A video produced at Hope College about Holland's annual Tulip Time festival has won an Award of Merit from the Historical Society of Michigan.
The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation and understanding of Michigan history. They are being presented this year during a reception and dinner on Friday, Oct. 3, in conjunction with the society's 129th Annual Meeting and State History Conference in Port Huron.
The Hope video explores the festival, which will mark its 75th year in May of 2004, as a celebration of tradition, heritage, culture, history and community. Titled "Tulip Time in Holland," it was commissioned by the Joint Archives of Holland, and written, produced and narrated by Dr. David Schock of the Hope communication faculty.
"Both David and I are very excited that we have been recognized by our peers who deal with Michigan history daily," said Geoffrey Reynolds, director of the Joint Archives of Holland, who served as the project's executive producer. "It's a tremendous affirmation."
The 26-minute video features interviews with several community members. The program touches on topics ranging from the founding of Holland in the 1840s by Dutch settlers; to traditions associated with Tulip Time; to the way that the community's growing cultural diversity has shaped the festival and led to new spring events such as Cinco de Mayo and Juneteenth.
Schock noted that although Tulip Time is grounded in the Dutch heritage of the city's founders, it more broadly affirms the spirit of that founding. He says he believes that the spirit of Holland's founders lives on in others of all nationalities who have arrived there since. "People have come here for freedom and freedom to pursue abundant life," he said.
"The festival celebrates the founding of Holland and what it's stood for - the Afscheiding, the separatists, the people who wanted to be free," he said. "They wanted economic opportunity and they wanted a chance to follow their own lead, and I don't think anything's changed in Holland since then. This is a great place for people to come who want to lead their own lives in a community of people who are going to be supportive and uplifting."
"Tulip Time in Holland" was made to replace a slide presentation that the Joint Archives had offered in the college's Knickerbocker Theatre during Tulip Time for almost a decade. Since its debut in May of 2002 has been shown on public television locally as well.
The program is dedicated to the late Margaret Van Vyven, who died on July 7, 2002, at age 94 after being involved with the festival since the 1930s, and highlights her work as music supervisor for the Holland Public Schools. Van Vyven was among those interviewed for the program, and is featured in a recording of her song "Tulip Time."
Videographer and editor for the project was Phil Blauw, staff manager of Video Services at Hope. Hope student Jason Kehrer of Arlington Heights, Ill., who graduated in 2003, also filmed and participated in post-production. Current senior Daniel Morrison of Pickford was editor.The involvement of students, Schock noted, was a major bonus--not only for the learning opportunity that the project presented them, but for the way that they taught him, particularly during editing.
"My students learn faster and know more about computers than I do, and video editing these days is all computer-based," he said. "I could teach them story structure, and they could teach me computers. So a project like this is always collaborative - it's not just that the students gain a benefit from working with the teachers. The teacher benefits, too, big time. And working with these young people is such a joy."
Copies of "Tulip Time in Holland" are available through the Joint Archives of Holland, and cost $14.95 plus shipping and handling. The program is available in either VHS or DVD format. The case features an illustration by Elizabeth Knooihuizen, a 2003 Hope graduate from Grandville.
The Joint Archives of Holland is located on the ground level of the Van Wylen Library, which is on College Avenue at 10th Street, and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org  or called at (616) 395-7798.