February 25, 2020 by Midstory Team

While we in the Midwest may feel distant from the humanitarian crisis happening across the globe, the implications of this virus carry consequences for more than just our personal safety. This age of globalization, information and technology has ensured that no sector remains untouched: politics, the economy, trade, ethics & morality, social unrest, news & reporting and more. Read more below for an op-ed reflection from the team.

March 27, 2020 by Logan Sander and Mya Polsdorfer

This is not the first time Toledo's streets have been eerily empty: the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic put the world at a standstill for months and, a century later, we are halted once again. Toledo was a leading city in fighting the outbreak then (no, social distancing is not new!), and Ohio looks to be on the forefront of strict policies to stave off the spread of COVID-19 now. What can we learn from the past pandemic, and how does it help us move forward?

Victor is a Toledoan who works as a data scientist at the University of Michigan. He is also a human and an American. He enjoys life and lives in South Toledo with his wife and daughter. Julia Conti, Robert Scaramuccia, and Yashada Wagle contributed to this story. Press play below and read along as Victor recounts his journey.

May 10, 2019 by Midstory Team

The Toledo Demography Project is a collaborative effort between the Midstory team and researchers from various universities in the region...

Jan 21, 2019 by Logan Sander

While Martin Luther King, Jr. only visited Toledo once, his name, influence, and even image remain in this city as remnants of the life he lived and the values he lived, and died, for.

Anthony Shu is a food writer based in San Francisco, CA who enjoys traveling to explore and compare culinary experiences and their social impact. His stories stem from firsthand, first-time impressions of Toledo and its food culture.

Oct 25, 2018 by Midstory Team

This article is the introduction to a new series, A New Old West End, which explores the contemporary settlement of a richly historic place, profiling the architecture of both the homes and their current inhabitants to find history’s relevance to our modern, everyday lives.

Apr 23, 2018 by Midstory Team

A vision of Toledo by Midstory Media ThinkHub. We remember the stories of struggle of early settlers as they trudged through a common swamp. Their world, born out of unpromising mud, inspires us to once again make a home in the crises of our modern times.

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On the Value of Simplicity: A Review of Song of the Sea

In times of chaos, uncertainty and conflict, children’s movies maintain an attractive simplicity in their lessons and morals: kindness, responsibility, harmony, getting along… And while these ideal visions with clean, wholesome endings are often too simple to rely on for our worldviews, they remain welcome reminders of our shared humanity and the interconnectedness of our stories. Some messages bear repeating and emphasizing for children and adults alike.

Preventative Care: Advice from an E.R. Physician

From the Midstory studio, our team chats with ER physician and a practitioner of integrative medicine, Dr. Jen Pfleghaar about the situation in the hospital and ER, integrative medicine and staying healthy during this pandemic.

Hungry Still: Sesame-swirl Milk Bread

In these times of uncertainty, despite the chaos surrounding grocery shopping in a raging pandemic, we find ourselves… hungry still. Sometimes-ASMR, sometimes-experimental-food, this series pairs a memory with a recipe. Ingredients may be substituted—you know how it goes these days—and methods may be adapted, but the story behind them lives on.

What Makes a Good COVID-19 Model? Answers From a Yale Health Policy & Modeling Expert

With many states in the midst of reopening, more attention has been focused on pandemic models as a means of determining what policies to enact and for how long, but what can we determine from looking at these models and how should we read them? We speak with Dr. Reza Yaesoubi, a professor of public health at Yale University, about pandemic modeling and how models inform important medical policy-decisions such as stay-at-home and reopening.

Where Does Journalism Go From Here? News, Media & COVID-19

Journalism has seen intense difficulties over the last decade, but the current crisis has shown just how important that work is and how newsrooms are innovating to keep it going. We chat with Joe Stephens, award-winning reporter and Founding Director of Princeton University's Program in Journalism.

Is the Virus Mutating? Answers from Evolutionary Biologists

Since SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, fears and rumors of new, deadlier strains of the virus seem to fill the news. We speak with Dr. Erik Wright and Dr. Vaughn Cooper, evolutionary biologists and professors at the University of Pittsburgh, on the SARS-CoV-2 mutation and its potential impacts on the pandemic.

Eating Together: Food Culture & Photography with Skyler Burt

From the Midstory studio, our team chats with professional food photographer and We Eat Together creative, Skyler Burt, about food culture, photography and the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industry.

