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Report to the Community
TPT in 2021 1,018,000 Monthly TV Viewers 543,000 Local Monthly Digital Reach 982,000 National Monthly Digital Reach 198,000 Monthly Viewers on YouTube 112,500 Members 58,000 Sustainers 178 Full-Time Staff 75 Part-Time Staff 20 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy ® Nominations 9 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy ® Awards 2,714,000 Monthly Local + National Reach
3 Maps the Future 4-5 Spotlights Systemic Racism 6 Leans into Learning 7 Makes Science Super 8 Builds STEM Stars 9 Investigates the Past 10-11 Crafts Connections 12 Honors Generations 13 Informs Community 14 Tackles Mental Health 15 In 2022
TPT Maps the Future
W e are an audience-first organization. Everything we do is focused on providing trusted and accessible content that helps our communities stay connected.
With new leadership, a changing Minnesota, and evolving technologies, TPT is rolling out a new four-year strategic plan. The last year has been one of challenges and crisis, as well as innovation and experimentation. Our staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and communities have learned what we can do together – and what we should let go. Our strategic plan will help us grow and evolve as an organization by focusing on 6 key areas:
» Creating welcoming and inclusive environments. » Increasing representational diversity. » Accelerating operational excellence. » Growing revenue for strategic priorities. » Engaging audiences with valued, trusted, accessible, and personalized programming. » Advancing a data-first culture.
TPT Spotlights Systemic Racism
B uilding on years of past work examining systemic inequities, TPT launched Racism Unveiled , a multi-platform storytelling project that unpacks racism in Minnesota; centers the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC); and explores how we can create a more just and equitable future for our communities. Through collaboration with community-based partners such as Ujamaa Place, The Cultural Wellness Center, Tru Ruts, and South High School, among others, the curated project has featured:
» Over 100 articles, essays, and videos about community concerns, issues, and solutions.
» Trial & Tribulation , an original web series designed to address community concerns and questions in the weeks leading up to and following the Derek Chauvin trial. » Multiple public events on topics that include the roots of historical trauma; incarceration and criminal justice; and health, wellness, and healing amidst crises.
» A newsletter reaching 3,700+ subscribers and highlighting recent and relevant content centering BIPOC experiences and histories.
To date, Racism Unveiled has drawn well over 4 million views, engagements, and impressions.
ONE YEAR LATER A signature project within Racism Unveiled, One Year Later explored what has – and has not – changed since the murder of George Floyd. Throughout the anniversary week, TPT aired 31 broadcast programs, including a new, commissioned film; shared dozens of original videos and articles, including a collection of student-created videos; and held a virtual public event. The programs explored the history and impact of systemic racism, and shared stories of strength and hope in our collective future.
“I really like that they chose to focus on healing and wellness rather than recycling all the heavy emotions and going over the facts of the civil rights violations that we all just witnessed.” – One Year Later Event Attendee
SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME TPT reissued its groundbreaking film, Slavery by Another Name (2012), for rebroadcast by PBS stations nationwide around the Juneteenth holiday. The documentary illuminated the neo-slavery that extended through many parts of the U.S. South between Reconstruction and World War II.
IN THE PUBLIC EYE TPT’s weekly public affairs broadcast, Almanac , explored how communities across the state are confronting racism through interviews with elected and community leaders; special episodes on the Derek Chauvin trial and Daunte Wright’s killing; and deep dives into policies around policing.
STEMMING THE DIVIDE SciGirls , TPT’s multimedia national STEM initiative, renewed its commitment to highlight Black voices in its content, increase Black talent “behind the camera,” and expand its educator training around anti- racist teaching practices.
TPT Leans into Learning T PT expanded its local education work through TPT Learn , a multifaceted initiative for Minnesota educators, parents, caregivers, and students. Guided by a community-based advisory board, TPT Learn offers culturally responsive, collaborative, and standards-aligned professional development for educators, hands-on programming for pre-K through grade 12 learners, and enrichment for parents and families.
An Eagan Librarian said, “The [CAMP TV] kits were gone within a day. Families love having something they can do together, and to feel like they’re part of PBS.”
