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What makes Provo unique? C-SPAN producers in town to find answers

PROVO — Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, rooted in Mormon pioneer heritage, crowded with local restaurants, immersed in the "college-town" feel and booming with entrepreneurial innovation, Provo is a city often underestimated by outsiders, according to producers of a show to air on C-SPAN.

The producers arrived last week and will be in Provo through Wednesday to meet with locals and discover what makes the town special. Three videographers are capturing the city's unique heritage by exploring literary and historic sites, interviewing local historians and authors, and engaging in education outreach to high schools and colleges.

C-SPAN City Tours has been spotlighting an average of 24 cities throughout the country since its debut in 2011, according to Ashley Hill, a C-SPAN producer and community relations representative. The footage is then shown on C-SPAN's BookTV and American History TV.

Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network has been in operation since 1979 and is known widely for its coverage of political and public affairs meetings. C-SPAN City Tours seeks to move outside of the political Washington, D.C., sphere and highlight unique cities across the county to allow viewers to become better acquainted with how people in their country live, Hill said Monday.

"It's really fulfilling to get to go out into America and learn all these stories and see how people in other regions of your own country live; see how people with different backgrounds, different religions, different belief systems live," Hill said, "We have so much here in America. We have such a rich country, such a rich heritage."

C-SPAN's coverage of Provo will be broadcast July 2 and 3 on BookTV (C-SPAN2, Comcast channels 19 and 109) and American History TV (C-SPAN3, Comcast channel 110).

She said BYU gives Provo the literary scene that C-SPAN producers are looking for. "We are interviewing a lot of BYU professors who have written great books," Hill said.

C-SPAN's Provo City tour will highlight the founding of Provo, the rebuilding of the LDS Tabernacle (now the Provo City Center Temple), BYU's Museum of Paleontology and BYU's People's and Culture exhibit, the Crandall Historical Printing Museum, and interviews with various authors, among other local features.

Stirling Ogden, a Provo native, said it is Provo's exposure to different cultures through LDS missionary service, the indie rock scene and its mix of businesses that make the city a unique and comfortable place for people to settle.

For Carla Felici, who moved to Provo from Austin, Texas nearly 10 years ago, it is the mountains and good food, Velour's live music, growing startups and old "local Provo" that sets the city apart from others.

"You can have your cake and eat it, too," Felici said Monday, "(Provo) has a lot to offer."

For more information about C-SPAN Cities Tour, visit c-span.org/citiestour or follow the program on Twitter @CSPANCities.

Email: ahobbs@deseretnews.com