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A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Twin Cities PBS - TPT

KEY STATION INITIATIVES

To expand on the epic Vietnam War documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, Twin Cities PBS – TPT (St. Paul, MN) launched Minnesota Remembers Vietnam. The resulting collaboration among the state’s 6 public television stations features an online Story Wall, original documentaries, and series of public screenings & commemorative events that seek to more fully remember, honor and understand the experience of 50 years ago.

Collage of Vietnam War photos and soldiers and a graphic that says Minnesota Remembers Vietnam Story Wall

THE STORY WALL | MNVietnam.org
At the heart of this initiative is the Story Wall (MNVietnam.org), an inclusive space for Minnesotans to share personal videos, narratives, and photos about the Vietnam War. With 800+ stories on the site, this platform has been embraced as a safe space to not only share, but be heard- because many of these stories were shared for the very first time. Many in our community have told us that the process of sharing a story was in and of itself healing.

THE TELLING PROJECT | 60-minute documentary
Follow five Vietnam War veterans and family members on a journey as they shape their experiences into a powerful stage performance with the help of The Telling Project, a national performing arts non-profit that uses theater as a tool to deepen civilian understanding of the military experience.
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AMERICA’S SECRET WAR | 60-minute documentary
In the shadows of the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted a secret war in Laos that relied on Hmong soldiers to prevent the threat of communism from spreading deeper into Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands died, both in the fight and in the escape. America’s Secret War explores the untold, turbulent history.
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LYNN NOVICK & TIM O’BRIEN EVENT | Event | Partnership with WETA and Macalester College
TPT hosted master storytellers Tim O’Brien (Vietnam veteran, author of “The Things They Carried,” and featured in THE VIETNAM WAR) and filmmaker Lynn Novick (THE VIETNAM WAR) for a conversation at Macalester College on the power of sharing stories and honoring diverse experiences.

PERSPECTIVES | 60-minute documentary
Perspectives reveals the unexpected ways that the Vietnam War forever changed some people, and unpacks the personal narratives of people who stood on the front lines of one of the most unsettling chapters in American history. Coming in in May 2018.
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THE PEOPLE’S PROTECTORS | 60-minute documentary
To honor their service and bravery to our country, TPT is exploring the experiences of Native American Vietnam veterans in The People’s Protectors, premiering in the fall 2018.
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ESSENTIAL SHORTS | Series of short videos
To provide a historical context for the thousands personal accounts, TPT produced a series of short videos – focused on the motivations and milestones that defined the era.
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WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE | Vietnam-era concert
A special Veterans Day weekend experience featuring live music, storytelling, and imagery from the Story Wall. Based on We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Rolling Stone’s #1 Music Book for 2015, and featuring an all-star cover band led by Dan Chouinard.
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VIETNAM WAR 360 | Partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA)
Throughout the spring of 2018, TPT hosted community conversations that explored the Vietnam War and its legacy from several points of view. Drawing upon speakers with very different experiences, the conversations expanded on the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Vietnam War documentary and on the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam body of work, including the Story Wall.

THE WALL THAT HEALS WEEKEND 
| Partnership with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
TPT was honored to host The Wall That Heals, a brand new, 3/4-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Over 15,000 people joined us for a long weekend filled with events and activities designed to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, honor the incredible people we’ve met throughout the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative, understand by listening to each others’ stories, and take a step forward to heal.

EPILOGUE | Ordway Stage Performance
EPILOGUE draws from some of the most compelling stories & lessons of our year-long Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative. This performance is an exploration of the Vietnam War and its enduring legacy through music and stories from a mix of Minnesotans.



CURRENT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVES

VIETNAM WAR ROUNDTABLE | Partnership with Concordia University & Minnesota Military Museum
This new series at Concordia University is an opportunity for veterans, students, and those interested in the war and its legacy to gather the third Monday of each month to honor, remember and understand this tumultuous time.

MINNESOTA REMEMBERS VIETNAM HOST COMMUNITIES | Partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center
The war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia left an indelible mark on millions of people. In order to collect and preserve the stories of those affected by the war and its aftermath, the Minnesota Humanities Center chose six host communities to convene gatherings to honor the stories and experiences around the Vietnam War.


 

PAST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

2017 VETERANS DAY EVENT | Partnership with the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs

 

HISTORY DAY MINNESOTA | Partnership with History Day MN & MN Historical Society
Education is a key part of the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative. Twin Cities PBS is proud to have supported thousands of teachers and students by partnering with National History Day MN.

The 2018 History Day theme was “Conflict and Compromise.” In partnership with state organizers, TPT awarded four topical prizes to outstanding student projects focused on the Vietnam War; TPT staff served as judges at the regional competitions and assisted students with their projects prior to the competitions. TPT produced an 8-minute video filled with tips from fellow filmmakers, including Lynn Novick.

SKIES OVER VIETNAM | Partnership with Wings of the North Air Museum
Decorated Minnesota veterans Bob Jasperson, Ray Wilson, Kay Bauer, and Dennis Darnell will share briefly about each of their diverse experiences serving in an unpopular war and about an enduring passion for aviation that unites them.

MAC TALKS ’68 | Partnership with Macalester College
In the summer of 2018, the Macalester Class of 1968 returned to campus to reflect on their experiences during their time on campus during an era of so much change.

WORLD STORYTELLING DAY | Partnership with Veterans for Peace Chapter 27
This year’s global theme, “Wise Fools,” was interpreted through the lens of “Wisdom on the Folly of War” and featured ‘those who speak truth from the heart even in the face of popular opposition.’ In the wake of the Burns/Novick film, Vietnam, the stories of the evening examined the war from multiple perspectives.

FORUM ON WORKPLACE INCLUSION


STORY-GATHERING DAYS

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY AT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR

ST. CLOUD REMEMBERS VIETNAM

AIR AMERICA REMEMBERS VIETNAM

1st BATTALLION 1st MARINES REMEMBERS VIETNAM

BLOOMINGTON REMEMBERS VIETNAM

ST. PETER REMEMBERS VIETNAM

LUVERNE REMEMBERS VIETNAM

INTERNATIONAL HMONG CONFERENCE


 

Strong community partnerships (MN Department of Veterans Affairs, History Day MN, MELSA, MN Humanities Center) paired with a series of 25-plus sold-out events invited engagement, sparked conversation and motivated storytelling.

Highlights include story-gathering statewide; THE VIETNAM WAR screenings and discussions; The Telling Project performance and premiere screening events; Macalester College event with author and Vietnam veteran, Tim O’Brien (“The Things They Carried”) and Filmmaker, Lynn Novick (“The Vietnam War”); America’s Secret War premiere events featuring a pop-up museum focused on Hmong culture, food, and history; Veterans Day concert celebrating the soundtrack of the Vietnam War; A series of Vietnam War 360 community discussion events at area libraries and schools; And our culminating weekend of events at the State Capitol that drew over 15,000 visitors to experience The Wall That Heals (replica of the Vietnam Wall), a flyover of vintage Vietnam-era aircraft, and EPILOGUE performance at the Ordway.

Overall,  20,000+ people experienced Minnesota Remembers Vietnam firsthand, whether at a screening, community discussion, or at The Wall That heals.


The initiative’s series of original content, public screenings, story gatherings, and commemorative events seek to more fully remember, honor, and understand the Vietnam War experience. To learn more about any upcoming events throughout the state, visit the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam events page.

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