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Tune In: American Experience: Woodstock – Three Days That Defined A Generation

Fifty years after half a million young people journeyed to a dairy farm in upstate New York for a concert, a new American Experience film, Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation examines the tumultuous decade that led to the historic musical festival – and the stories behind the cultural event that became the defining moment of the counterculture revolution.

The film turns the cameras  onto the audience, focusing on the stories of concert goers, local residents and security guards.

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation premieres Tuesday, August 6 at 8 p.m. on WPT.

Read on to find out more!

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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!

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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Director’s Cut: Keri Pickett and Roy Blakey, The Fabulous Ice Age

It’s all about about the golden age of figure skating on this week’s Director’s Cut! I was delighted to welcome director/producer/cinematographer Keri Pickett and one of her subjects, Roy Blakey, discussing their documentary The Fabulous Ice Age.

The Fabulous Ice Age trailer from Keri Pickett on Vimeo.

The journey begins in 1915, when a young German skater ignites America’s love with dancing on ice. The Fabulous Ice Age chronicles a century of theatrical skating: from Berlin’s Charlotte to America’s Ice Follies, Ice Capades, Holiday on Ice, and the Sonja Henie shows, illustrating how they dominated live entertainment for decades while also depicting one skater’s quest to share this history.

Read on for more about this film, and about my interview with Pickett and Blakey!

Continue reading Director’s Cut: Keri Pickett and Roy Blakey, The Fabulous Ice Age

Q&A – Not Enough Apologies: Trauma Stories

A young Everett Mitchell and his sister play on swings.

After addressing issues of gun violence in the 2016 documentary Too Many Candles, Wisconsin Public Television’s Frederica Freyberg wanted to tackle another issue that seemed too big to address in the same program.

Not Enough Apologies: Trauma Stories premieres 8 p.m Monday, May 13. and is available to watch online now.

The one-hour film, produced by Freyberg, explores the lasting effects of traumatic experiences, such as abuse and neglect, on children and adults. It also shares new responses to advocating for, and assisting, trauma victims. Throughout the film, trauma survivors share their stories in their own words.

Read on for an in-depth Q&A with Freyberg on how this sobering yet valuable project came to life.

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