Turning Points: Business

KHC’s special initiative, Turning Points: Stories of Change, invites museums, public libraries, and other nonprofit cultural and civic groups to tell their community’s pivotal moment in history as a five-minute short film. The project is supported by a generous gift from Suzi Miner in memory of Kansas historian Craig Miner.

What is a Turning Point? Think of it as an idea, event, action, or moment in time that directly or indirectly caused decisive change in your community. This change can be social, cultural, or economic, but it ultimately, and significantly, affected your community’s way of thinking or doing.

Here are some topics and videos to use as inspiration for your Turning Points application. Note: inclusion of video or articles in this post is not an endorsement.


Businesses shape and energize our communities. Whether it’s a new business venture or a community’s response to the loss of a factory or grocery store, businesses drive many of our community turning points.

Saving Local Businesses

Across America, small towns and urban neighborhoods have developed innovative ways to deal with the loss of community grocery stores, movie theaters, and other vital businesses. Is your town or neighborhood one of them? How has your community’s response to the loss of a local business been a turning point?
Video via America’s Heartland.

Ideas to consider:

Read about the impact of a new grocery store in Kansas City neighborhood. [Kansas City Business Journal]


Has an entrepreneur put your community on the map? Whether it’s a shop, factory, restaurant, or technology firm, a local entrepreneur’s success story can be a community turning point.

Ideas to consider:

Read the story of a quilter whose Missouri shop has a global following. [Kansas City Star]

Read about high-end furniture manufacturers, Dessin Fournir Companies of Plainville, KS. [Get Rural Kansas]

Listen as Ron Wilson shares stories of Kansas entrepreneurs on Kansas Profile. [Kansas Profile/K-State]

Giving Back

Local businesses give back their communities in numerous and innovative ways. Whether it’s supporting a local food bank, donating funds to a local institution, or volunteering, the example set by local businesses inspires others to follow their lead. Has a local business’s spirit of giving been a turning point for your community?
Video via CNS Maryland.

Ideas to consider:

Read about Excel Industries and their legacy of giving in Hesston. [Hesston College]

The deadline for Turning Points: Stories of Change applications is July 31, 2013. Click here for application and eligibility requirements. Contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359 for more information.