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Promise of the Prairie: Education in Three Acts
Client: University of Minnesota Morris, 2010

Project Overview:
Promise of the Prairie: Education in Three Acts, the documentary created by University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) Instructional and Media Technologies, explores three very different educational institutions that have all made their home on the same plot of land—the Morris campus.

In images and voices, the documentary first tells the story of Mother Mary Joseph of the Sisters of Mercy who first broke the prairie ground on the Morris campus, establishing an American Indian boarding school in 1887. In 1910, the University of Minnesota opened an agriculture high school on the campus, erecting simple, sturdy Prairie School buildings for teenagers learning modern farming practices. Fifty years later, in 1960, the University’s unique, new public liberal arts college brought young adults to the rural campus.

My Role in Project:
My role in this projects was director, videographer and editor. I was involved in the production team throughout the life of the project and supervised two production assistant interns.

Michael Cihak, director and editor, states that the film is a historical document that should have broad public appeal. While Promise of the Prairie tells the stories of three educational entities, it also is a narrative of American culture. “These institutions absorbed 100 years of change,” he reflects, “They are a mirror of society.” 


Promise of the Prairie
Promise of the Prairie
Type: Documentary
Running time: 74:00 | 58:00 (broadcast)
Acquisition format: DVCPRO HD (16:9)
Date produced: September 2012
Producer: University of Minnesota Morris
Producer: Roger Boleman
Director: Mike Cihak
Writer: Christopher Butler
Editor: Mike Cihak
Videographer: Mike Cihak & Roger Boleman
Awards: University of Minnesota Gold Award