Turning Points: People


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.


Turning points need people. It’s as simple as that. Community visionaries, groundbreakers, and volunteers make change happen. Who are the agents of change who have brought about Turning Points in your community? Some ideas about Turning Points and People include:



Every community has it’s “firsts”: the first female city council member, the first doctor, the first integrated students, and the list goes on. For many communities, these groundbreakers bring new ideas and serve as catalysts for change in a community. How has a community groundbreaker influenced a turning point in your community?
Video via KSHB.

Other ideas to consider:

Watch the Mariachi Estrella short film about the first all-female mariachi band.


These are the civic leaders, the town boosters, educators, library directors, museum professionals, and business people who make things happen in our community. They see what our community could be and work to make that happen. How have your community visionaries brought about a turning point in your community?

Other ideas to consider:

Watch the Bauer, Baker, and Baldwin City short film about one man’s vision for electrifying a small town.

Watch Uncommon Ground, a short film about one woman’s vision to revive the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine.


They are the people in your community who are always there to help. They are the ones who organize community events, care for the sick, man the volunteer fire department, and keep the community spirit alive. Has a volunteer force in your community been responsible for a turning point?

Read about volunteers whose work is keeping small town theaters alive. [New York Times]

Listen to a podcast about the Goodfellows, a volunteer group in Rice County. [Coronado-Quivira Museum]

Read about volunteers who worked to restore a cemetery in Iowa. [Daily Yonder]

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.