Press Release

Rocky Mountain PBS and History Colorado Present New Television Series, "Colorado Experience," Premiering Feb. 21

Thirteen-episode series illuminates and celebrates Colorado's rich history;
airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS

"Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward." - Soren Kierkegaard

DENVER–(Feb. 14, 2013)–Rocky Mountain PBS has partnered with History Colorado to produce “Colorado Experience,” a dynamic 13-episode television series developed to excite, educate entertain and engage all Coloradans in the history of their state.

The development of “Colorado Experience” is a result of an exceptional partnership between two respected organizations. History Colorado is dedicated to sharing compelling stories of the people, events and places that have shaped Colorado, and Rocky Mountain PBS provides Coloradans with a window to the world through rich and diverse programming. Together, they bring this unforgettable new series to the viewing public.

Each episode in the “Colorado Experience” series transforms a history lesson into a vivid adventure by crafting intriguing stories around lesser-known, yet fascinating, periods from the state’s past. Using captivating imagery, tight editing and masterful storytelling by Colorado State Historian Bill Convery, as well as featuring experts from around Colorado, the series connects Colorado’s past to the present through a modern lens.

Many of the stories featured in the series are topics that are highlighted in the new History Colorado Center in Denver as well as other locations throughout Colorado where viewers can plan a visit to further their own “Colorado experience.”

In the series’ first two episodes (airing February 21 and 28), Colorado-based filmmaker donnie l. betts highlights the struggles local African-Americans experienced to overcome racial segregation and legal barriers. The episodes take a closer look at the only African-American resort west of the Mississippi, the community of Lincoln Hills, as well as the life and impact of Dr. Justina Ford, the first African-American woman to practice medicine in Colorado.

The series brings forward some attention-grabbing details that shine a brighter light on our shared past, for example:

-           Did you know that during World War II more than 7,500 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes and possessionsbehind to live in an internment facility in Granada, Colo.? In the episode “Amache,” (airing March 28), explore the history and impact of the Grenada War Relocation Center, one of 10 internment facilities in the country, and how the Amache internees worked to create a makeshift community behind barbed wire fences.

-           Did you know that Colorado’s constitution was originally created in three languages – English, German and Spanish – and has been amended 152 times since 1876? This document has either cleared, or blocked, the path around many of the current issues we face today. In the episode “Colorado Constitution” (airing May 7), the potential consequences of this easily amendable constitution will surprise you.

-           Did you know that most of Colorado’s major highway systems follow Ute tribal trails? In the episode, “The Original Coloradans,” (airing June 13) discover how the legacy of the Ute Tribes continues on in Colorado today.

“This collaboration brings to life important moments in Colorado’s history and offers critical context in understanding how our state has evolved,” said Julie Speer, “Colorado Experience” executive producer, director and fourth-generation Coloradan. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share the wealth of History Colorado’s expertise and archives.”

"History Colorado is proud to partner with Rocky Mountain PBS on this groundbreaking series," said Bill Convery, History Colorado's Director of Exhibits and Interpretation and the State Historian. "Building on the History Colorado Center's exhibits about Lincoln Hills, Amache, Bent's Fort and Keota, 'Colorado Experience' will touch audiences and help shape community discussions about our shared past, present and future." 


Don’t wait for the “Colorado Experience” premiere. Check out these clips now:

-     Amache: []

-     Keota: []

-    Colorado Experience open: []

(Full episodes and more clips coming soon. Photos available now.)

“Colorado Experience” Season 1: 

Lincoln Hills:  airs Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
During the time of racial segregation, Lincoln Hills, located outside of Boulder, was the only all African-American resort west of the Mississippi River and provided Colorado’s African-American residents and visitors a shelter from the storm. Directed by Colorado filmmaker, donnie l. betts.

Justina Ford, MD:  airs Feb. 28, 7 p.m. 

Born with two strikes against her, Dr. Justina Ford overcame barriers of race and gender to become the first African-American woman to practice medicine in Colorado and delivered over 7,000 babies. Directed by Colorado filmmaker, donnie l. betts.

Keota:  airs March 21, 7 p.m.

Follow the boom and bust of Keota, a dryland farming town on Colorado’s eastern plains, once described as Colorado’s “Arcadia of the West.” Discover how this community continues to live on through the memories of its former residents.

Amache:  airs March 28, 7 p.m.

While troops were fighting abroad in World War II, over 7,500 Japanese-Americans found themselves interned in the Granada War Relocation Center right on American soil.

Spencer & Julie Penrose:  airs April 4, 7 p.m.

From exotic animals to opposing prohibition, nothing was too extraordinary for entrepreneur Spencer Penrose, dubbed a master “promoter,” and his sophisticated wife Julie. Delve into the affluent life of this pioneering Colorado Springs’ couple.

Pueblo Border Wars:  airs April 11, 7 p.m.

Known as the state’s industrial capital, this region in Colorado has long been the battleground for competing countries and interests.

Ludlow Massacre:  airs April 18, 7 p.m.

Examine the bloody history of Colorado coal miners’ struggle for workers’ rights.

The Boettchers:  airs May 2, 7 p.m.

This rags-to-riches story highlights the rise of one of Colorado’s most recognizable families in both business and philanthropy.

Colorado Constitution:  airs May 9, 7 p.m.

Colorado’s top lawyers and historians examine the beginnings of the state’s Constitution and unravel the unintended consequences around the state of the Constitution today.

Flygirl:  airs May 16, 7 p.m.

Flying an AT-6 trainer plane in World War II was only the beginning of Grand Junction resident Annabelle Craft Moss’s inspirational life.

Colorado Philanthropy: airs May 23, 7 p.m.

Discover the organizations that laid the groundwork and inspiration for Colorado’s continuing legacy of statewide philanthropy.

Bent’s Fort: airs May 30, 7 p.m.

Explore the original site of Bent’s Old Fort, once a great western hub of commercial and cultural exchange and now a National Historic Landmark, where historians recreate what it was like to visit this “castle on the plains.”

The Original Coloradans:  airs June 13, 7 p.m.

Discover the original residents of Colorado, the Ute Nation, and their lasting impact on the state


Rocky Mountain PBS

Each week, nearly 900,000 people throughout Colorado turn to Rocky Mountain PBS to discover inspiring local, national and international programming; find diverse viewpoints; score front row center seats to world-class performances; and experience lifelong learning opportunities.

Rocky Mountain PBS celebrates its 57th anniversary on the air this year. The network began in Denver in 1956 as Colorado’s first public television station. It is now Colorado’s only statewide television network, with stations in Denver (KRMA), Pueblo/Colorado Springs (KTSC), Steamboat Springs (KRMZ), Grand Junction (KRMJ) and Durango (KRMU). To learn more, visit

History Colorado

History Colorado connects people to the stories, places and heritage of Colorado's past that provide perspectives on today and inspire our choices for tomorrow. Through exhibits, collections, educational experiences, and archaeology and historic preservation programs throughout the state, History Colorado brings history to life for audiences of all ages. Headquartered in the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203 in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District, find History Colorado on and Twitter @HistoryColorado, #COHistory and #PreserveCO. Visit or call (303) HISTORY for more information.

Media Contact: Rebecca Laurie, 303-866-3670