REMOTE LEARNING When the pandemic hit, TPT reshaped its educational programming to support the new virtual learning environment. With summer camps and out-of-school programs cancelled, TPT offered multiple resources and programs to engage beyond school, such as “CAMP TV” and “Let’s Learn;” re-designed virtual professional development sessions for educators; and created more virtual events for families and children.
TPT’s content on PBSLearningMedia.org is now drawing 40,000-80,000 pageviews per month from educators in Minnesota and beyond. TOUGH CONVERSATIONS As educators and parents found themselves answering kids’ questions about race and racism, the TPT Learn team created a standards-aligned Educators’ Collection focused on systemic racism for PBS LearningMedia.
TPT Makes Science Super
T PT’s national, transmedia series and education initiative, Hero Elementary , focuses on building STEM learning for children in grades K-2 through a PBS KIDS television series, a portfolio of engaging and challenging games, and a robust national outreach initiative.
EQUITY IS A SUPER POWER Hero Elementary is designed to serve Latinx children, children from low-income communities, and neurodiverse children. To reach these audiences, the Hero Elementary team developed and utilized an “equity framework,” and sought direct input from educators and children throughout program development.
Since its June 2021 premiere, Hero Elementary has drawn: 15 million plays on digital games and apps 1.2 million monthly broadcast viewers 199 million streams
A HERO’S RECEPTION The television series has won two silver Telly Awards, a Common Sense Media Selection award, nominations from the Canadian Cinema Editors and the Youth Media Alliance, and was a finalist in the 2021 Japan
“It was particularly great for them to have five different types of activities, each that appeared to be helpful for different students, like those who are ELL, have IEPs, or are visual learners and kinesthetic learners, the ones that really like the hands-on activities.” – San Francisco Beacon Initiative Educator
Prize international competition. Operation Investigation, the Hero Elementary family science app, has won two bronze Telly Awards, a silver International Serious Play Competition Award, a Gee Learning Games Award, and a Best Learning App nomination from Kidscreen.
TPT Builds STEM Stars
S ince its launch 10 years ago, SciGirls has reached more than 57 million broadcast viewers and 73 million streams in virtually all communities nationwide with multimedia content that advances equity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
A prestigious Gracie Award (2021) honored SciGirls’ Code Concert , an episode featuring girls from St. Paul’s Metro Deaf School as they collaborated with coders from the University of St. Thomas to create a concert for Deaf and hearing audiences.
ON SCREEN SciGirls produced new episodes for SciGirls in Space Season 6 (funded by NASA) and SciGirls in the National Parks Season 7 (funded by the National Science Foundation). A new NSF-funded research and engagement program, Black SciGirls , is focused on anti-racist teaching practices and addressing barriers to Black girls in STEM.
ON THE GROUND To date, the SciGirls team and its certified trainers have trained more than 5,900 educators and role models nationwide, reaching over 105,000 youth in after- school programs. To further support this work, the team published The SciGirls Collection: Activities to Explore Gender Equitable STEM , aggregating 50 low-cost activities on a range of STEM topics.
IN THE COMMUNITY Throughout the pandemic, the SciGirls team continued to support educators and students. Building on its collaboration with Minneapolis Beacons Clubs, TPT launched a new STEM outreach program in St. Paul, bringing hands-on learning to hundreds of educators and children.
TPT Investigates the Past
T PT’s signature history series, Minnesota Experience , produced another year of exceptional programming with a new portfolio of original films.
CITIZEN In tandem with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Citizen told the stories of the Minnesota women who carried the banner for expanded suffrage. A robust engagement campaign included a collaboration with students and faculty at St. Catherine University.
“I was already planning on voting in this upcoming election, but this documentary made me realize how much my vote really mattered. Countless women before me fought very hard so I could have this right.” - St. Catherine University Student
Regional Emmy Winner
ARMED WITH LANGUAGE At a time of heightened violence against Asian Americans, Minnesota Experience shared the little-known story of how the U.S. military worked with Nisei – children of Japanese immigrants – to train them as translators during WWII at a Twin Cities school. Primarily recruited from internment camps, these men and women served while many of their families remained imprisoned. For their efforts, they “shortened the Pacific War by two years and saved possibly a million American lives.”
