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2010s

2010

  • Prairie Public hosted the new PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest, formerly known as the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest.
  • In February, Prairie Public hosted a free public screening of “A Considered View: The Photography of Wayne Gudmundson” at the Plains Art Museum.
  • In March, television premiered “Golfing Gems: The Best Small Town Courses.”
  • Prairie Public set up a facebook page and began making friends.
  • In April, “Homesteading” premiered—a Prairie Public television documentary that blends interviews with historians, stories told by descendants of homesteaders, and dramatic readings from pioneer diaries.
  • Radio teamed up with the NDSU Dakota Memories Oral History Project to present a new collection in its German-Russian narrative series—”The Dirty Thirties: German Russians Remember.”
  • In March, longtime classical music voice at Prairie Public Duane Lee retired after nearly 25 years.
  • Prairie Public hosted a Prairie Region Teacher Training Institute to help strengthen curriculum through the innovative use of video and other technologies.
  • In June, Prairie Public premiered “Bill Guy: The Charisma of Competence” at theatres in Fargo and Bismarck.
  • In July, a camera crew from “Ask This Old House” spent time in Fargo filming a segment for the show. Prairie Public hosted a BBQ in front of the downtown studios.
  • In August, the StoryCorps mobile recording booth spent four weeks in Fargo recording conversations.
  • In September, Prairie Public welcomed “A Prairie Home Companion” to the Trollwood Theatre for a live performance.
  • Scott Prebys was hired as the new classical music host.
  • Prairie Public partnered to co-present “Eric Sevareid: A Public Humantities Symposium,” a four-day event with guests Bob Scheiffer and Dan Rather.

2011

  • In January, Prairie Public followed Senator Byron Dorgan through his day to film “Byron Dorgan in the Halls of Congress.”
  • The television programs “Water: The Lifeblood of Energy” and “Wetlands: The Drain Game” premiered.
  • In October, Minot State University hosted a reception to premiere “Walter Piehl: Sweetheart of the Rodeo.”
  • Television continued its partnership with the Energy and Environmental  Research Center to produce “Fish, Mercury and Nutrition: The Net Effects,” “Wetlands: The Drain Game,” and “Hydrogen: Nature’s Fuel.”
  • Television’s Salt of the “Earth” was produced with support from the North Dakota Department of Health, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
  • Television premiered season twelve of “Painting with Paulson,” season nine of “Prairie Pulse,” and season two of “Prairie Mosaic” and “Prairie Musicians.”
  • Television and radio partnered to present “Minot: When the Waters Recede.”
  • Television premiered the documentary “Chuck Suchy: Sure Am Glad to be Around” and “Fargo-Moorhead Symphony’s Young People’s Concert: Meet the Orchestra.”
  • Share A Story Family Literacy Events were held in Fargo, Killdeer, Mandan, Fargo, Jamestown, Bottineau, Greenbush MN, Fertile, Thief River Falls MN, and Frazee MN.
  • The television documentary “Steamboats on the Red” premiered.
  • Radio aired new German Russian narratives titled “German Russian Food Traditions” and “German Russian School Memories.”
  • In September, radio celebrated 30 years of great broadcasting with a reception in the Bismarck studio, and a tree was planted to commemorate the beginning of the next 30 years.

