JOHNSTON, IOWA (October 21, 2020) Iowa PBS has launched a new initiative intended to celebrate the people, culture, and stories of rural America by showcasing the diversity, traditions, and richness of small town and rural life in Iowa. During this ongoing research project, Iowa PBS will conduct interviews with stakeholders from all across the state that serve rural Iowa as well as partner with local filmmakers and journalists to shine a spotlight on compelling, relevant, and authentic stories.

"These stories will be told from the ground-level so viewers get a close-up look at the different ways we all see ourselves as Iowans." said David Miller, senior producer of the project. "The idea is that the people who are watching will say, 'That's me. They're telling my story,' or, 'I just learned something I never realized about what it means to be an Iowan.'"

In addition to these interviews, Iowa PBS is looking for rural residents to share what "home" means, in terms of pride of place, culture, belonging, and shared values. These stories will help frame Iowa PBS's work for future productions and programming decisions by providing a better understanding of rural Iowan's needs, concerns, and accomplishments.

To share a story about you or your community's greatest hero, victory, or struggle, visit iowapbs.org/yourstory or leave a message at 800.373.6306. No story is too big or too small. Stories will be accepted until November 30, 2020.

"Only those who reside in these incredible communities can showcase what it truly means to be part of rural Iowa," said Director of Programming and Production Justin Beaupre. "We're hoping to collect stories about the challenges and successes that people in Iowa communities have been experiencing."

Funding for this project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the Coming Home: Connecting to Community grant.

Iowa PBS is formerly known as Iowa Public Television. New name. Same essential mission.

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 iowapbs.org

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