four undergraduate student designers, one undergraduate student worker, and one undergraduate research assistant.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Our engagement with students remained steady in 2018. However, the number of events aimed at undergraduate students decreased in 2018 as Fall 2018 was spent focused on our new Michigan Humanities Grant funded project. At our three university-facing events in Winter 2018, we reached 81 students. While we recognize this is a decrease from the number of students we reached last year, we attribute this to the fact that we held less events aimed at students in 2018 than in years prior. We look forward to focusing on more student-focused events moving forward.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

At least one program or project receives external recognition every 1-2 years.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office of Local History was a 2019 Michigan Humanities Community Impact Partner of the Year nominee. This nomination reflects the intentional, community-based work that informs the Office's projects and programs since its inception. Our National Endowment for Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer, received media attention at the state level in a segment on Michigan Radio's Stateside program (http://www.michiganradio.org/post/stateside-new-cyberbulling-law-kids-not-getting-mental-health-help-what-business-friendly-means#saugatuck). Grand Valley also highlighted the Stories of Summer exhibit in GV Now and the Lanthorn. The Holland Sentinel also featured a story on our Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck project (https://www.hollandsentinel.com/entertainmentlife/20190512/open-house-exhibit-showcases-graduates). That project documented the voices of Saugatuck High School's Class of 2019. The Community Collaboration Grant funded project, L’dor v’dor: Oral Histories of the B’nai Israel Congregation, directed by Dr. Marilyn Preston received external recognition in addition to coverage by GVSU. The Temple Project received some recognition, including both on and off campus. Michelle Coffil wrote an article on it, focused mostly on Joel Hill's work with SSS and the synagogue.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, "Stories of Summer," received external recognition throughout summer 2018. This included the Kutsche Office director's interview with Shelley Irwin on her WGVU show in July 2018 (http://www.wgvunews.org/post/stories-summer). The project was also featured in the Grand Rapids Magazine article, “‘Stories of Summer’: Collaborative Project Aims to Bring Untold Stories of Summer in the Saugatuck-Douglas Area to Light" (https://issuu.com/grmag/docs/grm_06.18). The twin lakeshore communities' local paper, The Commercial Record, also featured stories about the project at different points in the year. When we received the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) Third Coast Conversations: Dialogues about Water in Michigan grant to support our project, "Connections Along the Grand River," the MHC issued a press release (https://www.michiganhumanities.org/third-coast-conversations-dialogues-about-water-in-michigan-grant-awards/). The traveling exhibit "Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement" received news coverage from Native News Online, the Lakota Times, and WZZM13. Please see the links below: https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/standing-rock-photographs-of-an-indigenous-movement-exhibtion-opens-at-evanston-public-library/?fbclid=IwAR1cmSH7XKHtrCgoIgzniS7nc9ODRvhLZQojK6sIshpOI8purAujU3rrlWM https://nativenewsonline.net/currents/american-indian-center-of-chicago-to-host-native-news-onlines-standing-rock-photograph-exhibit/?fbclid=IwAR2zgagsaxtqUz4zyGxcAuIiErfLfYzpNoN_1PQeUSFZucg3RFGhxkZl8oc https://www.lakotacountrytimes.com/articles/standing-rock-water-protectors-exhibit-in-illinois/?fbclid=IwAR0ccJ2FmCGSpJZqOLFYmzG7Vptfx8KO_u3zo3XkHYN9sQShg8kEzK5-8NM https://www.wzzm13.com/video/news/standing-rock-exhibit-display-at-gr-library/69-8378349

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 4.B.1

At least 75% of all programs/projects directly engage communities of color and Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Baseline

In 2015-2016, four programs/projects directly engaged the histories of communities of color or Indigenous communities in West Michigan.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
We continue to highlight the region's diversity. Our focus for 2019 included completing our work on the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, Stories of Summer. This project documents the voices of LGBTQ individuals as well as other residents who spent their summers in the twin-lakesore communities of Saugatuck-Douglas in the mid-twentieth century. We also received a Michigan Humanities Third Coast Conversations grant in 2018 to support the work on our project, Connections Along the Grand River. Organizations that participated in this project highlighted their communities' respective histories that intersected with Indigenous communities in the region. The Kutsche Office also became Michigan Humanities Great Michigan Read 2019-2020 partner. This year's selection is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha's book, What the Eyes Don't See, which explores the Flint, MI water crisis and the intersections of environmental racism and social justice. Our participation in this initiative aligns with our investments in elucidating the ways in which local history intersects with environmental justice and history, as seen in our Connections Along the Grand River project. The Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement traveling exhibit, part of our Gi-gikinomaage-min project, was displayed at the Grand Rapids Public Library (January 2019), the Downriver Council for the Arts in Detroit, MI (May-June 2019), and Little River in Manistee, MI (July 2019). In Fall 2019, we hosted the lecture “‘The World’s Greatest Minstrel Show Under the Stars’: Blackface Minstrels, Community Identity, and the Lowell Showboat, 1932-1977,” featuring Drs. Matthew Daley and Scott Stabler, along with George Bayard, executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archive. The Lowell Showboat, named Robert E. Lee, entertained thousands each summer with well-known performers including Dinah Shore, Pearl Bailey, Milton Berle, and Louis Armstrong. Alongside these entertainers, minstrels in blackface humored audiences with racial stereotyping. This event was co- sponsored by Lowell Area Historical Museum. We continued to work toward identifying potential community partners to collaborate with on projects impacting communities of color and Indigenous communities. This included intentional outreach to organizations and individuals whose work aligns with the Kutsche Office's mission.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The Kutsche Office's 2018 projects focused on engaging underrepresented communities. We continued to support the following projects: Gi-gikinomaage-min (We are All Teachers); Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History; and Histories of Student Activism at GVSU. Growing Community: Oceana County Agricultural History is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage Grant. Histories of Student Activism at GVSU engages the activism of students of color and underrepresented communities. The work of the Gi-gikinomaage-min project was seen through our work with the traveling exhibition, Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement. We also launched our National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage Grant project, Stories of Summer. This project seeks to document the voices of LGBTQ individuals as well as other residents who spent their summers in the twin lakeshore communities in the mid-twentieth century. Our 2018 local history roundtable highlighted West Michigan’s diversity. Our keynote speaker was Ronald J. Stephens, an authority on the African American resort community of Idlewild, Michigan. Stephens’ research focuses on African American rural and urban communities, as well as 20th century African American culture, identity, history, and political thought. He is author of Idlewild: The Rise, Decline and Rebirth of a Unique African American Resort Town (University of Michigan Press, 2013); Idlewild: The Black Eden of Michigan (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), as well as co-author of African Americans of Denver (Arcadia Publishing 2008). In addition to authoring books and articles, as well as serving as a media consultant on Idlewild and other topics in African American Studies, he is co-curator of Welcome to Idlewild, a Michigan State University Museum traveling photographic exhibition (2003-present). We are happy to also feature the scholarship of Dr. Kathryn Remlinger and Dr. Andrea Riley-Mukavetz. Dr. Remlinger, Professor of English at GVSU is the recipient of the inaugural Kutsche Office Community Collaboration Grant and will discuss her research, “How Much Dutch: The Linguistic Landscape of Holland, Michigan.” Part of this work involved examining the oral histories collected as part of our previous projects, Nuestra Comunidad Hispana and Our Asian Pacific American Community. Dr. Riley-Mukavetz, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at GVSU will share her experiences working on two separate oral history projects with Odawa women from Lansing, Michigan.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

By 2021, we will be recognized by the community as a leader in the interdisciplinary practice and teaching of local history and culture.

Baseline

In 2016 we have engaged 111 undergraduate students at events sponsored by the Kutsche Office. This does not include events where we were not the lead sponsor. In 2015-2016, two programs received external media recognition. In 2016, we had 60 community members attend the local history roundtable. In 2015-2016, 30 organizations engaged with Kutsche Office program.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Kutsche Office’s work was recognized by Michigan Humanities. We were nominated for their Community Impact Partner for the Year, as part of the inaugural statewide awards for 2019. While we did not receive the award, this nomination reflects the impact the Office has across the state of Michigan. An example of our work in the community teaching the value of local history is our efforts to support youth leadership. Throughout the first half of 2019, building on work that began in fall 2018, the Kutsche Office worked with students at Saugatuck High School as part of our project, Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck. This project emerged from work conducted as part of Stories of Summer. The Kutsche Office partnered with Saugatuck High School journalism students and the Saugatuck- Douglas History Center to capture the memories of the Class of 2019. The Kutsche Office trained 59 journalism students in oral history best practices and those students developed oral history questions to ask the senior class. The voices of 74 high school seniors were captured. The project culminated with an exhibition opening featuring the portraits and excerpts of oral histories from the Class of 2019 May 14, 2019 at the Saugatuck -Douglas History Center’s Old School House. Moreover, we continue to provide Grand Valley students access to high impact learning experiences, as seen through our work with four undergraduate student designers, one undergraduate research assistant, and one undergraduate student worker. The Community Collaboration Grant funded project also supported the work of an undergraduate research assistant. Due to the Office's work on the Michigan Humanities grant funded project, Connections Along the Grand River, we built relationships with more than ten new organizations and/or local historians. We also continued to strengthen our ties with community members through our annual local history roundtable and annual fall luncheon in addition to other programs.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
We reached nine new organizations in 2018 as a result of our Michigan Humanities Grant funded project, Connections Along the Grand River. Our two signature events—Annual Local History Roundtable and Lunch with the Kutsche Office—continue to serve as cornerstone programs that continue to engage local history organizations and historians. These programs coupled with our Engaging the Community Series facilitate our continued connections with the community. We reached an estimated 100 K-12 students in 2018. These students attend the following schools: Black River Public School (Holland, MI), Holland Christian School, and Saugatuck High School. This work was part of our Youth Leadership Initiative.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

By 2018 we will develop a comprehensive marketing and communication print and online strategy that reflects our multiple constituencies (e.g. GVSU, local community, K-12).

Baseline

A case statement was finalized in 2015-2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In 2019 we continued to streamline our communication materials. We also focused on our tenth year celebration in September 2019. As a result of these efforts, we focused on producing a magazine highlighting the office's various projects, grants, and initiatives undertaken since its founding. We developed a relationship with a student undergraduate designer and the student's faculty visual design mentor. Based on our on-going work with them, we anticipate the creation of a Kutsche Office symbol to occur in early 2020. We also are working to refine our communication materials with the recent hire of an office coordinator who brings experience with the creation of exhibitions for museums and local history organizations. Part of this work includes reflecting on the effectiveness of our communication plan to encourage sustained relationships and building new relationships with local historians, local history organizations, various community members, and members of the GVSU community.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
While we did not finalize a Kutsche Office symbol for 2018, we did streamline our communication materials. This includes standardizing our emails to Friends of the Kutsche Office, formalizing the layout content for our program marketing materials, and standardizing our symbols for the Gordon Olson Award and Annual Local History Roundtable. We look forward to continuing this work and moving towards developing a symbol for the Kutsche Office to be shared in 2019.

Back to list