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New Exhibit Opening at the Holland Museum

New Exhibit Opening at the Holland Museum

The Holland Museum is announcing the opening of their newest exhibit, Black Eden: Idlewild Past, Present, and Future on July 28, 2023.  

This exhibit will showcase the history of Idlewild. From its vibrant eras of bustling tourism to the remarkable journey Idlewild took of revival and rejuvenation. Idlewild was founded in 1912 as a haven for African Americans. It was founded to provide respite, leisure, and community which drew in many middle-class professionals from throughout the Midwest for several decades. This exhibit is being co-curated with Chris CJ Kingdom Grier. 

“This exhibition is the perfect fit for the Holland Museum as we strive to incorporate everyone’s stories. Through this exhibition and related programming, the important stories of many Idlewild residents will be shared.” says executive director, Ricki Levine.  

Chris CJ Kingdom Grier is descendant of one of the first black owners and Philanthropists, Robert and Margaret Riffe. He was born and raised in Idlewild. His African American memorabilia collection has been described as Tier 1 Museum Quality. Kingdom-Grier is the CEO of Kingdom-Grier & Associates Diversity Equity & Inclusion Consulting Firm and is the current Yates Township/Idlewild Historian & Archivist. 

The exhibit will be on display until October 23, 2023.

This exhibit is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Thank you, also, to the Media Sponsor: WGVU/PBS TV and NPR Radio. 

Exhibit Related Programs: 

Idlewild Today 

August 3, 2023 | Museum Spark!Lab | 7:00–8:30 pm  

Chris CJ Kingdom Grier leads a panel discussion with current Idlewild residents. Free adult program. Registration encouraged.  

“My Idlewild! A Live Historical Musical Revue” 

August 26, 2023 | Armory | 7:00–8:30 pm 

Live, original musical revue written by Gezelle Grier celebrating the rich performance history of “Black Eden.” Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. 

The Music and Performers of Idlewild 

September 14, 2023 | Museum Spark!Lab | 7:00–8:30 pm  

Music and Performers of Idlewild with Lazaro Vega of Blue Lake Public Radio. Free adult program. Registration encouraged.  

Idlewild: A Refuge in the Storm 

September 21, 2023 | Museum Spark!Lab | 7:00–8:30 pm  

Fred Johnson explores how Idlewild became a resort town for the Black community seeking respite and leisure. Free adult program. Registration encouraged.  

A Day in Idlewild  

September 23, 2023 | Idlewild | TBD  

Day long bus trip to Idlewild led by Chris CJ Kingdom-Grier. Family program. 

Playgrounds for the Frustrated, Fatigued, and Infuriated 

September 28, 2023 | Museum Spark!Lab | 7:00–8:30 pm  

Fred Johnson explores the network of recreation spaces created by and for the Black community. Free adult program. Registration encouraged. 

Idlewild: A Look Forward 

October 12, 2023 | Museum Spark!Lab | 7:00-8:30 pm 

Join for a discussion on Idlewild’s future and revitalization. Free adult program. Registration encouraged.  

Check out the Holland Museum’s website for exhibit details and to register for upcoming programming. 

About the Holland Museum: The Holland Museum’s mission is Preserving Our Past, Imagining Our Future. The Holland Museum is located at the corner of 10th Street and River Avenue, across from Centennial Park at 31 West 10th Street.  

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