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Tickets on sale for June 7 keynote dinner with writer and filmmaker Dayton Duncan

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Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker and frequent collaborator with Ken Burns, will speak at a June 7 keynote dinner in Bozeman as part of the “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference taking place in Bozeman June 5-8. PHOTO COURTESY OF MSU NEWS SERVICE


BOZEMAN — Tickets are now on sale for a June 7 keynote dinner in Bozeman with Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker and frequent collaborator with Ken Burns.

The event is part of the “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference hosted by the Montana State University Library and the University of Wyoming Libraries.

Dayton’s talk, “Happenstance and History,” will explore the unlikely confluence of events that resulted in Yellowstone becoming the world’s first national park in 1872 as well as what he calls the equally unforeseen and unplanned evolution of the park’s mission. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Music Hall in the Armory Hotel, 24 W. Mendenhall St. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $100 for those not attending the conference and can be purchased at

“I look forward to Dayton’s presentation,” said Kenning Arlitsch, dean of the MSU Library. “His work as an author and documentary filmmaker has often focused on the American West, and his perspectives on the creation of Yellowstone National Park are timely, in the year of its 150th anniversary.”

For nearly 30 years, Duncan has been involved with the work of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns as a writer and producer. Their series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” won Emmy awards for outstanding nonfiction series and outstanding writing for nonfiction programming. Duncan is currently working with Burns as the writer of “Benjamin Franklin,” which is scheduled to be broadcast in 2022, and “American Buffalo,” which is scheduled for broadcast in 2023. He is also the author of 13 books, including“The National Parks,” a companion book to the documentary series.

Duncan’s appearance is sponsored by the MSU’s College of Arts and Architecture and the School of Film and Photography.

The “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” conference coincides with the 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park and will draw scholars, researchers, collectors, librarians and archivists to explore collections, scholarship and research related to the park and its greater ecosystem. More than 50 individuals from across the country will present, including retired Yellowstone National Park historian Lee Whittlesey; author Diane Smith; Shane Doyle of the Apsáalooke Nation; and environmental leader Mike Clark. Those wishing to register can do so at

Visit or contact Ann Vinciguerra at 406-994-6857 or for more information about the dinner event with Duncan or “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone.”

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