None of them grew up to be famous;
None of them grew up to be felons;
And some of them didn’t get a chance to grow up;
Though they have all since passed, their stories live on in others.
Project idea: Create a video documentary based on the lives of six brothers who were born to homesteading parents in rural McKenzie County, North Dakota.
A little bit about the brothers:The 6 Stenberg brothers came of age in the Great Depression. One died during military service during World War II, another died at age nine due to appendicitis. The remaining brothers spent their years in, and around, McKenzie County with professions such as a brand inspector, a gas station owner, a farmer/rancher, and a handyman. This isn’t a story of “rags to riches” or “the rest of the story” of someone famous, but rather it would document the lives of those whose experiences would be similar to many other North Dakotan families who grew up at this time.
Documentary content: Through interviews with the brothers’ relatives and neighbors, documentary viewers would get to know the personal side of a North Dakotan family. Through interviews with humanities scholars and current community leaders, the documentary viewer will learn of the larger historical context surrounding their stories. As the personal stories and scholarly facts are intertwined with family pictures, period pictures, informative statistics and background footage, the goal is to create a piece that is compelling, interesting and informative. Dr. David B. Danbom (retired NDSU Professor of Agricultural History) and Richard Stenberg (Williston State College Assistant Professor of History and son of one of the six brothers) have agreed to participate as humanities scholars for the project.
Audience: The North Dakota premiere and encore broadcasts should reach approximately 50% of North Dakota’s adult population according to Neilson ratings information. The program is expected to reach similar audiences on public television stations across the Midwest.
Discussion questions that the viewer could ask after watching:
How did federal/state/local government policy affect the lives of these brothers?
How has North Dakota’s economy changed over the century?
In general, is North Dakota community better off now?
- Have technological advancements bettered our lives (e.g. decrease of the chances of death due to health advances, changes in wartime strategies, communications, transportation, etc.)?
Proposed Budget and Funding: The cost of production is budgeted at approximately $75,000. Provided that requisite financing is raised, Prairie Public Broadcasting has agreed to provide approximately $35,000 worth of that in in-kind services. The North Dakota Humanities Council recently awarded the project a $15,000 grant. If this Kickstarter campaign is successful that will get us $5,000 or so more towards the goal.
A total of four Major Contributor slots are available. The North Dakota Humanties Council has claimed one of these, leaving three slots currently available. These are geared towards businesses/organizations but individuals can definitely contribute at this level as well. The four Major Contributors will receive spoken name and business/organization logo recognition at the beginning and end of the documentary. Contact Daniel Stenberg if you are interested in more information.This Major Contributor opportunity is separate from this Kickstarter campaign.
The McKenzie County Pioneer Museum has agreed to serve as fiscal agent for this project, meaning they will collect the funds for this project and then distribute them as the expenses are incurred.
Complete proposed budget is available upon request.
Timeline:This project is estimated to take between 12-18 months to complete after it is started. It is hoped that sufficient funding will be raised by April 30, 2012 to begin production soon thereafter.
For the latest project news, visit: https://www.facebook.com/6Brothersdocumentary
Let's do this! An expression my grandpa would say at a time like this: One, twooo, threeeee and a hooieeee!
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