After PBS Run, ‘Moundsville’ Goes Free on YouTube

Dave and I never dreamed our movie about a classic American town, made with a $4,000 grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, would end up on 338 PBS stations or that this site would find a mass audience.

We think the film and the site have spoken to people because they tell important truths about the lived experience of people and American economic history during a fractious, complicated time.

We want to keep the film available to audiences after our three-year deal with PBS ran out this spring, so we decided to move Moundsville to (free) Youtube.

We hope it will continue to stimulate and engage students, teachers, journalists, policymakers and citizens curious about American industrial history, race in Appalachia, Native burial mounds, West Virginia, WalMart, ghost tourism, small towns, and the history of toys.

We screened the film in Pittsburgh last week, at WQED, the public television station that was home to Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood. Gene Saunders, the former mayor of Moundsville, and his wife Ellen, drove up to attend and take questions from the audience. We got a good crowd and after the screening talked about the film and the town for over half-an-hour.

As for the site, I’ve been taking a break as I work on my first book, about Earl Weaver and the role of the manager for Simon&Schuster. I’m going to keep it going, keep it free, and write when I can, and I welcome contributions.

Dave has been his usual busy self. His new documentary, “Point of Beginning,” about the studio practice of artist Zoë Welsh, premieres at the end of June 2023, and he just released new records from his bands Watererer and How Things Are Made.

John W. Miller

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