Spring Heritage Grant Activities
“Yemeni-Americans in Coldwater” Special Exhibit
Objects, images, oral histories, and interpretive displays highlight the culture and history of Coldwater’s Yemeni community.
Free and open to the public one-hour before show times at the theatre. Click here for show schedule.
Special Viewing Hours: Feb. 18, March 18, April 1 (2pm-10pm)
April 24–May 31 (9am-6pm)
Also open by appointments for groups of 4 or more.
Lunch Presentation and Discussion
April 13 at Noon
Bring your lunch and your curiosity to the basement of Tibbits for an informal gathering. Salwa Alsuraimi from Aira of Coldwater will give an overview presentation of Yemeni culture in Coldwater. Group discussion will follow. FREE – no reservations needed.
“We are Coldwater: A Celebration of Cultures”
April 21 6-9pm
$10 per person; $15 per family (2 or more) BUY TICKETS
Tibbits celebrates Coldwater’s many cultural groups with an evening of entertainment, food, and friendship. The auditorium will come alive with the sounds of live music featuring professional artists, Biakuye and Victor Ghanam. Downstairs enjoy educational displays and samples of cuisine from our Yemeni, Amish, Polish, Hispanic, and Japanese community members.
“Creative Kiddos: A Celebration of Cultures”
April 22 11-2pm
$5 per family BUY TICKETS
Tibbits presents a hand-on and fun exploration of cultural art forms from around the world. Kids age Kindergarten to 10 partake in a series of interactive stations featuring costumes, music, dance, drawing, craft-making, and much more.
Funding for these activities comes from the Michigan Humanities Council Heritage Grants program. The program supports projects that help the people of Michigan understand cultural differences by sharing local stories of race, cultural history and personal identity.
These programs are made possible through partnerships with the Arab American Society, Moslem American Society, Aira, and the Branch County Community Foundation.
In 2016, Tibbits Opera Foundation was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC) through its Heritage Grants program. MHC awarded nearly $600,000 in grants to 26 Michigan organizations for its first round of funding for the program.
Heritage Grants support projects that bring the authentic voices of cultural identity groups to the foreground. The program strives to help the people of Michigan understand cultural differences by sharing local stories about race and cultural history.
In Coldwater, Tibbits will partner with area schools, service organizations and the Arab American community to offer a series of presentations, workshops, and exhibits aimed at fostering conversations about the history and culture of the Arab American community.
Funding from the grant will support several educational programs for children including the Arabic language school, an award winning photography program, National History Day projects, and a calligraphy workshop series. Participants of these courses will have opportunities to showcase their works through public exhibitions at Tibbits and the Arab American National Museum (AANM) in Dearborn.
“We at the AANM are very excited to collaborate with Tibbits, the Arab American community, and the community at large in Coldwater”, said Petra Alsoofy, AANM Educator. “This is an opportunity to share the rich culture of Arab Americans and to change minds and open hearts through fostering understanding and dialogue in the community.”
The grant will also support a week-long residency of professionals and musicians associated with the AANM. During their stay in Coldwater next November, presentations will be made to Coldwater school students as well as service clubs in the community.
“We are honored to be among the recipients in the first year of MHC’s Heritage Grants program,” said Christine Delaney, Tibbits executive director. “We are looking forward to further engagement of the Arab American community and further education of our non-Arab populations here in Coldwater.”
The Heritage Grant program is supported by a $1.7 million grant to MHC from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for development and implementation of this new initiative, “Exploring the History of All Michigan’s People.” This three-year program includes two rounds of grant awards. The grants will engage organizations and individuals throughout Michigan at the local level by establishing connections across racial and cultural lines that promote understanding and healing.
MHC received 75 eligible applications for consideration with a total request of over $2 million in grant support. Grant awards span the entire state, from southeast Michigan through the tip of the western Upper Peninsula.
Heritage Grant Program Calendar