Posted by Midstory on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Midstory: Toledo's Media Thinkhub

Last March, Midstory was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit thinkhub organization seeking to engage young people in creative storytelling and solutions-oriented research projects with the aim of revitalizing the Midwest post-industrial narrative. Midstory’s four co-founders grew up in low-income, first-gen college student families in the NW Ohio area, went away for schooling on the East Coast, and decided to return to a place that has been depopulating since the ’70s and is representative of many Rustbelt, post-industrial cities in the new century. However, instead of decay and despair, they saw hope and opportunity for Midstory to be a hub for energetic exchange of young talent to brainstorm and problem-solve the very problems and gaps that so many young people were moving away from.

Our story can be a model for other young people who are seeking ways to invest their expertise and growth in a meaningful way. This past summer, 10 college students (half local and half from out of state) were brought to Toledo to do just that. Together they produced local content that engaged a national audience, sharing and outreaching readers across 14 states and even overseas to five countries.

This year, Midstory is looking for funding to maximize the possibility of more young people from all over the United States to come to Toledo and engage in local on-the-ground issues in the environment, higher education, demography, and more.

To support Midstory’s endeavors on GivingTuesday

Midstory is dedicated to inspire, connect, and educate youth and the public from disparate segments of post-industrial cities–beginning in the city of Toledo, Ohio–by interweaving stories of science, art, and culture, in order to invite civic engagement whilst promoting social change and welfare towards a unique, shared regional identity. The specific purpose is to provide social and cultural “spaces” of exploration through media and curated events to ultimately reverse the effects of “brain drain” on depopulating cities. To learn more, please send an email to