Regional Emmy Winner
80% of viewers said they were interested in learning more about Minnesota’s past 67% said they wanted to talk with friends and family about what they had learned
Regional Emmy Winner
RETURN TO SKID ROW As Minnesota struggles with an ongoing shortage of affordable housing, this documentary brought new context to
MINNEHISTORY This series of bite-sized histories aired during TPT’s children’s programming, introducing kids to Minnesotans such as
Minneapolis’ Gateway district, illuminating the history behind long-standing issues of homelessness and poverty.
Frederick McKinley Jones, a Black inventor and pioneer in refrigeration technology; Marie Bottineau Baldwin, a pioneering Indigenous legal leader and activist; and more.
TPT Crafts Connections W hen the pandemic forced stages to go dark and museums to close, art lovers and artists looked for new ways to stay connected. Across the past year, TPT created several new opportunities to connect Minnesotans with sources of hope and inspiration.
STAGE TPT premiered STAGE in Fall 2020, bringing Minnesota’s exceptional arts performances to homes across the state. STAGE featured performances by the Minnesota Opera, Theater Latte Da, VocalEssence, Ragamala Dance Company, The Mixtape Collective, and more.
A TWIN CITIES PBS ORIGINAL
THIS IS MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA The special broadcast series is a partnershipwith the world-class, award-winning symphony and Minnesota Public Radio. Hosted by conductor Sarah Hicks, the series connected audiences to the music, musicians, and venue of the Minnesota Orchestra.
MINNESOTA HARDCORE A close-knit community of artists and fans, the Minnesota hardcore scene spawned huge talents like Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, Rifle Sport, and more. This fast-paced, musical docuseries examined the punk scene in the Twin Cities from 1980 to 1985 and drew a highly engaged national audience.
SOUND FIELD TPT produced seven new episodes of the multi-award- winning digital series, Sound Field , including five focused on the music of Black communities. The new episodes have drawn well over 500,000 views to date – and won another Webby Award.
RELISH The third season of TPT’s digital series, Relish , dished up new episodes with Host Yia Vang (Union Hmong Kitchen) as he joined local chefs while they prepared food with personal and cultural meaning to them. Relish has drawn more than 225,000 views on TPTOriginals.org and YouTube.
WORN WITHIN The first season of this new digital series explored the stories and significance behind the traditional clothing of Minnesota communities, from West African Ankara fabrics to Hmong Paj Ntaub to the intricate artwork of Norwegian sølje.
Regional Emmy Winner
THE 2020 PROJECT TPT commissioned Minnesota-based filmmakers to create non-fiction films inspired by the events of 2020. » Say His Name: Five Days for George Floyd by Cy Dodson followed the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and premiered during TPT’s One Year Later commemoration. » Trusted Messenger by Chris Newberry fol lowed a diverse group of healthcare professionals as they confronted a history of systemic racism in health care. » Día a Día, 2020: One Day at a Time by Tahiel Jimenez Medina chronicled Colombian immigrants living in Minnesota and the year’s impact on their attempts to thrive.
TELLING OUR STORIES Next Avenue , TPT’s online digital journalism platform for people age 50+, launched Telling Our Stories , a personal narrative project that generated more than 600 entries from readers. Twelve stories were selected for publication, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers. Next Avenue also launched its first-ever online Arts Learning Courses where professional teaching artists helped participants to build their skills while connecting with each other.
TPT Honors Generations I n the past year, TPT continued Moving Lives Minnesota: Stories of Origin & Immigration (MLMN), a collaboration among the state’s six PBS stations. MLMN brought Minnesotans together to deepen understanding and build empathy across backgrounds and experiences through storytelling. STORIED LESSONS To engage students and educators, MLMN created curricular tools; presented at the 2020Education Minnesota Conference; shared resources on PBSLearningMedia.org; and sponsored 2021 History Day topical prizes related to Minnesota immigration history. The team partnered with Art Reach St. Croix’s Big Read initiative to create and share a “Mealtime Story Exchange” placemat.
66% attended a TPT event for the first time 91% would seek out the featured artists’ work ART IS Presented as part of MLMN, the third season of the multimedia art series paired emerging artists with established artists Witt Siasoco, Roy Guzman, and Chamindika Wanduragala. The cross-genre performances featured puppetry, sound design, music, and poetry – all inspired by the themes of origin and migration.