“Got Milk?” The COVID-19 Food Dilemma: Part II, the Food Chain Disruption

Don’t cry over spilled milk? Well, you’re lucky if you’ve got any milk at all. In part II of our two-part series on the grocery, we talk about how the current crisis is affecting the massive network behind the storefront. COVID-19 is forcing us to re-examine systems that have been in place for hundreds of years, including the food supply chain. Once a robust system maximizing efficiency and profit, the brokenness of the American food system is a shock to consumers and industry leaders alike. Can the problems be a blessing in disguise? How might these pressure points shed light on industry practices, and lead to social and environmental gain?

Hidden in Plain Sight: the Great Black Swamp of Northwest Ohio

In 2014, more than half a million people were left without clean drinking water for three days after a harmful algal bloom took over Lake Erie. But behind the bloom is a history long-forgotten and a hopeful future of coexistence and collaboration. This film is the result of a 2019 collaboration with WGTE Public Media.

Travel Advisory: A Review of Train to Busan

The Good, the Bad and the City is a film review series that examines how cinema expands our understanding of city identity and how reemerging cityscapes in the post-industrial age have influenced cinema. The opinions expressed in this series are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official organizational stance.

Live in Quarantine: Homegrown Music with Oliver Hazard

From the Midstory studio, our team chats with members of the local band, Oliver Hazard, out of their home in the small Midwestern town Waterville about music during a time of pandemic, including what challenges musicians are facing, what purpose music serves in a pandemic and the experience of a Midwestern small-town band in this crisis.

In the Midst

An exploration of the cultural, historical, and innovative products of Toledo


The Reopening of a Library (and a Legacy): Anna C. Mott and the Future of Libraries

Today, libraries are about more than just reading and studying. With the new Mott Library location, the changing space of the library is given the name...

The Cannaley Treehouse Project: A Space of Intersection

The “midstory” is the middle tier in a canopy of trees—a balancing force that provides coverage to the lower story and support...

Living La Vie en Rose at Boyd’s Retro Candy

A few years ago, I heard a rumor about the city deciding to bring in public opinion before it embarked on a project to...

Home in the Swamp

Toledo, the Great Black Swamp, and the region’s settlement history.

Trailblazers of the Great Black Swamp: 31 Miles, 31 Taverns

If you’ve ever driven from Perrysburg to Fremont or Fremont to Perrysburg—or anywhere along the way, for that matter—you’ve experienced a pleasant, roughly 40-minute...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood

The recollections and reflections of Michael Murray, a Toledoan born and raised in the South Side in the 1950s.

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: “Someday I Will Own It”

In 1977, I bought my dream house at 2210 Robinwood Avenue in the Historic Old West End. I first spotted this home when I...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: Paper Deliveries

Every day after school I would ride my bike to the Blade station at Carlton and Spencer Street. I learned the art of pitching...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: Hand-me-downs

My parents’ house payment was $52 a month back in the '50s. We had nothing, and there were no extras; we had one pair...


The story of an individual experiencing Toledo through weekly journal entries, finding beauty in the ordinary, everyday things.

(Re)claiming Toledo Legacies

The Toledo legacies that shaped the past and continue to shape our present and future.

(Re)claiming Toledo Legacies: SSOE and Post-Industry Innovation

The Toledo we know today was made in industry and manufacturing; WWII and the subsequent economic boom made Midwestern city centers the iconic American...

Finding a Midstory in Environmental Crisis: The Toledo Plastics Project

Everyone now knows that there is an island of plastic sitting in the middle of the ocean, and, most recently, that companies like Starbucks...

From Luxury Living to Beer Brewing: The Oliver House’s Adaptive Life Through the Centuries (Of Industries)

Toledo’s Alegae Bloom will return this year on August 2. No, not the one filled with toxic microcystins—although this one is just as vibrantly...

Toledo | On The Map

We compare and contrast Toledo with cities across the globe, focusing on crucial issues our city faces today

TOLEDO | ON THE MAP: New York City & the Museum

While the Met in NYC is internationally well-known and has a lot of resources, the Toledo Museum of Art is also world-renowned and is...

TOLEDO | ON THE MAP: Chicago & the Library

The Chicago Public Library system may be more well known, but the Toledo Lucas County Public Library has more resources per resident and many outstanding comparable...

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry

A cultural project to break down the fallacious boundaries between poetry and our everyday experience.

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry: #6

It’s happening again. Even as we speak, elsewhere—in a college dorm, maybe, or some recess of the internet—a word is...

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry: #5

Metaphor helps us see whatever we look at by making us imagine it as something else.

Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry: #4

What makes poetry poetry? Ask that question of a dozen poets, scholars, or readers and you’ll get as...