2012

  • Prairie Public traveled to the Perham, Minn, In Their Own Words Veterans Museum in February to host the “American Experience” Freedom Riders exhibit and discussion reception.
  • Prairie Public’s radio broadcasts became available anytime, anywhere with the free radio app designed for mobile devices.
  • In March, radio premiered a new Dakota Memories Oral History Interview project titled “German-Russian Folk Medicine: Old Docs, Prairie Women, and Healing Hands.”
  • Localore and the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc (AIR) chose Prairie Public as a radio partner to host “Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota.” The project funded independent producer Todd Melby’s one-year of reporting from ‘mancamps’ and oil patches in the western part of North Dakota.
  • Prairie Public premiered the television documentary “Mother Nature in Charge: Devils Lake Life Stories” with a public event on April 12 and a television premiere on April 17.
  • Midwest Archives conference, a regional professional archival organization, awarded Dakota Datebook its “Presidents Award.” This is the first time one of these awards has been given to an individual or organization in North Dakota.
  • On April 11, Prairie Public co-hosted “Read ND: An Evening with Chuck Klosterman” on the Bismarck State College campus.
  • Prairie Public’s education services department partnered with the North Dakota Geographic Alliance to host a teacher training institute titled “The Changing Face of North Dakota” on the campus of Dickinson State University.
  • Curious George, The Man in the Yellow Hat, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Arthur, and The Cat in the Hat traveled to family literacy events in Kulm, Burlington, and West Fargo, ND, and Henning, Elbow Lake, and Mahnomen, MN.
  • Prairie Public completed work on a tower near Williston, ND, to provide improved service and an additional music format. Listeners in that area can now hear a playlist of roots, rock, and jazz on 89.5fm as well as classical music on 88.7fm.
  • Prairie Public premiered the television documentary “Faces of the Oil Patch” in May.
  • In May, “Hear It Now” host Merrill Piepkorn stepped away from the microphone to spend more time on stage with “Dakota Air: The Radio Show.” In November, Doug Hamilton took over as host of “Hear It Now” with Ashley Thornberg as special contributor.
  • Radio members gathered at Sweet Briar Lake near Mandan to plant trees in celebration of Prairie Public’s members.
  • Radio news director Dave Thompson’s report about slain officer Sergeant Steve Kenner and producer Meg Luther Lindholm’s “High Risk High: Youth Drinking in North Dakota” received Awards of Merit from the NW Broadcast News Association, and Thompson’s report was honored with a Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
  • In June, the radio staff was honored in the Associated Press’ 2012 Great Plains Broadcast Contest. Danielle Webster won an award for her story about The Kegs in Grand Forks, and Meg Luther Lindholm won awards for “High Risk High: Youth Drinking in North Dakota.” Later, in August, “High Risk High: Youth Drinking in North Dakota” was honored again with a “Best Multi-Media Presentation” award at the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated annual conference.
  • In July, the television crew debuted a new season of “Prairie Musicians.”
  • In August, election coverage began, with live coverage of both national political conventions, and reports from the Prairie Public radio news team daily during news programming. Television taped and aired debates between all the major North Dakota candidates.
  • “When They Were Kings: The NDSU-UND Rivalry,” “A Conversation with Louise Erdrich,” and “Key Ingredients” premiered in September.
  • A new documentary in the Germans from Russia television series debuted in October. “At Home in Russia, At Home on the Prairie” shows how a territory can endure in the mind of the descendants of those inhabitants after years, even after generations, have passed.
  • Buck Paulson was in the studio in October to record his tenth season of “Painting with Paulson.” He hosted workshops and a painting seminar for the public.
  • “Whad’Ya Know” broadcast live nationwide from Fargo in October.
  • Prairie Public hosted its first annual Mister Rogers Neighborhood Sweater Drive and collected thousands of sweaters to distribute to those in need.
  • The television department was honored with the following awards in 2012: Aurora Awards: “Wetlands: The Drain Game”; “Walter Piehl: Sweetheart of the Rodeo”; “Fish, Mercury and Nutrition: The Net Effects”; “Water: The Lifeblood of Energy”; “Steamboats on the Red”; and “Faces of the Oil Patch. 2012 Communicator Awards: “Minot: When the Water Recedes”; “Walter Piehl: Sweetheart of the Rodeo”; “Fish, Mercury and Nutrition: The Net Effects”; “Water: The Lifeblood of Energy”; “Salt of the Earth”; and “Wetlands: The Drain Game.” Emmy Award nominations: “Steamboats on the Red”; “Faces of the Oil Patch”; and “Mother Nature In Charge: Devils Lake Life Stories.” Telly Awards: “Hydrogen: Nature’s Fuel”; “Minot: When the Water Recedes”; “Steamboats on the Red”; “Walter Piehl: Sweetheart of the Rodeo”; and “Wetlands: The Drain Game.”

2013

  • “Mother Nature in Charge: Devils Lake the Dilemma,” a television documentary that investigates the impact of the lake’s new outlet and assesses the future outlook, premiered on January 10 at Lake Region College in Devils Lake. The television debut is January 15.
  • “A Conversation with Senator Kent Conrad” premiered on January 11, and Senator Kent Conrad premieres on January 28.
  • Independent producer Erika Lorentzen explored regional diversity with a radio series titled “New American Stories.”
  • The television documentary “I Am A Person” premiered on February 20. It examines how North Dakota cares for its citizens with developmental disabilities.
  • “Celtic Thunder,” a six-member performance group, and Daniel O’Donnell, an Irish crooner, visited the Prairie Public television studio in March.
  • On March 19, radio premiered “We Always Had to Sing: German-Russian Music in the Old Days.”
  • “Hear It Now,” radio’s weekday radio show, changed its name to Main Street with two new hosts: Doug Hamilton and Ashley Thornberg.
  • Prairie Public aired “Kind Hearted Woman,” a “Frontline” documentary, about an Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake reservation, and then hosted a discussion about issues raised in the film at MSUM.
  • Two young writers who submitted stories for the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest won first place at the national level. Vivi A. won for her story “Missing Pants,” and Caleigh G. won for her story “Prima Duckarina.”
  • “Minot: Rebuilding Dreams” chronicled the city’s recovery and mitigation efforts. The one-hour documentary premieres June 12, followed by a discussion led by news director Dave Thompson from the television studio. A five-part radio series begins airing June 6.
  • “Stand Up ND,” a radio project, raised awareness about bullying and explored how bullying is being addressed in North Dakota schools.

