After graduating from the GSD, Ruth Chang MArch ’17 is now back in Toledo, Ohio—her hometown—to start a nonprofit invested in the cultural renewal of the Midwestern region. Midstory‘s mission is to inspire, attract, and retain young talent by telling the hidden stories and enacting thought projects and programming in the area. Together with two of her Princeton alumni classmates and one alumnus from MIT, Ruth and her colleagues are on the ground to re-imagine the future of postindustrial towns in the Midwest, beginning in Toledo, Ohio. Seventy-three percent of the internet publishing and media broadcasting jobs are to be found on the East and West Coasts, leaving many American cities that constitute “flyover country” largely voiceless in the recent political and cultural upheavals in the nation. Many of these cities need a new image inside out, and outside in, and Midstory is using ideas, multimedia, and design to help shape and change perception about Middle America. 

Midstory has been busy planning for an exciting upcoming summer, from college internships to high school mentorship ThinkLab to a citywide gala that focuses on rallying the city’s nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals under one artistically-curated event at the city’s train station. If you are interested in the Midstory of these young people returning to their Midwestern home, or would like to share your advice, expertise, or resources, visit their website or reach out any time to Ruth at [email protected].

Image: View from Toledo’s Downtown Train Station (provided)