Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - High (X) - U.S. History (X) - Theater (X)

MN Original | Librettist & Composer Dominick Argento

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Watch now: In 1962, the Walker Art Center commissioned Dominick Argento to compose an opera for Center Opera, now known as Minnesota Opera. More than 50 years later, Minnesota Opera continues to emphasize new works by contemporary librettists and composers, including a 2014 revision of Argento’s “The Dream of Valentino,” which premiered in 1993 at the Kennedy Center.

Among the many awards to his name, Argento has a Pulitzer Prize and a National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also Composer Laureate for the Minnesota Orchestra.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

Jemima Boone | Drama Based on Historical Characters

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In this video, viewers watch a scene from a play about the daughter of famous Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone. This scene opens with Jemima recalling a date in 1773. The scene transports us to that day. Daniel and his son James are setting a trap for food.

A New Medium | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Learn how Jim Henson’s childhood in rural Mississippi influenced his career and his passion for drawing and building things in this excerpt from the video In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. See how 12-year old Jim is drawn to the new medium of television and the art of ventriloquism, particularly that of Edgar Bergen.

Puppet Partnership | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Explore the early years of Jim Henson and puppeteer Frank Oz’s unique creative partnership in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. The puppeterring duo first met in 1960 when Oz was just 17-years old. Their pioneering work in early 1960s television, including the network variety series The Jimmy Dean Show, reveals the complexities of their relationship.

Fraggle Rock | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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See how "Fraggle Rock" introduced a new generation to Jim Henson's creations in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. The fantasy film "Dark Crystal" was not a box-office success, but later became a cult classic. Technologically groundbreaking, Henson was disappointed with ticket sales, but he was really proud of the film as a piece of art.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin | The Civil War Era

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This is a reader’s theater performance of a scene from George Aiken’s 19th-century dramatization of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In this scene, the escaped slave Eliza reunites with her husband George and their friend Phineas. She recounts how she crossed the Ohio River with their child while escaping from slave hunters. Phineas warns them that the hunters are still in pursuit. Their exaggerated language and performance are characteristic of melodramas, which were popular at the time.

Introduction | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Explore the creation of Kermit the Frog and the highlights of Muppet creator Jim Henson’s life and career in this video from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. Henson's determination to be more than a children’s entertainer led to his foray into moviemaking and the enduring characters he created. The blockbuster premiere of “The Muppet Show” in 1976 brought Henson's dream of prime time Muppet success, a dream that began in the early years of television.

Sesame Street | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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See how the formation of The Children’s Television Workshop in 1966 launched Sesame Street in this video excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. Led by Joan Ganz Cooney, The Children's Television Workshop was born amid social upheaval. Henson joined the CTW’s “Sesame Street” though he was reluctant to be lableled a little kid's producer. The show was a huge success.

Kermit’s Legacy | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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See how the legacy of the Muppets lives on after Jim Henson's death in 1990 in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. After Henson's death, his family and colleagues agree to continue their life’s work with the Muppets. An emotional Muppets TV special airs six months after Jim’s death.

The Role of the Arts

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The North Dakota Council on the Arts is a wonderful organization that provides funding to various arts groups and artists throughout the state. The story examines how arts impact areas such as quality of life, economic development and well being in a community. Come along now as we travel to Wahpeton, New Town, Watford City, Langdon and Jamestown to see the impact the organization is having on our state.

The Big Leagues | Georgia Stories

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When people think of film making, they normally think of Hollywood, however, Atlanta is has become a prominent area for the filming of movies and television programs. Atlanta has grown from small railroad town to a bustling metropolis. No matter what you are looking for you can find it there: sports, TV, news, arts, entertainment, music. Atlanta has them all.

116: Modern Georgia, Part I | Georgia Stories

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Life in Georgia has changed drastically in the past 60 years. What kids did to pass the time in the 1950s doesn't look like how kids relax today. But the ideas and emotions are the same. It is all still modern Georgia. This episode looks at how childhood activities have changed in the past 60 years, Atlanta's 60 plus year love of baseball, and, more, recently, how three Georgia kids became part of the state's growing movie industry.

Indian Pride | Treaties and Sovereignty | Part 3

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Sister Betty Jean of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut tells the story of a Mohegan elder who made a basket as a gift for a relative. On the way, he needs to quench his thirst and asks a farmer for some cider. When the farmer tries to deny the elder some cider by trying to trick him, the elder uses resources around him to teach the farmer a lesson about respecting elders and avoiding violence in conflict resolution.

The Muppet Show | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Discover how the Muppet Show got it's start in 1976 in this exerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. This biography of Henson shows how the weekly variety format starring Kermit the Frog became the #1 show in America. Jim Henson's growing cast of characters of both puppets and humans became a sensation.

The Muppet Movie | In Their Own Words: Jim Henson

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Learn about the box-office success of the first Muppet Movie in this excerpt from In Their Own Words: Jim Henson. After the success of the first two Muppet movies, Henson creates "The Dark Crystal." Thought the "Dark Crystal" fell short in ticket sales, Henson continued to push the boundaries of feature films and worked with animators for recognition as an artist and not simply an entertainer.

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