April 10, 2000
Contact person: Marie Lucero
Tel: 1-800-359-6900 or 701-241-6900
Local production shines in Prairie Public Television's
Spring Membership Campaign
Nearly 1,600 viewers across the prairie region showed their support
for Prairie Public Television and pledged over $151,000 during the
non-profit network's Spring Membership Campaign. Prairie Public
Television airs three membership drives each year, in March, August
The highlight of the membership drive was the overwhelming response
to "Schmeckfest: Food Traditions of the Germans from Russia," the
second Germans from Russia production from Prairie Public Broadcasting
and the North Dakota State Universities Libraries. "We're very pleased
with the results of this membership campaign, and the response to
Schmeckfest," said Mary Anne Alhadeff, president and CEO of Prairie
Public Broadcasting. "Locally produced programs are very important
to our audiences, and it is inspiring to see so many people contributing
toward a common goal. We are especially thankful to the people who
welcomed the "Schmeckfest" producers into their kitchens to record
these regional ethnic traditions."
"Schmeckfest," which can be translated as "festival of food,"
is a collection of poignant vignettes filmed in the kitchens of
grandmotherly cooks who remember milking cows on cold North Dakota
mornings, and in the kitchens of modern cooks who continue the traditions
out of love, not necessity. "The film evokes memories of German-Russians
whose tongues pronounced words in musical ways, and oak tables that
slid apart so leaves could be added for visitors," said writer and
narrator Ron Vossler, whose childhood memories and family history
provide the historical backdrop for the documentary.
"The Germans From Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of
the Prairie," the precursor to "Schmeckfest," is an examination
of the ethnic group's history. It has aired on 70 public broadcasting
stations in 26 states and four Canadian provinces. The film has
received the prestigious Silver Telly Award as one of the best documentaries
in America, a bronze plaque award in humanities from the Columbus
47th Annual International Film and Video Festival, and was shown
to an international audience at the Third International Ethnic TV
Festival in Krakow, Poland.
Prairie Public Broadcasting, headquartered in Fargo, is a non-profit
organization and community licensee that provides public television
services throughout North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, southern
Manitoba, and parts of Montana and South Dakota, and public radio
service to North Dakota. In addition to broadcasting services, Prairie
Public provides a wide range of educational and technological services
to communities and individuals across its coverage area.
For further information about Prairie Public's videotape documentary
programs of the "Heritage Series," call toll free: 1-800-359-6900.