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The Dakota Interviews focuses on humanities at work in N.D.

Published: Nov 25 2016
The Dakota Interviews focuses on humanities at work in N.D. - Photo
As a part of Bismarck State College’s focus on the humanities, the college has launched a series of 100 extended interviews with North Dakotans of every background – farmers, homemakers, artists, welders, teachers, CEOs, business owners, young and old – to find out what people are thinking about themselves and the state in which they live.
The first 10 of The Dakota Interviews are playing on Dakota Media Access, a link and more information is available online at The project, headed by BSC Scholar of the Humanities Clay Jenkinson, brings focus to how the humanities – a foundational element of BSC’s liberal arts transfer programs – manifest in the daily life and work of the people of North Dakota.
“At BSC our mission is to prepare our students to succeed in a complex world by helping them better understand it. This project provides insight, history and context for them and for all of us. It’s a privilege to leverage the talent on our campus to create something like this,” says President Larry C. Skogen.
In his role at BSC, Jenkinson serves as a presenter, symposium facilitator, and co-participant with BSC President Larry C. Skogen in the Conversations at BSC series. An author, speaker, filmmaker, essayist, historical performer, Jenkinson has devoted his professional career to public humanities programs.
“We’ve undertaken a humanities initiative here that includes symposiums, ArtsQuest, Conversations at BSC, and now The Dakota Interviews in an attempt to enliven and share the humanities from within a two-year college,” Jenkinson said. “This endeavor fulfills one of Dr. Skogen’s missions to make BSC a cutting edge institution within an emerging global community.”
BSC also recently received a highly competitive $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge grant and a 2:1 match achieved by the BSC Foundation. The $1.5 million endowment funds Bringing Humanities to Life – a project designed to meet the identified need in North Dakota for humanities-based workforce skills and lifelong learning. 
The Dakota Interviews are produced in BSC’s fully equipped media studio, where the college’s mass communications students learn video production, create the MystiCast campus news program, and stream The Myx radio. Production coordinator Dusty Anderson and Cole Bernhardt, video production associate, supervise The Dakota Interviews filming and production.
Jenkinson also produces and a weekly syndicated program, "The Thomas Jefferson Hour," broadcast nationally on National Public Radio and available on iTunes.