Plattsburgh, NY – 6/16/15 – Until June 25, contributions to the making of the program Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America, can go further than before. ETS Inc., a staffing agency in Plattsburgh, New York, has generously offered to match every dollar donated, up to $2,500. Donations to the Kickstarter campaign will now go twice as far toward improving the technical quality of the film.

Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America explores the ability of arts and culture to create and unify communities across the world from Tibet to a small town in upstate New York.

Since moving to Plattsburgh, NY in 2008, Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee have sought to bring awareness of the arts and culture of Tibet to this small community in upstate New York through three past Tibetan Arts Festivals, and through their popular business, Himalaya Restaurant. This documentary weaves the Dorjee’s narrative throughout while highlighting their efforts to launch a large-scale Festival of Tibetan Arts and Culture with several community partners including Mountain Lake PBS. The result is a four-week arts festival of exhibits and performances, the installation of a community-made mosaic mural, and this 60-minute documentary, Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America. This film will document the festival, its multiplicity of artists, and explores how a small city like Plattsburgh can be inspired by, and connected to the culture of Tibet, from halfway across the globe.

Mountain Lake PBS is seeking funding to cover the costs of travel, translation, and distribution. Funds are being raised on Kickstarter.com, a site where individuals are given the opportunity to invest in projects that match their interests. The project has a fundraising window that ends on June 25, and if the $7,500 budget is not raised, all the pledges will be cancelled, including the $2,500 match from ETS Inc.

“I’m hoping to share the opinions of the leading experts in the world on Tibetan issues with all of you, about what we’re doing in our growing community. Contributions to this campaign will help me and our talented videographer gain access to these experts by covering our travel and transportation expenses, elevating the prestige and credibility of this documentary,” said producer Paul Larson.

For individuals that back the project on Kickstarter, the station has joined with its partners to offer some very special perks: pre-orders for the documentary digital download or DVD with exclusive bonus features; commemorative tiles from the mosaic mural and handmade trivets by lead artist Sue Burdick Young; and tickets to the Festival kick-off performance featuring Techung and the talented musicians of the Adirondack Youth Orchestra performing Tibetan music in a contemporary orchestral setting.

This documentary is part of a larger initiative coordinated by Mountain Lake PBS. The Festival of Tibetan Arts & Culture of the Adirondack Coast is a series of community events illuminating the arts and culture of Tibet in the North Country between April and December 2015, including performances by the Adirondack Youth Orchestra; an exhibition at SUNY Plattsburgh; the creation and installation of a tile mural in downtown Plattsburgh led by the Plattsburgh Renewal Project with support from the Strand Center for the Arts; and this documentary by Mountain Lake PBS. This festival is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The grant funding enables the station to complete the documentary in its most basic form, but the additional funds raised through Kickstarter and the generous match offered by ETS will help provide access to leading experts, additional artists, and will ensure the quality of this film rises to a level where distribution on a national platform is a strong possibility.

“We’re aiming to raise the look, sound and presentation of this documentary to a very high technical level, so that when we pursueÿtelling our community story on a national platform, we’ll be taken seriously,” said Larson. “Your help in funding this program will help us with the expensive processes required to raise this show to national caliber.”

Mountain Lake PBS has a track record of success for endeavors like this. Paul Larson’s previous documentary, the Emmy Award-winning Songs to Keep: Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector and our most recent Emmy Nominated documentary On Home Ground are both currently being distributed across the country courtesy of American Public Television.

Check out the initial footage from the film, learn more, and donate to the project on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1BnOC1l.

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About Mountain Lake PBS

Mountain Lake PBS produces high quality programs for local and worldwide audiences, reaching over 3.9 million viewers in New York, Vermont, Quebec and Ontario. The station also provides a host of education and outreach services for learners of all ages and devotes at least eight hours a day to programming for children.

Mountain Lake PBS’ mission is to celebrate and strengthen the civic and cultural life of the Mountain Lake region by providing distinctive telecommunications programs and services that inform, educate, involve and entertain.