2014

  • Prairie Public produced and premiered the television documentary “The Little Country Theatre: 100 Years at North Dakota State University.”
  • Bismarck, ND, was on the “Antiques Roadshow” 2014 summer tour. Thousands of Roadshow fans brought their treasures to the Bismarck Civic Center for appraisals.
  • Prairie Public hosted ten family literacy events across the state, and the number of entries for the PBS Kids Go Writers Contest exceeded expectations—more than 400 young writers wrote and submitted stories for the contest.
  • Thomas Jefferson was in downtown Fargo … recording a radio show. Clay Jenkinson, who portrays Jefferson for “The Thomas Jefferson Hour,” a radio show that’s broadcast across the nation, recorded his show live at the Hotel Donaldson with a studio audience.
  • Prairie Public’s education services staff hosted two Teacher Training Institutes at Concordia College in Moorhead.
  • The “Inside Energy” multimedia project premiered to explore how energy is made, how it moves across communities, and how it is consumed. The project is a collaboration of public media stations in North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado.
  • The “Stand Up ND” multimedia anti-bullying project traveled the state to ask children, parents, and educators about how they stand up to bullying.
  • “Why? Philosophical Questions About Everyday Life,” a monthly call-in radio show, engaged in philosophical discussions about a wide range of topics—from domestic violence to classic works of art to the most cutting edge digital media.
  • On November 2, 2014, North Dakota celebrated 125 years of statehood, and Prairie Public joined the festivities with special “Countdown to Statehood” essays written by historian Jim Davis on radio’s daily “Dakota Datebook.”
  • The radio staff was honored with three 2014 Sevareid Awards from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association. The news department received a first place series/documentary award for “Minot: Rebuilding Dreams,” produced by Dave Thompson, and awards of merit in the investigative category for “Oil Patch Code Blue” produced by Todd Melby and in the spot news category for “Cavalier Flood” produced by Danielle Webster and Todd McDonald.
  • A new season of “Prairie Musicians” produced seven new concerts from the Prairie Public studio stage.
  • Prairie Public and singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne worked together to create ten mini-documentaries about unusual characters and fascinating events in Minnesota history. The music videos combine historical photos with Korenne’s music and performances, and will be broadcast on television and radio, utilized by Prairie Public’s Education Services department, and offered to schools throughout the region to incorporate into their curriculum.
  • Prairie Public hosted debates between candidates in all the major races and broadcast them on radio, television, and online.
  • Prairie Public is Golden, a 30-minute television documentary about the history and people of Prairie Public, premiered on October 27.
  • Prairie Public celebrated 50 years of service to the region with a Golden Gala on October 25 at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo. More than 180 guests joined us for the black tie dinner—a wine tasting, butlered appetizers, pre-dinner music from the Fargo-Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies’ Black River String Quartet, a champagne toast, a silent auction, and after dinner music from The Front Fenders. Clifford the Big Red Dog attended too!
  • “Prairie Public is Golden,” a look back at the television/radio/education network’s first 50 years, premiered in October.
  • Prairie Public partners with Satrom Travel & Tour to cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II and tour England and Highclere Castle, the setting for the filming of Downton Abbey.
  • “Sesame Street” began airing a half-hour episodes and made them free online on the PBD Kids video app.
  • In November, NPR changed its “Morning Edition” programming clock, and Prairie Public preps their listeners for the potential morning chaos the time changes will create.
  • Prairie Public teamed with Gate City Bank and Cambrian Credit Union to host another Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive.

