Media Room

TEA, Texas PBS and United Ways of Texas launch Start Smart Texas

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2017

 

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath today announced the launch of Start Smart Texas, a collaborative effort between the Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas PBS and United Ways of Texas.

Start Smart Texas is a parent-focused initiative designed to work with families, community leaders and schools to promote the role of parents in making any time a learning time. It is a component of Governor Greg Abbott’s Texas Public Elementary School Reading Initiative – Texas Readers – which was announced earlier this year.

“Texas is continually looking for new and innovative ways to give our children every advantage possible when it comes to education,” said Governor Abbott. “Start Smart Texas is a great way to promote the role of the family in the learning process, and I thank Commissioner Morath, Texas PBS, and United Ways of Texas for this inspired program. It is initiatives like these that make Texas a top state for education.”

“Academic success for every child in Texas begins before they ever set foot in the classroom,” said Commissioner Morath. “By providing parents with simple reading preparation tips for their son or daughter, the Start Smart Texas campaign can help build a foundation for success in school and in life.”

Start Smart Texas will provide parents with tips that inspire positive interactions to promote healthy brain development, early literacy and reading skills. The goal for this statewide initiative is to empower parents in their child’s success.

“Parents today are busy, so Start Smart Texas hopes to provide friendly reminders of how we can make any time a learning opportunity – whether at the grocery store or in the car with our children,” said Adrianna Cuellar Rojas, President and CEO of United Ways of Texas. “Parents, schools, communities each play important roles in our children’s development, and together we can set them on a path for success,”

Public service announcements airing on PBS stations throughout Texas are part of this effort, reinforcing the message to parents that “Anytime is Learning Time.” The Start Smart Texas videos can be viewed here: http://startsmarttexas.org/about/tv-spots-pbs/.

“We want parents to know that they have what it takes to help their children succeed,” said Kierstan Schwab, Executive Director of Texas PBS. “What we are learning about brain development is that child success starts with simple things like talking to your baby, playing word games and working fun rhyming games into your busy life.”

In addition to the public service announcements, Start Smart Texas will work in partnership with statewide organizations and local community groups to build local-based strategies and a network of organizations to increase reading proficiency rates across the state.

Many cities have already created collaborative work focused on supporting children to achieve academic success and are part of a national network called the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. To become part of the national campaign, stakeholders in each city — including business, nonprofits, PBS stations, government and philanthropy — work collaboratively to develop a plan focused on increasing reading achievement, proposing specific strategies and identifying local goals related to school readiness, summer learning loss, chronic absenteeism and parental engagement. Start Smart Texas currently includes seven cities that have developed community-wide plans: Austin, Brownsville, Dallas, Houston, Palacios, San Antonio and Waco.

To learn more about the Start Smart Texas initiative, visit www.startsmarttexas.org.

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 Campaign Promotes Child Abuse Prevention Month,
Provides Parenting Tips, and Takes Aim at Parenting Stress

For Immediate Release
April 17, 2017

Texas PBS and the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) division of the Texas Department of Health and Human Services promotes the state’s Help and Hope campaign to support healthy families. The Help and Hope campaign is committed to promoting community engagement, supporting families, sharing free resources, providing families with tips to alleviate parenting stress, and linking families to local service providers.

Eight Texas PBS stations will be airing sponsored Help and Hope television ads designed to inject humor around poignant moments, to normalize the stress that all parents feel, to provide helpful tips and to let families know they are not alone.

“We all have a responsibility to protect children,” said DFPS Commissioner Henry “Hank” Whitman, Jr. “That includes parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, police officers, neighbors, CPS, and many others in communities all across Texas. Reporting and responding to abuse is important, and so is helping parents deal with the many stresses they face.”

PEI’s comprehensive strategy to promote the Help & Hope web site on both commercial and public media includes television ads, online banners, and mobile ads  in all Texas media markets from April to August.

Parents can visit HelpandHope.org to view a number of fun videos, articles by experts, and other tips designed to help parents deal with some of the most challenging aspects of parenting – everything from bedtime battles and crying babies to conflict with teenagers. The site also connects parents and teens to state and local resources through a local service provider search. The campaign’s Facebook page (HelpAndHopeKids) shares fun and helpful ideas and resources for families.

PEI and Panhandle PBS in Amarillo have designed a community event for families in partnership with the Amarillo Zoo on April 22. This family-friendly event will recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Week of the Young Child. There will be a special appearance by Daniel Tiger from PBS Kids as well as healthy family resources, crafts and activities for kids. Admission is free. See more about prevention events in your area on the Events Page of HelpAndHope.org.

In addition, on Tuesday, April 25, an online community forum will be hosted to discuss how to  strengthen Panhandle families and prevent child abuse before it occurs. The event will combine speakers, a panel discussion and videos, with moderator Karen Welch, Panhandle PBS Content Producer. Sasha Rasco, PEI Associate Commissioner, will provide a quick overview of the campaign and acknowledge the important prevention efforts being made in the Panhandle. Viewers may visit panhandlepbs.org/education/learn-here for a link to watch and submit questions/comments at 10:00 a.m.

