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Scott Witzke

Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012

WTIU receives award for 'Wilderness Plots' special based on Sanders book

June 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- WTIU has received a Spring 2012 CINE Golden Eagle Award in the organization's Professional Telecast Non-Fiction Division for the station's special, "Wilderness Plots: In Concert."

The award-winning 90-minute television show features five of Indiana's most beloved singers/songwriters performing their songs inspired by the book "Wilderness Plots: Tales About the Settlement of the American Land," by Scott Russell Sanders, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University. It was produced and edited by Indiana University Radio and Television Services producer Susanne Schwibs. WTIU director of national production Steve Krahnke served as executive producer.

"'Wilderness Plots: In Concert' is a project which combined the creative efforts of writers, musicians, designers, television producers and directors," Krahnke said. "We can all be proud of this prestigious award, which is both rigorous and international."

Sanders' book contains 50 brief tales that trace the settlement of the Ohio Valley between the American Revolution and the Civil War, while meditating on the cost of that transformation to native people, enslaved people, wildlife and forests.

Both a collection of songs and a theatrical production based on Sanders' book were created through the collaborative work of a songwriting group composed of Krista Detor, Tim Grimm, Carrie Newcomer, Tom Roznowski and Michael White.

In 2007, the group released an album of their songs based on "Wilderness Plots." The group then created a full stage show with Sanders as narrator, which was performed many times across the Midwest to popular and critical acclaim. In 2008, WTIU produced a show about the creation of the concert, "Wilderness Plots: Songs and Stories of the Prairie," which aired nationally on public television.

Collaboration between the IU Department of English and Radio and Television Services resulted in the award-winning television version of "Wilderness Plots: In Concert," which was recorded live at Alumni Hall in 2011.

About WTIU
WTIU, the PBS television station owned and operated by Indiana University, serves over 350,000 households in 29 counties in West and South Central Indiana. WTIU airs programming on four digital channels 24 hours a day, and produces local, regional and national programs.