In an effort to document the rich, ongoing history of cultural exchange, Pioneer Public Television, based in Appleton, Minnesota, has sent a three person production team to Uruguay for 2 weeks. The Upper Midwest Emmy Award winning duo of Dana Johnson and Ben Dempcy along with freelance videographer Joah Colby are currently in Montevideo, Uruguay and surrounding communities carrying out a whirlwind schedule to try to capture the essence of Uruguayan culture and its relationship to Minnesota. The project was funded in part by a contribution from Lowell Hellervik, a Montevideo Minnesota native, and through a travel grant from Partners of the Americas.
Highlights from the journey will be woven into a half hour documentary to be aired on Pioneer Public TV sometime in 2016. It is expected that the video will explore how the unique immigration story of Uruguay contributed to the development of afro-uruguayan rhythms of candombe and tango -- art forms that originated in Uruguay. The project also hopes to provide view of the sister cultures of Minnesota and Uruguay through the eyes of high school aged youth.
“We have so much to learn from each other,” said Johnson. “It is a great honor and once in a lifetime experience to be here,” she added. “Uruguay is a beautiful culture and we hope to let more people know about it”