Lin-Manuel Miranda. Courtesy of Joseph Sinnott/©2016 WNET
Lin-Manuel Miranda Hosts This Year’s “PBS Arts Fall Festival” Beginning with “Hamilton’s America” on October 21
ARLINGTON, VA –– In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, PBS is running programs that commemorate the experiences, culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States.
Highlights of this year’s lineup include the previously announced October 21 premiere of “Hamilton’s America” from “Great Performances” featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda—who also hosts the PBS Arts Fall Festival—and hosted the 29th annual “Hispanic Heritage Awards,” highlighting the country’s highest tribute to Latinos by Latinos. The program featured top Latino performers and personalities paying tribute to the honorees, who this year include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, author Junot Díaz and actress and singer Angelica Maria, among others.
“PBS is proud to showcase diverse faces, viewpoints and talents both in front of and behind the camera,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “From the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has changed the face of Broadway, to Willie Velasquez, who empowered millions of Latinos and other minorities to engage in the political process, to the thoughtful reporting by Maria Hinojosa, this month, and year-round, we celebrate the unique contributions of work by and for Latino audiences.”
Earlier this month, PBS presented “Willie Velasquez: Your Vote Is Your Voice,” a documentary about the charismatic pioneering activist whose rallying cry, “su voto es su voz” (your vote is your voice), started a grassroots movement that transformed the nation’s political landscape and paved the way for the growing power of the Latino vote.
Megastar Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony and Grammy-winning creator of the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton,” is both the host of the sixth season of the “PBS Arts Fall Festival” and the featured performer in the first festival presentation, “Hamilton’s America” from “Great Performances.” The film looks at the creative process during the three years leading up to the Broadway opening of the record-breaking musical, winner of 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize. “Hamilton’s America” airs Friday, October 21.
Other programming includes the eighth season of “Art in the Twenty-First Century,” which features exceptional artists working in important hubs of contemporary art today and this season involved traveling to Mexico City. Executive produced by Eve Moros Ortega, the program provides unparalleled access to four innovative artists, revealing how they engage with the places where they live and work and how art allows viewers to see the world in new ways.
Hispanic Heritage Month Digital Resources on PBS.org
PBS.org features a Hispanic Heritage Month Online Collection to connect viewers to new programs and to films and digital features that remain on the site year-round, highlighting the stories, people, history and culture of Hispanic Americans. Here, viewers can also watch Latino Public Broadcasting’s (LPB) “GoldStar” – People’s Choice winner of the PBS Online Film Festival and other LPB shows available for online viewing.
Hispanic Heritage Month for PBS KIDS and Education
This fall, PBS KIDS will unveil a Spanish language option for both the PBS KIDS ScratchJr and Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer apps, allowing users to toggle between English and Spanish within the app experience. Developed in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and Tufts University’s DevTech Research Group PBS KIDS, ScratchJr helps children ages 5-8 learn core coding concepts as they create their own interactive stories and games using PBS KIDS characters. The Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer app, based on the popular series of the same name, allows kids to go on a galactic journey with Jet and his friends and learn about planets, stars and constellations.
PBS LearningMedia makes it easy for teachers to integrate Hispanic Heritage Month into their lessons with a trove of curriculum-aligned videos, activities, and interactive resources. Teachers can use this content to help students deepen their awareness of Hispanic American and Latino artists, educators, icons, and everyday people while also building a foundational understanding of the Spanish language. Featured resources in PBS LearningMedia include, All About the Holidays: Hispanic Heritage Month, America By the Numbers, Latino Americans, The Supplemental Spanish Collection; and on iTunes, the Beginning Spanish iBook. Later this fall, teachers will also be able to access new lesson plans based on Hamilton’s America. Visit pbslearningmedia.org to explore more.
PBS KIDS’ “Design Squad Global” Launches Clubs for Kids New Program Helps Children Tackle Real-World Engineering and Invention Projects While Connecting with Kids in Other Countries
Image Courtesy of http://pbskids.org/designsquad/
Boston, MA –– Design Squad Global, the Emmy® Award-winning PBS KIDS website, is set to launch its global Clubs initiative, where kids in after-school programs around the world engage in a multi-week program designed to increase their understanding of engineering and expand cross-cultural engagement. Club Leaders worldwide—from South America to the Middle East to the U.S.—will lead kids ages 10 to 13 in real world engineering projects that are meaningful and relevant to their communities.
