Station News

Teacher Appreciation Week

Why does someone become a teacher?

Is it because they like kids? Is it because they enjoyed school?

There is no one “correct” answer for why someone decides to teach, but there is a common thread—teachers teach because they care. As a former teacher and as someone who works with teachers, I daily see the passion in every teacher’s eyes.

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Teachers collaborating with Wisconsin Public Television on curriculum for one of our Hometown Stories documentaries.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6, 2016. While we appreciate our teachers every day, we wanted to take this week and reach out, thanking educators for all of their time, dedication, and extraordinary care while teaching our children.

Teachers care deeply about the work they do. They put in countless hours before and after school, as well as over weekends, prepping lessons and creating unique learning experiences for students.

They seek opportunities to better serve their students. These opportunities may take place at a state educational conference, with a teaching peer, or while watching a webinar late at night.

Teachers do all of this work because they care about providing our children with a high-quality education – an education that will help them become well-rounded individuals that are responsible, active members of society. (Holy cow! No pressure there…)

Teachers care profoundly for the students they teach. They take the time to learn about the students and their interests, tailoring lessons to meet the children’s specific learning needs.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 9.12.22 AMThis extends to educators outside the classroom, myself included. I’m WPT’s education specialist, and even though I don’t have a traditional classroom, I consider the children of our state my students.

Continue reading Teacher Appreciation Week

Director Stanley Nelson on Central Time and Director’s Cut

directors_cut_nelsonDirector Stanley Nelson visited Madison last week after the release of his newest documentary, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Watch Nelson’s interview with Pete Schwaba on Director’s Cut tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television, which will be followed by a broadcast of the new film.

In this clip from Nelson’s interview for WPR’s Central Time, the prolific director discusses the cultural backdrop of his newest documentary. Want to hear more? Listen to the entire archived interview here.

Wisconsin From the… Pavement?

TV production doesn’t always go as planned. Wisconsin Public Television producer Ryan captured this moment while out capturing footage for the all-new “Wisconsin Winter From the Air.” He suggests perhaps this clip should actually be titled “Wisconsin From the… Pavement?” (And, yes, the GoPro camera is just fine!)

Wisconsin From the… Pavement?TV production doesn’t always go as planned. Wisconsin Public Television producer Ryan captured this moment while out capturing footage for the all-new “Wisconsin Winter From the Air.” He suggests perhaps this clip should actually be titled “Wisconsin From the… Pavement?” (And, yes, the GoPro camera is just fine!)

Posted by Wisconsin Public Television on Monday, February 15, 2016

Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

Director Stanley Nelson’s work — which includes impactful American Experience documentaries Freedom Summer and Freedom Riders, and the unprecedented upcoming documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — is important, unrivaled and prolific.

In advance of the Feb. 16 nationwide premiere of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party in detail, Nelson is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Madison this week.

While in Madison, Nelson will attend a free screening  at the Madison Central Library, sit down with Wisconsin Public Television Director’s Cut host Pete Schwaba for an exclusive interview about his film, and appear Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 3:15 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time.

Needless to say, everyone at WPT is excited to welcome Nelson to the studios, and we hope that you can take advantage of the opportunity to meet this prolific director while he’s here or tune in to one of his interviews. Check out the details of Nelson’s screening and appearances below, and mark your calendars for the premieres of Director’s Cut: Stanley Nelson and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Feb. 16 on WPT.

Continue reading Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

A Word With WPT’s Director of Television: Tuscany

My wife Mary and I recently returned from the WPT tour of Tuscany. It was a wonderful trip guided by our friends from Holiday Vacations. It’s hard to believe how beautiful Tuscany is until you travel there. The beauty is everywhere, including at every dinner table.

In fact, it was hard to leave Tuscany behind. Our trip reminded me of how, when you’re considering buying a car, you seem to see it everywhere. That was true for us with Tuscany, except that we didn’t see it on the roads – we saw it on PBS. Continue reading A Word With WPT’s Director of Television: Tuscany

Back to the Future With Wisconsin Public Television

On this Back to the Future Day, everyone is talking about what didn’t come true by Oct. 21, 2015. We’re taking the opposite approach, looking back in time into the archives of Airwaves magazine to see what was airing on Wisconsin Public Television on Oct. 26, 1985 – the day Marty and Doc left Hill Valley for the future.

For the record, we turned to our trusty Sports Almanac to find out that the Wisconsin Football team lost the game against Illinois that closed out our broadcast day, 25-38.

And the Winner Is…

When we asked WPT’s Facebook fans to choose from five images to represent our state on the soon-to-be-redesigned PBS.org, we were overwhelmed by the response. All five photos proved popular, with folks weighing in on why they thought each were perfectly Wisconsin. But, the landslide favorite by far was this idyllic scene of a boat on a Wisconsin lake under a warm sun. Here’s just a few of the comments on the photo that garnered 430 “likes.”

This is peace on Earth. And this is Wisconsin. – Gwen

Tranquil and restful, like the best of outdoor Wisconsin. – Nanette

I love them all, but this one is amazing. – Kris

Thanks to everyone who helped us choose!

Help Us Pick the WPT Image for PBS.org

Our friends at PBS are giving us a chance to submit an iconic image from Wisconsin to represent Wisconsin Public Television on the soon-to-be-redesigned pbs.org – and we want you to make the choice. Click over to our Facebook page via the embedded post below and click “like” on one of the five images we have shared there. Whichever image has the most likes at 5 p.m. this Thursday will be the photo we send in!

PBS is re-designing their website and is offering each station a chance to submit an iconic image to represent their…

Posted by Wisconsin Public Television on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

WPT Archives: Exploring Our Past

I spend so much time trying to keep up with this crazy 21st Century (I blame you, Twitter), but when left to my own devices I tend to fall into a much slower rhythm.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been drawn to libraries and archives. When I was living in Brussels, it was my art school’s local – and dusty – hodgepodge of old books filled with gallery exhibits, tutorials and biographies. Here, I’m lucky enough to have the Wisconsin Historical Society and the University Archives just across the street.

Visit WPT’s new archive page!

When I was given the opportunity to work with our amazing media archivist, Ann Wilkens, I leapt at the chance. What were our offices like in the 1950s or ‘60s? What ideas mattered to us? What were we arguing about and what were we celebrating?

Our archives have helped me visualize everything we were working for and continue to work towards: sharing quality public education, exploring our heritage and understanding our culture.

Now, you can explore with me. We’re digitizing as much of our archival footage as possible and making it available to watch online. Visit our new WPT Archives page, and start poking around. Click on a newly digitized show that catches your attention, or explore by decade. You can also find the WPT Archives by going to our Watch Page, and looking under “Wisconsin Productions.”

Watch John F. Kennedy announce his presidential campaign. Listen in on a conversation with Richard Nixon. Check out some of our more memorable kids shows like The Friendly Giant and Storylords. It’s all right here. Take a look.

Preparations for Quilt Expo are Underway

Every year a ton of work goes into making Quilt Expo a great place to “Escape. Create. Celebrate.” and one of the most rewarding tasks — processing entries in the 10-category juried and judged Quilt Contest — is now complete.

With hundreds of entries, it took a jury a full afternoon and most of the evening to sort through all the quilts and to choose the best order for displaying them. It’s a grueling task, but I can assure you the jury was looking forward to spending hours scrutinizing every stitch and detail of the quilts.

We snuck into the jury room and snapped some photos to give you an idea of how they make their decisions. Check out the photos below, and remember to see the quilts for yourself at the Quilt Contest exhibit at this year’s Quilt Expo, Sept. 10-12 in Madison. Continue reading Preparations for Quilt Expo are Underway