The Indiana Historical Society has awarded the Notable Women of Muncie and Delaware County Project the 2023 Outstanding Collaborative Project Award. The joint project began in 2018 and is sponsored by Ball State University Libraries, the Delaware County Historical Society, Minnetrista Museum and Gardens, and Muncie Public Library.
Its mission is to discover and document women lost in the local history narrative and to employ storytelling through community programs via Zoom and at Cornerstone Center for the Arts, the E.B. and Bertha C. Ball Center, Westminster, and other venues and presented for the Association of Lifelong Learners, the Indiana League of Women Voters annual meeting, and the Indiana Association of Historians and Indiana Historical Bureau conferences. The project was also featured at the Philadelphia Area Consortium for Special Collections and Ball State University Alumni magazine. The group has published online essays and social media posts, hosted a women’s history “Blog-a-thon” and “craft-ivism workshop during Women’s Week and presented community exhibits and tours.
Two hybrid in-person/Zoom summer women’s history workshops were hosted in collaboration with local teachers. Plans are in the works to publish resources and lesson plans for K-12 teachers and student-created projects on its new Web page.
Melissa Gentry, Supervisor of the Map Collection in Bracken Library, is the project coordinator for the University. She has collaborated with students and professors involved in the “Making History” segment: Women’s and gender studies students created children’s books and other learning objects. English students engaged in creative writing assignments based on “characters” from Muncie history, and art students illustrated portraits. Students in African American history classes promoted the stories of the women using innovative social media projects. And public history students have created an extraordinary online exhibit called “Town on Fire” that offers windows into Muncie’s diverse past with gripping documentary videos. Students from the Department of Emerging Media and Design Development created a geo-caching app that highlights biographies in locations around the city and presented about their project at an international conference in Greece. A Department of Anthropology summer intern taught elementary students at the Ball State University Camp Adventure a week-long lesson about the “Notable Women” as superheroes.