GRANITE FALLS, Minn. – People in the Worthington area are invited to “Southwest Minnesota Story Share: A Community Gathering” with conversation, food and storytelling, Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Worthington Event Center located at 1447 Prairie Drive. This free, public event is co-hosted by Pioneer PBS and Southwest Initiative Foundation.
PBS character Curious George will meet and take photos with children attending from 5 to 6 p.m. A sit-down meal will follow where attendees will get to know their neighbors and share what it’s like to live in rural Minnesota. The conversation will also highlight positive things happening in the Worthington area and what residents think will make it even stronger.
Pioneer PBS Prairie Sportsman host Bret Amundson and Prairie Yard & Garden host Mary Holm will be there, along with LANDMARKS host Doug Ohman and Lead For America Fellow Andrea Duarte-Alonso. Individual video recording stations will be set up, providing opportunities to record interviews for anyone interested in sharing their stories or pitching ideas for new PBS programs.
Similar gatherings will be hosted in multiple southwest Minnesota communities over the next six months, with the hope of connecting people and finding new voices that tell stories about the sense of belonging in Minnesota.The goal of this project is to increase local dialog and television program production, as well as increase the prospect of national television distribution for stories from rural America.
Both Pioneer PBS and Southwest Initiative Foundation have a long commitment of promoting and celebrating rural communities. The organizations have collaborated on recent Grow Our Own television programs focused on ways to support kids and families. Both organizations have partnered with Worthington in a variety of ways including the Worthington International Festival, Southwest Minnesota Teacher Preparation Partnership, the Brulé and Worthington Symphony Orchestra concert and more.
“We’re looking forward to connecting with people and building new relationships,” said Karen Grasmon, Southwest Initiative Foundation communications director. “We know sharing your story is very personal, and this project is a unique outlet for people who have something they want to say. It has the potential to develop more stories from southwest Minnesota and help shape a thoughtful and authentic picture of our rural communities.”
Registration is encouraged to help plan for food. For more information or to RSVP, visit pioneer.org. Transportation can be arranged. Andrea Duarte-Alonso, a Lead For America Fellow working with Southwest Initiative Foundation, is the local contact and can be reached at 320-552-0592.
About Pioneer PBS
Established in 1966, Pioneer PBS is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visit pioneer.org.
Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $82 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.