Delivering Public Media is No Solitary Endeavor

JUNE 25, 2024



By Leslie Fields-Cruz

Last week, my co-workers and I hosted our annual planning retreat in New York City. Since we work remotely and are scattered across the country, these convenings offer rare opportunities for us to share the same physical space. They also provide great opportunities for us to meet with external partners from within the public media community. After all, delivering public media that adheres to the mission of strengthening democracy through public service is no solitary endeavor.

This year, we received a visit from Sylvia Strobel, president and CEO of Twin Cities PBS (TPT), and her colleague Nick Kereakos, TPT’s chief content officer. The two were in New York to accept a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for their station’s local music show, Stage. When I learned they would be in town, I invited them to spend some time with us. An invitation they promptly accepted. 

For those of you who don’t know, TPT was among the first stations that agreed to host one of our early regional Black Media Story Summits back in 2020. That well-attended event, held weeks before the Covid-19, shutdown, gave BPM a chance to connect with filmmakers from across Minnesota. It provided a unique opportunity for TPT staff members to learn more about BPM. And it facilitated rare networking opportunities between media makers and a variety of local stakeholders who serve the Twin Cities’ communities of color.

a white woman in blue dress, black woman in orange top and white man in white shirt and tie seated and speaking to the bpm staff
TPT executives Sylvia Strobel and Nick Kereakos (rt) meet with Leslie Fields-Cruz and BPM staff during 2024 annual meeting

Walking the Public Media Mission

During their visit last week, Sylvia and Nick talked about a new open call they recently held, which focused on the theme: The 250th Project: Sharing MInnesota’s Stories. TPT’s goal is to identify multiplatform, short and long-form projects (nonfiction and narrative) that reflect the histories and experiences of a diversity of people from the Twin Cities and beyond. In all, the station plans to award five research and development grants. Eventually, they hope to broadcast and share the resulting projects during the nation’s upcoming semiquincentennial, in 2026.  

Sylvia and Nick also shared their station’s long history of ensuring that the content they air reflects the rich diversity found in the communities they serve. Their ongoing receptivity to future collaborations with BPM was music to our ears. 

TPT is a fine example of a station that isn’t just talking. They’re walking public media’s mission. They recognize that delivering content that local communities value and will support is no solitary endeavor. It requires ongoing communication and cooperation with local, regional and national partners. BPM is proud to count TPT among our public media partners. We thank Sylvia and Nick for stopping by and look forward to future collaborations with them and other stations that understand the mutual benefits of such partnerships. 

Banner image by C. Fields

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BPM is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We welcome foundations, corporations and individuals to help with our work. For more information about underwriting and contributions, contact Delynda Lindsey (
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