2015

  • “Prairie Public is Golden,” a look back at the television/radio/education network’s first 50 years, premiered on television in October. Prairie Public hosted a staff reunion with a pre-screening event of the documentary.
  • Prairie Public partnered with Satrom Travel & Tour to cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II and tour England and Highclere Castle, the setting for the filming of “Downton Abbey.”
  • “Sesame Street” begins airing a half-hour episodes and makes them free online on the PBD Kids video app.
  • In November, NPR changes its “Morning Edition” programming clock, and Prairie Public prepped listeners for the potential morning chaos the time changes may have created.
  • The annual PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest begins every year in January.
  • Prairie Public teamed with Gate City Bank and Cambrian Credit Union to host another Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive.
  • “A Downton Abbey Affair” tea party was held to celebrate the new season of “Downton Abbey.”
  • Radio premiered “Prairie Public Presents,” a fresh variety of programs every Sunday at 5 pm.
  • The episodes from “Antiques Roadshow’s” summer 2014 trip to Bismarck, North Dakota, aired in February 2015.
  • The radio network teamed with Harvest Public Media as an ‘associate partner’ to provide more resources and radio content about agriculture. Prairie Public continued its similar partnership with “Inside Energy.”
  • In February, Prairie Public once again previewed the Fargo Film Festival with the “Fargo Film Festival Preview Show.”
  • Children met Curious George and other PBS characters, played with our mobile labs, and took home free new books at Family Literacy Events in dozens of communities across the broadcast area.
  • In April, Prairie Public’s radio team was honored with three 2015 Edward R. Murrow Awards. Prairie Public took home awards in the hard news and investigative reporting categories for “Saltwater Spills,” reported by Emily Guerin, and in the news documentary category for “The Bully Stompers,” reported by Meg Luther Lindholm.
  • Also in April, the Prairie Public radio news and public affairs teams were honored with six Eric Sevareid Awards at the annual Midwest Journalism Conference. The Prairie Public team won a first place award in the hard features category for “Saltwater Spills Leave North Dakota Farmland Sterile for Years” and awards of merit in the audio category for the story “Oil Overtakes Agriculture,” in the broadcast writing category for the story “Women in the Oil Patch,” in the documentary category for the story “The Bully Stompers,” in the series category for the “Stand Up North Dakota” project, and in the hard features category for “Tribe at a Crossroads.”
  • A first episode in “Built on Agriculture,” a new four-part television series produced by Prairie Public, premiered in May, 2015—“The Selkirk Settlers.” “The Institutions,” “The Farmer,” and “Feeding the World” premiered in November 2015.
  • “Black Gold Boom,” a television documentary from Todd Melby, the independent producer of the radio project of the same name, premiered in May.
  • “Hay Day: Musical Barns of North Dakota” premiered in June. It pays tuneful tribute to a rapidly disappearing icon of our Midwestern landscape. Prairie Public hosted screening events in Fargo and Bismarck.
  • Longtime radio operations manager and ‘voice’ of Prairie Public’s radio sponsorship messages Deanne Willows stepped back from the microphone. She was replaced by Erik Deatherage.
  • Prairie Public hosted members at these concert events as guests who contributed for tickets and, sometimes, meet and greet opportunities: The Fab Four—The Ultimate Tribute Band, The Tenors, Brit Floyd, and Celtic Thunder.
  • Prairie Public’s education team hosted another Prairie Region Teacher Training Institute at Concordia College in Moorhead in June. The institute focused on strengthening the preK-12 arts, history, and culture curriculum through the use of video and technologies, placing emphasis on cross-curricular applications.
  • “Antiques Roadshow: Behind the Scenes in Bismarck,” produced by Prairie Public, premiered in June.
  • A new season of “Prairie Musicians,” filmed and produced in the Prairie Public television studio, premiered in July with the groups Reina del Cid, Q5 and Bloom, Sam Roth, Anthony Miltich, Paul Imholte, Lines&Notes, NDSU Faculity Brass Quintet, and UND Student String Quartet.
  • Painter, teacher, and host of the public television show “Painting with Paulson,” Buck Paulson, was in the studio to film a new season of his popular how-to show in October. While in the studio, he hosted a public demonstration and a registration-required painting seminar.
  • In October, the television documentary “Built to Last: The Legacy of the CCC in Minnesota” premiered. It toured some of the state park structures and landscapes the CCC were responsible for.
  • In November, radio premiered two new programs. “Main Street Weekend” is a compilation of the best of the previous week’s “Main Street” program, and “Prebys on Jazz” brings Prairie Public’s classical music host to the Saturday night jazz schedule.
  • “Native American Stories of Resilience” are radio narratives about Native American culture, philosophy, and psychology from Prairie Public and The Native American Development Center. The narratives were collected in 2015 for air and available online throughout the upcoming year.
  • In 2015, the television production team was honored with two bronze Telly Awards for “Richard Bresnahan: The Taste of the Clay” in the cultural programs and documentaries categories. “Richard Bresnahan: The Taste of the Clay” was also nominated for an Emmy in the documentary/cultural category.

