JOHNSTON, IOWA (March 3, 2021) — Iowans from across the state share their lives in the extraordinary new program Story of Us: A PBS American Portrait Special, premiering Friday, March 19, 8:30PM, on statewide Iowa PBS.

In 2020, PBS asked people to share short stories about their lives to inspire a nationwide conversation about what it really means to be an American today. Thousands of Americans, including Iowans from across the state, responded, lending their voices to the American Portrait project. Iowa PBS highlights some of the submissions from Iowans in this special. Among the featured stories, viewers will hear from:

  • Young women in Cedar Rapids exploring their anger about racism.
  • Vietnamese Americans who are promoting their heritage by re-creating traditional family meals.
  • A young man keeping alive the art of producing music on vinyl records.
  • A woman who is fulfilling her dreams through the ritual of costume design.
  • A nature conservationist in Dubuque who relishes the sounds outside his front door.
  • A Sioux City man struggling to find the best size 15 sneakers.

These experiences, and all of the stories shared in the American Portrait project, yield complex and diverse stories of what brings people together and what keeps them apart as they strive to understand one another.

Story of Us: A PBS American Portrait Special will also air Sunday, March 21, 2PM. In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on, the PBS Video App, and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras, and more can be enjoyed on iowapbs.orgFacebook, and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, and many streaming devices.

Learn more at

As Iowa's only statewide television network, Iowa PBS's mission to educate, inform, enrich, and inspire Iowans guides its quality, non-commercial programming that tells Iowa's stories like no one else can. Four statewide, public channels offer programs of lasting value to Iowans, regardless of where they live or what they can afford: Iowa PBS .1, Iowa PBS KIDS .2, Iowa PBS WORLD .3 and Iowa PBS Create .4 on Channel 11, Des Moines; Channel 12, Iowa City; Channel 21, Fort Dodge; Channel 24, Mason City; Channel 27, Sioux City; Channel 32, Waterloo; Channel 32, Council Bluffs; Channel 36, Davenport; and Channel 36, Red Oak. More information can be found at

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