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Remembering the Flood with Stories of Optimism and Resilience

On May 20, 2020, Terri Trotter recalls being able to take her first steps inside the Center’s flooded archives and historical campus in Midland County after the flood water had receded, and now one year later, Trotter will be joined by other community members to reflect upon and remember their personal experiences as a result of that devastating flood. This storytelling event, in partnership with Here:Say Storytelling from Traverse City, will uncover the stories of strength and resilience that rose out of the historic flood for a one-night only storytelling event on the outdoor stage at Midland Center for the Arts, Thursday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

“So many people in our community were impacted by the flood – from those that evacuated their homes, to the individuals that stepped up to help their friends and neighbors, and those that are continuing to raise money to rebuild what was lost,” explained Katie Miller, Midland Center’s Community Engagement Manager. “Sharing these stories will allow us to come together as a community and remember the incredible outpouring of support from the people of Midland County, and recognize what we have gone through together – making us stronger today.”

Each of the storytellers will share their personal experience at a particular moment in time just one year ago, remembering the tragic events of those first few days. The event will be hosted by storyteller Courtney Soule, former editor of CatalystMidland capturing stories throughout the flood recovery, with other storytellers including: Terri Trotter, Midland Center for the Arts president & CEO; Jenny Lowe, a Mother whose family jumped in to support her community; Jake Cole, Sanford Fire Chief who stood on the dam minutes before it collapsed; Katie Guyer, Communications Coordinator with the City of Midland running all of the City’s emergency social media communication; and Jake Huss, Historical Programs Manager at Midland Center who balanced between the personal and professional devastation of the flood at home and work.

The storytelling event will take place while the Center continues to welcome the community for a free community art exhibit, What’s Certain About Uncertainty, located in the Center’s Brick Lobby. The exhibit explores the consequences of the pandemic, affecting the economy, health care and social norms across the globe, while the devastation of a catastrophic flood washed away the fabric of the Midland County community. The exhibit features over 30 different local artists and community members that submitted their creations that beg to question, ‘what is truly certain about uncertainty.’

This outdoor event, Remembering the Flood: Stories of Optimism & Resilience, is free to attend, with the gates opening at 6:30 p.m. The community art exhibit will also be open during the event. Craft cocktails, beer, wine and small plates will be available for purchase through the menu at the Pendulum Lounge. For more information, visit

About the author

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday is the former Director of Communications at Midland Center for the Arts. Telling the stories of artists, innovators and modern day explorers!

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