2016

  • In 2016, Prairie Public hosted events to commemorate the premiere screening of the final season of “Downton Abbey” in Bismarck on December 27 at the North Dakota Heritage Center, on December 10 in Prairie Public’s downtown Fargo studio, and on December 17 at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg. The public was invited to host their own “Downton Abbey” parties with themed cups, coasters, and tea bags supplied by Prairie Public. A screening of the final episode was open to the public on March 6, 2016, at the North Dakota Heritage Center, where the first 60 people to arrive received a commemorative handkerchief.
  • Prairie Public partnered with Satrom Travel & Tour to host a “Tulip Time on the Romantic Rhine” river cruise, April 6-16.
  • “Welcome to Leith,” a television production of “Independent Lens,” premiered. It chronicles the attempted takeover of the North Dakota town by white supremacist Craig Cobb.
  • Prairie Public’s radio news team reported from the North Dakota Democratic and Republican Conventions, March 31-April 2, and April 1-3.
  • The education services staff offered to teachers a Teacher Training Institute, June 22-23 at MSUM titled “Integrate, Innovate, Motivate: Creative Tech for Teaching.”
  • Prairie Public was awarded a $10,000 grant to produce programming to synergize with the public media reporting initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty & Opportunity in America. Funding was from the JPB Foundation and The Ford Foundation.
  • The radio news team was honored with six Eric Sevareid Awards at the annual Midwest Journalism Conference. The team won a first place award in the investigative category for “State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem” by Emily Guerin, and awards of merit in the soft feature category for the story “Oil Boom Brings High School Football Back,” by Emily Guerin, and in the broadcast writing category for the story “FERC Commissioner: Energy Infrastructure is a Challenge,” by Dave Thompson.
  • More than 150 children submitted original stories for the PBS Kids Writers Contest. First place winners were Loren Marie Shaw, who wrote “Max Lost His Ball”; Chinmay Gopi, who wrote “My Two Little Eyes”; Matilde Toledo-Agudelo, who wrote “Creature Powers”; and Victoria Richter, who wrote “The Burglar and the Pawsome Kitty.”
  • Kayla Delzer, a teacher at Legacy Elementary School in West Fargo, was chosen by PBS as a 2016 PBS Digital Innovator. She received a year of professional development opportunities including an all-expense paid trip to Denver to participate in the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education conference.
  • Prairie Public aired a radio documentary by producers Diane Richard and Todd Melby titled “We Don’t Talk Like That: Fargo and the Midwest Psyche,” an investigation of the legacy of the movie “Fargo.” A discussion of the work, with the producers, was held at the Fargo Theatre in June.
  • The North Central Council for School Television, the organization founded in 1963 to bring educational television to North Dakota, changed its name to The North Central Council for Educational Media Services (NCCEMS) to reflect its 21st-century resources.
  • Prairie Public moderated and aired on radio and television a debate between gubernatorial primary candidates Wayne Stenehjem and Doug Burgum on June 12, and covered the national conventions gavel to gavel.
  • Beginning October 16, 2016 musician Chris Thile took over for Garrison Keillor as the new host of radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” To celebrate Keilor’s last broadcast, fans gathered for live video of the stage show on June 25 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, at Prairie Public’s downtown studio in Fargo, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, during the Pekin Days Art Show in Pekin, and at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Williston.
  • A much-needed remodel was finally completed at the Bismarck studio—from HVAC to floor coverings.
  • A new season of television’s “Prairie Musicians” debuted with Hardwood Groove, Josie Nelson, Randy James Band, D Mill & the Thrills, Singleton Street, and Ryan Keplin & Hicktown.
  • “The Sound of the Guitar” a documentary by Prairie Public editor/videographer Shane Reetz, aired.
  • Prairie Public partnered with public television stars to take their fans to concerts with tickets as membership drive gifts. We enjoyed concerts from Celtic Thunder on December 3 in Winnipeg and September 28 in Grand Forks, Daniel O’Donnell at Hostfest in Minot on September 28, and Mannheim Steamroller on November 21 and 22 in Grand Forks.
  • Prairie Public hosted a pre-screening at Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, MN, to celebrate White Earth’s starring role in the documentary “Class of ’27.” There was a dinner and film screening and a discussion moderated by MN House of Representative Peggy Flanagan.
  • Painter and educator Buck Paulson was in Fargo to tape season sixteen of his how-to series “Painting with Paulson,” and he hosted public demonstrations in the downtown Fargo studio on September 16, and painting classes on September 17.
  • Prairie Public invited the public to a live taping of two episodes of “The Thomas Jefferson Hour” on September 11 at the Fargo Theatre.
  • Gwen Ifill, an award-winning journalist, author, and the first African American woman to host a nationally televised U.S. public affairs program, died in November. At the time of her death, Ifill was co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of “PBS NewsHour.”