By Sen. Jim Runestad
15th Senate District
The Chaldean Cultural Center and Museum is a treasure not only within the West Bloomfield community but also for the many students and residents across our state and beyond who are blessed to learn from the stories it shares.
That is why I was proud to sponsor the center’s request for a $150,000 state enhancement grant to support educational programming, including a mobile museum that is brought into local schools.
Now, I am happy to report that funding was approved as part of the 2022 state budget passed by the Legislature last month and signed into law by the governor on Sept. 29.
This grant may be used to support the center’s virtual discussion series and digital storytelling efforts that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs have allowed the center to share perspectives of authors, artists, painters, poets, filmmakers and people from various other arts, history and cultural backgrounds with audiences locally and worldwide. They are a wonderful way to celebrate and share the stories of important influencers from across the Chaldean community.
Additionally, the grant funding will support the mission of the center’s mobile museum. Since 2019, this traveling display has taken the center’s exhibits to Michigan classrooms as well as organizations and businesses as part of community outreach efforts. The mobile presentations present curriculum based on the five galleries and exhibits contained in the museum.
The mobile museum is a great tool for students and teachers to learn about the rich history of Mesopotamia and trace the journey of when, how, and why many Chaldean immigrants left Iraq to come to America.
It is noteworthy that this curriculum aligns with the State of Michigan’s Grade Level Content Expectations in the various social studies fields, including world history, civics, geography and contemporary world issues.
I applaud the center for its continued and growing efforts to share and celebrate the stories, culture and rich heritage of the Chaldean people. I am thankful that we have this treasure here in the state’s 15th Senate District.
Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, represents the 15th Senate District, which includes the cities of Northville, Novi, Orchard Lake, South Lyon, Walled Lake and Wixom and the townships of Commerce, Lyon, Milford, Novi, West Bloomfield and White Lake in western Oakland County.