NEH Grants $750,000 to TPT for Dolley Madison Film
Biography of Celebrated First Lady Will Be TPT’s Fourth National Documentary on America’s Founding
ST. PAUL, May 16, 2007--Twin Cities Public Television received a grant of $750,000 on Monday from the National Endowment for the Humanities to produce a documentary about the life and career of First Lady Dolley Madison.
The 90-minute film, targeted for PBS broadcast in 2009, will be the fourth production from TPT and Middlemarch Films that brings to life the critical ideas, people, and events of the American founding and early republic. Other programs include the Emmy Award-winning “Benjamin Franklin,” the Peabody Award-winning “Liberty! The American Revolution,” and “Alexander Hamilton,” which aired Monday on American Experience.
“Dolley Madison,” will explore the public and private worlds of the celebrated First Lady, the wife of the fourth president, James Madison, and one of the most influential American women of the early 19th century.
Today, few people know either Dolley’s fascinating life story or her influence on American politics. Born in relative obscurity before the American Revolution, Dolley Madison played an important part in the political and social experiment that was the early American republic. She is credited with creating the role of First Lady, though the title itself would come along decades later. Long before women held any overt political power, Madison used her unelected position to legitimize the nation’s new capital, to create a political and social style for the new country, and to give Americans a sense of their own national identity. The new documentary will be a rich political and social history of the young United States, using Madison as a vehicle to explore those important ideas.
“TPT is very gratified to receive this prestigious grant from the NEH, “ says executive producer Catherine Allan. “After many years of producing programming about the politics and culture of the early American republic as revealed through the lives of men, we will now revisit the era through the story of one very remarkable woman.”
The mission of Twin Cities Public Television is to “harness the power of television and other media for the public good.” A not-for-profit educational, civic, and cultural resource, tpt presents original television productions for national and state broadcast. Twin Cities Public Television’s most recent production was “Alexander Hamilton,” funded in part by National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and Coast Asset Management. Other productions include “DragonflyTV” science series for kids; the Emmy-winning “The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer’s”; the Emmy-winning “Suze Orman: The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life”; the popular public affairs program “Almanac,” and the innovative Minnesota Channel, which magnifies the impact of Minnesota’s finest public service organizations using the power of television. One of the most watched PBS affiliates in the nation, TPT is based in St. Paul, Minn., and operates six digital stations in addition to analog channels TPT 2 and TPT 17.
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