“Instead of despising the aspects of myself that set me apart, I now see them as assets. I appreciate the multiplicity of my identity and take pride in my ability to understand people beyond stereotypes and appearances. I wear my midwestern roots on my immigrant, Asian body and will carry them with pride wherever I go.” – Dear MN Letter Submission
DEAR MINNESOTA TPT invited Minnesotans to share their own stories of origin and immigration by writing letters, creating a diverse collection of 44 letters across 34 cities and 4 states – from Indigenous to immigrant and first-generation to fourth-generation+ experiences. TPT partnered with a digital storytelling class at St. Catherine University to help students create their own immigration stories as part of the national PBS American Portrait series.
TPT Informs Community
TPT NOW TPT NOW is a groundbreaking public service working to ensure that all Minnesotans have access to critical health and safety information. To improve messaging and reach, TPT NOW regularly convened and engaged with cultural communities and leaders. Across its platforms and in collaboration with a network of partners, TPT NOW reached hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans with: » Real-time, multilingual news conferences in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali – in cooperationwith theGovernor’s Office, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Department of Public Safety. » Extensive online messaging about COVID-19 in up to 8 languages. » Short- and long-formvideos focusing on cultural community resiliency, mental health, and questions about vaccines.
Seek out further information: 54%
Start a conversation: 52%
Visit a new part of the state: 32%
Almanac has inspired me to:
TPT’s Almanac and Almanac at the Capitol played key roles in informing Minnesotans about the latest developments with the virus and the vaccine roll-out. Renowned epidemiologist Michael Osterholm and other key public health leaders appeared regularly on Almanac to provide updates and insights on the virus, the vaccines, and the new variants.
ONE GREATER MINNESOTA Almanac produced regular reports from across the state, exploring topics such as the movement for racial justice in rural communities; the impact of the drought on farmers; how communities statewide are navigating the pandemic; and much more.
“I rely on Almanac to present all sides to an issue in a non-partisan manner, which allows me to be more informed when discussing issues with others.” - Almanac Survey Respondent
2020 ELECTION In the months leading up to and following one of the most contentious elections in our nation’s history, Almanac produced steady, fact-based reporting for its statewide audience. Journalists reported on local and national campaigning in Minnesota; covered key state legislative races; and interviewed voters, candidates, experts, and political journalists about the most pressing issues in the election.
TPT Tackles Mental Health
IN GOOD COMPANY Next Avenue created In Good Company , a special project designed to address the epidemic of loneliness and isolation affecting many older adults. The project focused on helping people recognize and normalize loneliness and isolation, while also finding ways to build connection. In addition to producing more than 30 original articles, Next Avenue surveyed 105,000 readers, asking about their experiences of loneliness and isolation, interviewed several readers directly, and prototyped new efforts to help readers feel more connected to their communities and each other.
THE RACE TO SOLVE SUICIDE Nearly one in five Americans lives with a mental health condition. In Fall 2022, PBS will premiere The Race to Solve Suicide , a new TPT-produced documentary, accompanied by an ambitious national engagement plan. Fromthe start of theproject, TPThas collaborated with three leading national organizations: the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the college campus-based JED Foundation to ensure that the film has maximum impact.
Photo by: Lynn Millspaugh
In the coming year, TPT will introduce local and national audiences to a powerful slate of new programs. TPT in 2022
BRING HER HOME Produced and directed by TPT Producer and Sundance Merata Mita Fellow, Leya Hale (Dakota/Diné), this documentary and engagement initiative tackles the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The urgent film is told through the lens of three Indigenous women as they fight to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives who have fallen victim to this growing national epidemic.
AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON
TPT’s new, six-part series about outdoor life in the United States is expected to premiere on PBS channels nationwide in Summer 2022. Host Baratunde Thurston, best-selling writer (How To Be Black) and podcaster (How To Citizen) , paints a vivid picture of American life as he meets and joins people across the country in their outdoor pursuits – all while revealing the complexity of our relationship with the outdoors. THAT GOT WEIRD Premiering in January 2022 as part of RacismUnveiled, the online series of short videos pairs audio interviews with Minnesota’s BIPOC community members with animated characters to depict their experiences with tokenism, microaggressions, and racism.
OUTSIDE CHANCE Complementing the national outdoors series, this local digital storytelling series coming, March 2022, will follow host Chance York as he tries outdoor activities like geocaching, hiking, and fly fishing.
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