Topics will include demographics and trends in the region, understanding developmental issues, the importance of fathers, and parenting needs and resources.  It will focus on developing supportive family structures to prevent child abuse before it ever occurs.

About Help for Parents, Hope for Kids

The Help for Parents, Hope for Kids public awareness campaign serves as a universal strategy to promote healthy parenting, help parents manage the stress that comes with parenting, support communities in serving families, normalize seeking help, and connect those in need of help with local and state resources.
In 2017, PEI is expanding the Help and Hope campaign by continuing a comprehensive outreach campaign, developing new content relevant to fathers, creating new print materials, piloting a new two-part strategy in partnership with PBS, and ramping up social media efforts. For more information about PEI’s Help and Hope Campaign, visit HelpandHope.org.

About Texas PBS

The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by:
• Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates,
• Spearheading collaborations among stations,
• Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and
• Advocating for policies that support robust public media

Texas PBS, NPCA and Big Bend Conservancy Partner to Celebrate Texas National Parks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2016

The Texas PBS stations today announced a partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and Big Bend Conservancy to celebrate the 16 national parks in Texas as part of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. Texas PBS in partnership with Villita Media has produced a 60-minute documentary taking viewers to all 16 national park sites in Texas.

KLRN, San Antonio’s PBS station, will present the documentary to the national system. The National Parks of Texas: In Contact With Beauty, a 60-minute documentary highlighting the natural, cultural, historic and recreational significance of national parks in Texas to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service.

The National Parks of Texas: In Contact With Beauty will air at 7 pm April 26, 2016 on most Texas PBS stations. Texas is home to 16 national park sites – a rich and diverse collection of treasured places that welcomed more than 5 million visitors in 2014, generating nearly $340 million in local economic activity and supporting 3,700 private-sector jobs.

“Our country’s national parks are a remarkable achievement, preserving spectacular landscapes, special pieces of our shared history and unique species,” said Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS executive director. “We are proud to have the opportunity to bring to our viewers this amazing celebration of the parks that are right here in Texas, right in our own backyards.”

“This film is a great opportunity to highlight what we have here in Texas, especially as we celebrate the National Park Service’s centennial,” said Suzanne Dixon, National Park Conservation Association’s senior director, regional operations. “When you consider all the different park units—like Fort Davis National Historic Site, one of the best surviving examples of a frontier Army installation in the Southwest, or the Big Thicket, the biological crossroads of America—these parks are sources of wonder and inspiration, and are very valuable to our state.”

“In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, we are honored to bring this film to life, showing the public the many treasures our great state of Texas has to offer.  From Big Bend, our first national park to our newest site at Waco Mammoth, our state offers diverse national park sites that capture history, honor culture, protect the planet, provide peace and solitude, engage children and restore the soul,” said Courtney Lyons-Garcia, Executive Director of Big Bend Conservancy.

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About National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA):
Together with our more than one million members and supporters, National Parks Conservation Association speaks for America’s favorite places. Since our founding in 1919, NPCA has been an independent, nonpartisan voice working to strengthen and protect our nation’s natural, historic and cultural heritage. We are the storytellers, the mobilizers, the protectors and the advocates. We leverage our nationwide network of offices, committed volunteers, staff lobbyists, community organizers and communications specialists to make change, whether in our local communities or in our nation’s capital. Your voice is needed to help protect, connect and restore these incredible places for present and future generations. Join the movement at npca.org/join.

About Big Bend Conservancy: 
Big Bend Conservancy is the nonprofit fundraising partner of Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River.  Our mission is to support, promote and protect these park units in partnership with the National Park Service.  For more information join us at www.bigbendconservancy.org.

About Texas PBS:
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, spearheading collaborations among stations, illuminating public issues through relevant program content and advocating for policies that support robust public media. For more information about Texas PBS, go to: www.texaspbs.org.


The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock

Posted Aug. 26, 2015

Austin, TX — Musical magic hit Austin in the early 1970s. At legendary venues such as Threadgill’s, Vulcan Gas Company and the Armadillo World Headquarters, a host of country, rock-and-roll, blues, and folk musicians came together. Jan Reid vividly detailed this sound and scene in his 1974 book, The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, which inspired the popular PBS series, Austin City Limits.

In a new edition, published by University of Texas Press, Reid takes a fresh look at the music scene of the 1970s, including musicians and musical influences from other parts of Texas that contributed to the convergence of popular cultures in Austin. Four new chapters and an epilogue show how the creative burst of the seventies spawned a new generation of talent who carry on the tradition.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m., Texas PBS will present an online discussion with Reid, giving readers the chance to chat with the author about Texas music and musicians. To participate, go to texasourtexas.texaspbs.org/book-club.

Reid’s book profiles a wide range of musicians. Some of them became well-known icons; others are less known today. Among those whose lives and careers unfold on the pages are Bobby Bridger, Steve Fromholz, Michael Martin Murphey, Willie Nelson, B.W. Stevenson, Doug Sahm, and Jerry Jeff Walker. Each story is unique and adds to the mystique of the redneck rock legend.

