Stories

Clowning to Cope: How Chicago Performers Heal Through Laughter

Clown performances as a way to escape from and respond to worry and conflict stretches back thousands of years; since the earliest form of...

How Toledo, Ohio Revolutionized the Coffee Industry

The best coffee on the islands for many Hawaiian residents comes from a one-pound package with an iconic image: a lion’s head. But here’s...

The Food Truck Offering a Taste of Indigenous Cuisine

Tribal flags proudly mounted atop a decoratively wrapped food truck represent just a few of the tribes of North America’s Indigenous peoples, and are switched out periodically to represent and honor those working in the truck. This diversity is also reflected in the cultural origins of each dish served, from Navajo frybread to Northwestern Indigenous food platters.

From Pets to Pests to Planters, Squirrels’ Storied History in Ohio

During the 18th century, squirrels were the sought-after, beloved companions of many Americans. Fast forward a hundred years, and squirrels in Ohio were so numerous that they had a bounty on their heads. From pets to pests to planters, squirrels have had a unique relationship with humans. Today, beyond serving as a bizarre bragging right for college campuses, they continue to be a crucial part of our ecosystems as seed sowers in wild and urban areas alike.

The Rise, Fall and Lasting Wonder of the Drive-in

The drive-in is an icon of twentieth-century American entertainment. Since the height of their popularity in the ‘50s and subsequent decline as real estate costs rose and technology advanced, drive-in theaters have gotten creative — and even made a brief comeback as a socially-distanced, open-air pandemic pastime.

Her Majesty’s Mark on the Midwest

The late Queen Elizabeth II didn’t visit the United States that often — and when she did, she made appearances primarily in the cities you’d expect, like New York City (1957, 1976, 2010) and Washington D.C. (1951, 1957, 1976, 1991, 2007). But a visit to the Great Lakes region shortly into her reign — one of the longest trips of her early years as Queen — carried unique international significance and brought the Queen on a rare pit stop to the American Midwest.

Inside Ohio’s College Enrollment Decline

Over the past decade, college enrollment nationwide has been on a decline and, according to Inside Higher Education, this decline has been more severe among colleges in the Midwest and Northeast. Public institutions rely on tuition and state funding associated with student enrollment to maintain their operational budgets, so dropping enrollment numbers spell trouble for the future of higher education.

Is the Midwest Winning the Wrong Race to Automate?

Imagine a robot. You’re probably envisioning a futuristic, humanoid figure in a high-tech lab or a home designed for 2050. But you’re actually most likely to see a robot somewhere in the forgotten manufacturing towns of the Midwest, being supervised and utilized by everyday, blue-collar workers in car factories or food processing plants.

Toledo’s Jazz Scene Is Roaring Once Again

In a dark room sit clusters of circular wooden tables and chairs while a handful of vintage lamps radiate warm light. A red upholstered banquette runs along a dark wall, reminiscent of a century ago. But the focus of the room is a gleaming, black piano on a stage enveloped with red curtains, a platform designed to transport audiences to Toledo, Ohio’s golden era — and envision its next one.

A Real-life Candy Land: How the Spangler Candy Company Shaped Bryan, Ohio

They’re everywhere – wrapped neatly in your childhood Halloween baskets, stuffed into little glass jars on bank counters and dropped into cellophane bags at your local convenience store. From butterscotch to sour apple, Dum Dum lollipops have become an American candy staple since their conception in 1924.

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