Friends of WPT Board: Meet Masood Akhtar

Masood Akhtar

Elected to the Board of the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television just a few months ago, Masood Akhtar, of Middleton, is adding service to WPT to his already impressive list of activities.

Read on to learn more about this community activist and the experience he hopes to bring to the Board!

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Q&A: Thomas Allen Harris, Family Pictures USA

We know our family history through the images we retain: albums, videos, memories. What kind of story do these images tell when we look at the bigger picture?

Premiering Aug. 12 and 13 on PBS, the three-part series Family Pictures USA explores American communities through the lens of family photo albums, unearthing rich personal stories that expand our understanding.

Host, director and executive producer Thomas Allen Harris spoke with Wisconsin Public Television to share some of his reflections. Read on for more!

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Meet Molly of Denali!

The newest PBS Kids star debuts Monday, July 15 – and she’s already breaking new ground.

Logo for Molly of Denali features mountains on the MMolly of Denali follows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in an Alaskan village. The animated series premieres 7:30 a.m. Monday, July 15 on Wisconsin Public Television, as well as on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms.

Molly of Denali is the first nationally distributed kids’ show in the U.S. to feature a Native American lead. All Indigenous characters are voiced by Indigenous actors, including Molly, voiced by Alaska Native Sovereign Bill.

Read on to learn more about this fun, action-packed addition to the PBS Kids lineup!

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Look to the stars: Summer of Space is here!

Mathematician Poppy Northcutt, one of the few women scientists on the Apollo 11 project, staffs a Mission Control console.

As we near the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, PBS brings viewers the Summer of Space: a celestial programming spectacle sure to excite any space enthusiast.

Read on for details of special broadcasts, online exclusives and more! Continue reading Look to the stars: Summer of Space is here!

What We Watch: Mouna Algahaithi

Mouna Algahaithi is a smiling woman wearing a jean jacket and a draped pink headscarf.Mouna Algahaithi, WPT’s new education engagement specialist, started at the station as an education and community engagement intern in May of 2018. She’s been full-time since last January, working on WPT Education programs such as implementing Ready to Learn curricula around the state as well as bigger events such as Get Up and Go.

Read on for some of her top public TV picks – and why the mission of WPT and the PBS Kids 24/7 Channel is so important to her!

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What We Watch: Deb Piper

Headshot of a smiling Deb PiperDeb Piper, producer and manager of remote production, has worked in public broadcasting for 30 years – almost all of it right here at Wisconsin Public Television.

She’s particularly proud of the miles our crews have traveled throughout the state, capturing music in intriguing venues. One of them includes beautiful Madeline Island in Lake Superior, where WPT crew captured world-class chamber music from talented young artists. Music From Madeline Island premieres 8 p.m. Monday, June 10.

Read on for some of Deb’s public TV favorites!

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Director’s Cut season finale: John Whitehead

We wrap up Season 12 of Director’s Cut with an excellent music documentary. Director John Whitehead rolls into town to discuss his film Don’t Get Trouble in Your Mind: The Carolina Chocolate Drops Story.

A documentary portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band from Raleigh, North Carolina, and their mentor, fiddler Joe Thompson (1919—2012). The film captures how three musicians from the hip-hop generation embraced a 19th-century genre and took it to new heights, winning a Grammy in 2010. The story of the band’s rise, from busking on the street to playing major festivals, is informed by the history of the banjo’s origins in Africa, and the untold story of the black string band tradition.

Read on to learn how this film owes its existence to great timing – and see a special bonus video from right here at WPT!

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Celebrate LGBTQ Pride this June on WPT!

Diverse perspectives contribute greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the culture and diversity of Wisconsin residents. Fifty years after the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 (read more here!), Wisconsin Public Television is pleased to share Pride Month programs honoring many facets of LGBTQ life and history.

Read on for a selection of scripted and nonfiction programs airing this month, as well as exciting multimedia content from StoryCorps – that needs your story, too!

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Director’s Cut: Yinan Wang, Yujin Wang and Dick Blau, Yen Ching

While watching this week’s Director’s Cut, prepare to find yourself craving Chinese food (I’m a Kung Pao Chicken guy).

The documentary Yen Ching takes us to a Chinese restaurant on Milwaukee’s northwest side, watching the family dynamics in play.

Yen Ching (5 mins) from Yinan Wang on Vimeo.

Yen Ching takes an intimate look at how a typical Chinese restaurant owner, and his children, practice their very different American dreams. The film sheds light on their lives as it explores the owner’s dilemma. Neither of his sons, for very different reasons, want to follow the traditional Chinese/Chinese-American path in which children take over the family business.

Read on to learn more about this film, as well as director Yinin Wang’s unique connection to his subjects!

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Director’s Cut: Shorts

This week on Director’s Cutwe switch things up a bit by focusing on short films. Tune in as I welcome six directors to discuss their work ranging in genre from comedy to drama to the slightly sci-fi – even a touch of the supernatural! It’ll be a fast-paced show, as I only have a few minutes with each director. Short films = short interviews. 

Read on for more!

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