Created by WGBH Boston and made possible with support from the National Science Foundation and The Lemelson Foundation, DSG Clubs build on “Design Squad’s” proven track record of providing kids with the opportunity to explore real-world engineering. With DSG Clubs, kids can gain first-hand experience in engineering and develop global competency through collaboration with people who have different cultures, perspectives and concerns.
Starting October 15, DSG Clubs in 16 states (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin) and six countries (Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Jordan, Malawi and South Africa) will be matched to learn about each other while collaborating on engineering projects. The Clubs are provided a guide that includes fun-packed, high-energy, hands-on activities; training; and professional development videos—all pilot tested to give Club Leaders the tools they need.
“Results of the Clubs’ field-tests in the U.S. and southern Africa were tremendously positive,” said Marisa Wolsky, “DSG’s” Executive Producer. “Activities had a measurable impact on kids’ understanding of engineering, their interest in people and places around the globe, and confidence to solve problems and create change.”
All the Clubs launching in October will be doing the same activities each week, like designing and building an emergency shelter or a structure that can withstand an earthquake. Partner clubs will share their experiences by exchanging design ideas, photos, and videos.
“There is a growing awareness that technical skills alone aren’t enough to compete in a global economy,” says Terry Fitzpatrick, WGBH VP for Children’s Media and Education. “‘Design Squad Global’ is a kid-centric, tested way to both inspire the next generation of engineers and increase kids’ global competency.”
DSG Clubs are being disseminated through a coalition of strategic partners, including FHI 360 (which also provided training and technical assistance to pilot Clubs in Southern Africa), Girl Scouts USA, YMCA of the USA and Global Centers of Excellence, DiscoverE, Sister Cities International, National Girls Collaborative Project, Society of Women Engineers, and Every Hour Counts.
DSG Club resources can be found on PBS LearningMedia as well as the Design Squad Global website, where kids can also play games (like the flood prevention simulation Don’t Flood the Fidgits!), and take on global challenges (inventing a way to use less water). Fun videos feature kid engineers, along with “DSG” hosts and role models Deysi Melgar and Nate Ball. Deysi—future aerospace engineer and professional salsa dancer—and Nate—engineer, pole vaulter, and beat boxer—draw on their experiences to dispel stereotypes and inspire kids to explore engineering.
Online registration is now open for afterschool programs and educators to host the next round of Design Squad Global clubs in early 2017.
"What a Wonderful Kind of Day!" WGBH Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Family Favorite "Arthur" on PBS Kids
News provided by WGBH
BOSTON –– For 20 years, the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning PBS Kids series “Arthur” has entertained and delighted children and adults alike. Today, WGBH Boston, the series’ producer, announced “Arthur’s” 20th season and the premiere of all-new episodes starting October 10. Easily recognized by its timeless and joyful theme song, the iconic animated PBS Kids series has touched audiences around the world with its heartfelt and humorous stories about family, friends, and the challenges of growing up.
The new season of “Arthur” gives fans a glimpse into the pasts, presents, and futures of their favorite characters. In the first episode, Buster uses a comic book to travel back in time, but ends up changing his fate and friendship with Arthur. Buster also stars in a fun and topical episode entitled “Cereal”—a nod to the popular “Serial” podcast series—in which he seeks to uncover the truth behind a mysterious theft.
“I could never have dreamed, 20 years ago, the wonderful adventure I was about to have with “‘Arthur,’” said the creator of “Arthur,” Marc Brown. “It’s been so much fun working with the many talented, smart people who make ‘Arthur’ happen. I think what’s most rewarding for all of us is using the medium of television to try and make children successful.”
“We are thrilled to be celebrating ‘Arthur’s’ 20th anniversary,” added WGBH’s Carol Greenwald, Senior Executive Producer. “We hope that fans, new and old alike, will enjoy these new episodes, along with a host of fun, exclusive online and social media content we’ll be sharing leading up to and during the premiere.”
In addition to the broadcast, “Arthur” continues to help children, parents, and educators through its many digital and print resources, such as the Arthur Family Health Website—a guide for caregivers to help children build and maintain healthy living habits. Fans can also find a wealth of games, lesson plans, videos and activities on PBSKids.org.
“‘Arthur’ has reached generations of fans through engaging characters and compelling storytelling,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “‘Arthur’ embodies PBS Kids’ commitment to help children learn important social-emotional skills, such as managing their emotions, building friendships and developing self-esteem.”
Episode information and airdates for “Arthur” are listed below. The episodes will also be available to stream and will be rolled out on October 10, 14, 21, and 28 on PBSKids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast.