In the Community and Beyond
Link to information about previous GGRWHC programs and news here.
Topic: Find the Midwife! Discovering midwives in online records and other sources
Presenter: Janet Sjaarda Sheeres
(A program presented by the Western Michigan Genealogical Society)Saturday, March 4, Grand Rapids Public Library, 1:30 p.m.
More information at the Western Michigan Genealogical Society website.
To date, Janet Sjaarda Sheeres has located over forty-five immigrant midwives who served in Dutch colonies across the United States. Since her findings are pertinent to the discovery of midwives from other early ethnic communities, she will conduct a workshop for the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. Using a case study in this WMGS session, Janet will share practical research tips to overcome the difficulties of finding these women who were often sidelined in early historical and census records.
In January, Janet presented her research on hard-to-find Dutch immigrant midwives in Grand Rapids for History Detectives (link here); in 2012 Janet offered a program for the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council on other invisible Dutch women, single women who immigrated alone between 1880 and 1900.
An independent scholar and author, Janet Sjaarda Sheeres is also associate editor of Origins, the the journal of the Calvin College Archives. Since she began writing about thirty years ago, she has published over 70 articles in national and international historical and genealogical journals. Her biography, Son of Secession: Douwe J. Vander Werp, was published by Eerdmans in 2006. The Not-So Promised Paradise: The Dutch Colony in Amelia, Virginia 1868-1880 was published by Eerdmans in 2013, and her edited and annotated synodical minutes of the Christian Reformed Church, the 1857 to 1880, was published in 2014.
Parking and the program are free.
STAY TUNED! Annual Reception and Program
Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council
Wednesday, March 29th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
ICCF Assembly Hall (the former Blodgett Home for Children)
920 Cherry Street SE
We will honor the nineteenth-century women’s organizations that created and managed the children’s programs behind the 1908 construction of the Blodgett Home—currently the ICCF, our host building for the day. Guided by local historians Cindy Laug and Diana Barrett, we will see how those programs proliferated in the twentieth century and led to the Mary Free Bed take-over of the building for its rehabilitation projects.
Appropriately, our event on March 29th will offer an opportunity to visit a building beautifully rehabilitated itself. We will also toast the recent 125th anniversary of the Mary Free Bed Guild, whose members were in 2016 inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame. Free admission and free parking. Please join us, but please reserve: 616-574-7307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"A Simple Question" by Randy Wyatt
Performed by Ebony Road Players
Thursday, February 23, 2016
7-8:30 PM, Aquinas College Wege Center Ballroom
Co-sponsored by the Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center at Aquinas and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion at Aquinas
The half-hour performance will be followed by a discussion with Randy Wyatt, author; Edye Evans Hyde, founder of the Ebony Road Players, and Latoya Booker, director of the Aquinas Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
A Simple Question celebrates the landmark court case overturning miscegenation laws, and how things have (or haven’t) changed in fifty years. This thirty-minute five-woman ensemble piece is a kaleidoscope of stories about interracial love and marriage in America, beginning with Richard and Mildred Loving and flashing forward to real experiences in the present day. Listen to the experiences of West Michigan women, of their relationships and their racial identities as they let down their guards by answering one simple question: “If your experience was a vehicle, which would it be?” Their answers--rugged motorcycles, waveboards, hot air balloons, UFOs and more—tell us volumes about the interracial experience in our country today.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE EBONY ROAD PLAYERS: To inspire, educate, and engage the cultures of our community with high quality professional performances with a focus on the black experience. The vision is to create a platform where the dialog of race and culture are boldly explored and all voices are heard.
For more information, contact Amy Dunham Strand, Director
Jane Hibbard Idema Women's Studies Center, Aquinas College
email@example.com or 616-632-1992
2017 Giants Award winners honored on February 4, 2017
Edith Evans Hyde received the Ethel Coe Humanities Award
Link to Mlive here.
Prior award winners and award information here.
Edith Evans Hyde, executive director, Ebony Road Players
Inspiration: Art for art's sake has always been my inspiration. Having a purpose for being creative is creativity all by itself. My inspiration also comes from people who have a story to tell and from people who want to hear those stories. I provide a conduit for those voices to be heard either through theater or music. Sometimes tales are funny, sad, inspirational, historic, or political. In any case, it always inspires me when I have an opportunity to connect to the human spirit.
Life Lesson: Never give up on a dream, and never be too afraid of how big the dream is.
Challenge: The most challenging aspect of my work is the constant pull to retreat into the mainstream for social or financial protection.
Notice of Two Important Events
March 2: Envision Our Future
5:30 - 7:30 pm, Meridian Mall, Okemos (near Younkers Men's and Home Store)
The Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame is saying goodbye to the Cooley-Haze House, our home of 34 years, and is entering a new chapter in our story. In our search for a new location, we thought outside the box, really outside the box. We’re moving to the mall! Meridian Mall in Okemos will be our new location for the next year. While the mall is definitely an unconventional place for a museum, it makes sense. We will have much greater access to our primary audiences – women, families, school children, and seniors – and much higher visibility in the community. As this is a temporary location, we will have to modify our approach and get creative in the use of space. We will rotate exhibits more often and put a greater emphasis on programming and outreach.
We invite you to join us for a reception in the new space and see it in its raw form. You’ll see that we’ve got our work cut out for us in transforming an empty retail space into a museum. Please come with your ideas and your checkbooks. We know that we will need to purchase new carpet, paint the walls, install appropriate lighting, add display cases, and create additional wall space for exhibit installations. We’ll also be taking ideas and suggestions for how we can improve the space and what kinds of programming you would like to see. Please check our website, www.michiganwomen.org, to see a list of renovation sponsorship opportunities. Hor d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.
Please RSVP by Monday, February 27, 2017 by calling the Center at (517) 484-1880 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Women's Hall of Fame Seeking Nominations and Judges: Due March 21
It's a new year at the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, which means that the process has begun for selecting the 2017 class of Michigan Women's Hall of Fame inductees. If you have a woman in mind for selection to the Hall of Fame, now is the time! Nominations are due March 21st.
Nomination forms can be found on our website and can be submitted via email, post, or in person. Be sure to get them in by the due date! We send all submitted nominations to the judges immediately after the deadline.
Speaking of judges...have you thought about serving as one? It's not an easy task, but judges for the Hall of Fame are members of the public (staff has no part in selection!) who get to read each nomination and select who they believe is the most qualified to be in the Hall of Fame. There are two rounds of judging for both categories (Historical and Contemporary). You can choose which category and round you want. To volunteer to be a judge, just fill out the form on our website and we'll be in touch!
Questions about the process or need help with the nomination form? Call Caitlyn Perry Dial, interim executive director, 517-484-1880 ext. 200 or send an email.
Mary Free Bed Guild members attend the October 19 Michigan Women's Hall of Fame Award Dinner at which the Guild was recognized. More here.
The Mary Free Bed Guild will be featured at the GGRWHC March 29, 2017 Annual Reception and Program. More information and rsvp at this link.