The “rural-urban” divide – it’s a phrase that’s tossed around plenty when it comes to politics. But what exactly are these dividing lines and how real are they? Now more than ever, as both a citizen and a storyteller, our team is curious about what brings us together and how we move forward despite perceived divisions. Listening to each other seems to be as good a place to start as any, and luckily, listening happens to be a big part of our jobs at Twin Cities PBS.

TPT’s production crew in the field filming season 1 of “Citizen Lane.”

We talked to our St. Paul neighbors at AARP about an idea we had, then some producers, then some TPT crew, and the conversations continued. Excitement kept on building, and after several months of pre-production our team hit the road. 5 episodes, 9 locations, 2 hosts, and 1,000s of miles later we are proud to present our new digital web series, Citizen Lane.

Citizen Lane follows local ladies Sandy and Sanni as they engage with their neighbors by adventuring across the state in a yellow Shasta. Along the way they discover what policy issues Minnesota currently faces and how Minnesotans are going about fixing them. Across five episodes Sandy and Sanni help us understand how to engage in healthy, productive civic conversations, one Shasta chat at a time.

Hosts Sanni and Sandy on set awaiting the next scene.

Directing Citizen Lane has reminded me that a key part of our success as a democracy relies on the power of constructive and informed civic conversations. Regardless of party affiliation or prioritized policy issue, we all care about this beautiful state we call home. Across those ten days of production we followed that little yellow Shasta over hills, down dirt roads and past pine groves. During it all I couldn’t help but be grateful that we had the honor of listening to and learning from you all – our clever, innovative, strong, and courageous neighbors.

Thank you to our community partners, and you, our TPT audience. We hope you love it as much as we loved making it!

-Ariel Tilson, Producer | Director

AARP MinnesotaCitizen Lane is produced in collaboration with AARP Minnesota.


Episode 1 of Citizen Lane will premiere on on Monday, September 3, 2018 (Labor Day).



In It TogetherMore about Citizen Lane

Citizen Lane is part of “In It Together” – TPT’s new initiative aimed at engaging Minnesotans in conversations that support and sustain a healthy democracy.