Moving to a bewildering new land isn't easy. But you work and learn, and persevere. You build a family, and a community, and then you are home.
More than 45 ethnic groups now call West Michigan their home. Newcomers: The People of This Place is the Public Museum's newest major permanent exhibition. It includes more than 600 artifacts and images dating from the first French fur traders to the latest influx of refugees escaping wars and others seeking a better standard of living. Each object tells a fascinating story about our newcomers: stories of work, play and families; of religion and prejudice; cultural traditions and more.
Interactive maps and photos show where different groups of newcomers settled in West Michigan. Compare the typical jobs and wages of three different immigrant groups. Photos, artifacts, and short video clips highlight different rites of passage concerning birth and death, coming of age, marriage, and holidays. And every group of newcomers brought a great recipe. Viva la difference!
Read a visitors thoughts on Newcomers.