Lynne Bader-Gregory shares her reflections on her journey through
THE PAN-AM EXPERIENCE
is the essence of the PAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE?
PAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a program that takes the time to
remember a shining moment in Buffalo's history - many have said THE
most shining moment. Our city, very strong and vibrant, built a fair.
We raised the money. We worked together--old, young, rich, poor, businessman
and laborer--to create an exposition that would celebrate the Americas.
Talk about thinking outside the box! You would think this Pan-American
fair, with representation from 23 Latin American countries, would
have taken place somewhere closer to Latin America. It was Buffalo
that saw itself strategically positioned for trade, commerce, and
industry - capable of welcoming an entire continent.
a native of Detroit, you came to Buffalo just four years ago. This
must have been quite a local history lesson for you.
we have researched this project, my associate producer Regina Ticco
and I have enjoyed getting to know the Buffalo of 100 years ago. It
gives me energy, encouragement and hope for our own vibrant community.
A lot has happened to Buffalo over the last century--clear and legitimate
reasons for people to be discouraged or think that things are not
going to change. The truth of the matter is that not everything was
perfect in Buffalo 100 years ago either. Even the most shining moments
harbor an unpleasant shadow. For example, our African-American community,
then less than 1700 people at the time, fought hard for representation
at the fair. They did not secure a spot on the Board of managers,
but did succeed at bringing a well-respected Negro Exhibit to the
fair. Many people lost a significant amount of money from their initial
investments in Pan-Am stock or mortgage bonds, but the long-term economic
growth to the region as a result of the fair is immeasurable. This
program is a historical look, and hopefully is a historical look we
can learn from.
understand that several other organizations were very instrumental
in bringing the Pan-Am to life through public television.
WNED, we have talked at length about the power of collaboration. I
believe in it more than ever. The PAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is
a co-production between WNED and the Buffalo & Erie County Historical
Society and funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation
for Greater Buffalo. The staffs at both the Historical Society library
and Resource Center have worked tirelessly with WNED in the production
of this program; we couldn't have done it without them. The collaboration
reaches even deeper than that. We called on experts from the Theodore
Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, The Buffalo Museum of
Science, University at Buffalo and the Erie County Public Library,
and other World's fair experts. They were always willing to lend a
hand whenever they could - even though they have all launched large
Pan-American Centennial projects of their own.
What do you hope viewers of the PAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will come
especially hope all WNED members understand what a vital role they
have played in this production process. It is their membership dollars
that made this program possible. I know many viewers and listeners
hear us say that all the time, but when you become a member, your
whole relationship with us changes. You have power, you have a voice
- and it's a voice we listen to. Plain and simple - that's why this
program will air.
miss the singular THE PAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Friday, October 19
at 9 pm.
producer Lynne Bader-Gregory also produced and directed the station's
acclaimed documentary REMEMBERING TORONTO. She is director
of PBS' MARK RUSSELL COMEDY SPECIALS and produced the two WNED
broadcasts of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts. This successful
collaboration led to the upcoming PBS national broadcast of the BPO's
American Seasons concert. Programs produced and/or directed by Ms.
Bader-Gregory have received Eastern Education Network, Central Education
Network, and Telly Awards.