Mik Derks has been telling stories in Wisconsin for nearly five decades. Before joining PBS Wisconsin in 1995 to produce documentaries, he made the rounds of other communications media. He began his career writing and directing for film (Poster/Derks Moving Pictures), then moved on to directing mime productions (Wisconsin Mime Company), writing for radio (Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, Wisconsin Public Radio), print (Petersen’s PhotoGraphic Magazine, Lens, American Cinematographer) and directing theater (American Players Theatre).
Along the way his productions have won five Midwest Emmys in addition to awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Milwaukee Press Club, the Atlanta International Film Festival, C.I.N.E., the New York Industrial Film Festival, the Ohio State Awards, the Odyssey Institute Awards, CEN, and others.
At PBS Wisconsin, Derks has produced numerous documentaries on the history of the state, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jerry Apps, the First Nations communities located in Wisconsin (Tribal Histories) and nine hours of veterans programs: Wisconsin WWII Stories (2018), Wisconsin Korean War Stories (2018), and Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories (2010). He was also one of the creators of LZ Lambeau, a Welcome Home for Wisconsin’s Vietnam veterans in 2010.
Derks lives with his wife, Terry Kerr, in a 170-year-old house on a farm in the Driftless Region. When not producing television, Mik tends to exotic chickens, black walnut trees, and a couple of exceptional grandsons.