MontanaPBS Barn Documentary Earns National Award

A picture of John Twiggs.
John Twiggs

MISSOULA – The Montana PBS documentary “Keeping the Barn” has received a 2021 Silver Telly Award in the Television: General Documentary category.

Produced by John Twiggs, “Keeping the Barn” revealed the rich heritage and stories connected to the barns of Montana.

“I’m honored to receive this prestigious award for our documentary about a unique part of Montana’s history,” Twiggs said. “We’re so glad we were able to tell these stories as Montanans are struggling to preserve the historic barns.”

“Keeping the Barn” follows the Brouwer family near Manhattan, as they struggle with the cost and complication of fixing the roof on their barn. They discover it is no easy task maintaining their piece of history. During their journey to repair the barn, the program also features Montana families from the mountains of the southwest to the prairies of the northeast as they try to maintain their historic structures. There even are some quick visits to some of Montana’s more unusual barns.

“Ultimately, they all have one thing in common,” Twiggs said. “Their personal stories reflect the meaning and nostalgia of these beautiful buildings.”

Twiggs has more than 30 years experience documenting Montana history with award-winning programs such as “Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life” and “Playing for the World: The 1904 Fort Shaw Indian Girls’ Basketball Team.”

Tellys are the premier awards honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards attract more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Other winners in the category included ESPN, Smithsonian Channel, PBS, Florentine Films and more. For a complete list of this year’s Telly Awards for Television: General Documentary, go to

Entrants are judged by the Telly Awards Judging Council – an industry body of over 200 leading experts, including advertising agencies, production companies and major television networks and includes executives from Dow Jones, Duplass Brothers Productions, Complex Networks, A&E Networks, Hearst Media, ESPN Films, RYOT, Vice+ and Vimeo.

View “Keeping the Barn” online at

MontanaPBS (KUFM-TV in Missoula, KUSM-TV in Bozeman, KUKL-TV in Kalispell, KBGS-TV in Billings, KUGF-TV in Great Falls and KUHM-TV in Helena) is a service of the University of Montana and Montana State University. For more information, visit  


Contact: John Twiggs, MontanaPBS producer, 406-243-4565,