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New Documentary Film and Educational Series Celebrate Michigan

by Kathryn Buckner
Friday, September 3, 2021

In August 2021, Americana awarded a grant to the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey/Traverse City to support the production of a television documentary and educational classroom series that explores and celebrates the history, traditions, culture, and natural resources of Michigan. The sixty-minute documentary film entitled Michigan: An American Portrait explores how the people of Michigan have helped to define the best qualities of the American experience, from its Native American roots to its world-renowned innovations in automation, science, farming, manufacturing, technology and the arts. Its purpose is not only to teach Michigan residents about the legacy left to them but to inspire Michigan residents to embrace that legacy as a gateway to the future.

Michigan: An American Portrait is produced by Emmy Award winning, Petoskey-based filmmaker David Crouse. Crews filmed at over 80 locations -- from the top of the southern span of the Mackinac Bridge to drone footage taken in multiple locations, including fall colors near Copper Harbor. According to Mr. Crouse, “film crews experienced sub-zero, near blizzard conditions at Bond Falls, ‘million dollar’ sunsets over Little Traverse Bay and along Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron, captured the renaissance of Detroit, and witnessed sunrise over The Mighty Mack.”

The film will be distributed to the 10 PBS member stations state-wide, with simultaneous national distribution to PBS member stations. The film also will be made available free of charge to Michigan's public, charter and private schools via on-line streaming. Americana's grant will support the production of on-line educational content that will be distributed statewide to third grade students to supplement and enrich the Michigan history lessons that are introduced in the third-grade curriculum. Other components of the project include a radio series, traveling art exhibition, and premiere screenings of the documentary throughout the state.

Americana is proud to support this important project and to celebrate the people and unique natural beauty of our state. More information about the project is available at the Crouse Entertainment website.