Texas PBS invites everyone to join the conversation and be part of this unique experience. Go to texasourtexas.texaspbs.org/book-club, www.facebook.com/texaspbs, and @TexasPBS on Twitter.

About the Texas PBS Online Book Club
The Texas PBS Online Book Club was formed by Texans who want more opportunities to learn and discuss our shared history. The book club meets online throughout the year and gives readers a chance to discuss topics with noted experts.

Past topics have included Governor Ann Richards, the role of Texas in the Civil War and the 1937 New London, Texas, school explosion.

For more information about the online book club, go to texasourtexas.texaspbs.org/book-club

About Texas PBS
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by:
• Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates
• Spearheading collaborations among stations
• Illuminating public issues through relevant program content
• Advocating for policies that support robust public media


Texas PBS Stations Collaborate with Texas Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property and The Daytripper for a Special Event in Waco

Posted July 10, 2015

Waco, TX — Texas PBS announced today a collaboration with the Texas Comptroller’s ClaimItTexas.org and Chet Garner, host of the popular PBS show called The Daytripper for a special event July 17 at the Waco Public Library. It’s an opportunity to claim funds that are rightfully yours and to meet The Daytripper star. This event was made possible by the Texas Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division.

The event will take place from 11 am to 5 pm Friday, July 17 at the Waco Public Library, 1717 Austin Avenue in Waco. Unclaimed Property Specialists will be available to help people search for unclaimed property online, fill out claim forms and answer questions about the program. Chet Garner will be on hand from Noon to 5 pm to offer travel advice for Texas “daytripping” and sign autographs. Chet will provide advice on where to day trip in Texas with any found money.

“I remember the day I discovered I had unclaimed money sitting at the Comptroller’s office,” said Garner, host of the popular Texas travel show. “It was like hitting the lotto. I got the check in the mail and immediately deposited it at a local BBQ joint on lunch. I’m very excited about helping others reclaim their money and giving them advice on how to use it wisely on the road daytrippin’ Texas.”

To search for unclaimed property at any time, or to view helpful how-to videos on the process, visit the Comptroller’s unclaimed property website at ClaimItTexas.org. For phone assistance, please call 1-800-654-FIND (3463).

“Texas has $4 billion in unclaimed property, and as Comptroller, one of my jobs is to get that money back in the hands of those who earned it,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “I encourage Texans to search for their money online or contact my office to claim their rightful property.”

The event is free and open to the public.

“This a great opportunity to learn more about Texas communities,” said Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS executive director. “We are proud to host this Unclaimed Property event with Chet Garner.”

About The Daytripper

The Daytripper was created to inspire folks to get out and explore the Lone Star State. Sure, national travel shows are entertaining, but that’s where they stop. The Daytripper is all about destinations in Texas for Texans, which means you can visit whenever you want. The Daytripper airs weekly on your Texas PBS station. For more information go to: www.thedaytripper.com

About ClaimItTexas.org

Texas has more than 25 million properties from forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, overpayments, refunds, insurance premiums and mineral royalties. The amount of money waiting to be returned to its rightful owners is staggering. Texas holds more than $4 billion in missing money. For more information go to ClaimItTexas.org and connect with the Texas Comptroller on Facebook for the latest economic news, surveys and more. Follow us on Twitter @txcomptroller to get quick Comptroller news and information on doing business in Texas. www.claimitexas.org

About Texas PBS
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by:
• Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates,
• Spearheading collaborations among stations,
• Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and
• Advocating for policies that support robust public media.
For more information about Texas PBS go to: www.texaspbs.org.


TEXAS PBS STATIONS INVITE FAMILIES TO JOIN A PBS KIDS SUMMER SAFARI OF LEARNING

Posted June 9, 2015

Austin, Texas — This summer, Texas PBS stations are encouraging kids and their families to continue learning beyond the school year with a PBS KIDS “Summer Safari” of content and activities. Developed to help bridge the summer learning gap, PBS KIDS’ Summer Safari includes specials and new episodes from DINOSAUR TRAIN, WILD KRATTS, CURIOUS GEORGE and WORDGIRL, free digital tools for parents and kids, and partnerships with AARP Foundation Experience Corps, I Can Read books published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, Reading Is Fundamental and National PTA that bring learning activities directly to communities.

“Research shows that it is critical to support children’s learning during the summer months to help prevent learning loss while they are out of school,” said Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS Executive Director. “Texas PBS stations are committed to making summer a fun and enriching time for all kids. Through this year’s Summer Safari programming and community activities, we will provide free PBS KIDS resources to Texas families, helping them learn and explore during the summer months.”

Programming

DINOSAUR TRAIN: Zeppelin Adventure: PBS KIDS Summer Safari kicks off in June with one-hour specials from DINOSAUR TRAIN every week, including the premiere of DINOSAUR TRAIN: Zeppelin Adventure on Monday, June 15 (check local listings). In this all-new one-hour special, the Pteranodon family takes off on the Dinosaur Train Zeppelin to explore the continent of Pangea.

WILD KRATTS Wild Wednesdays: July is jam-packed with WILD KRATTS fun every Wednesday. The month kicks off on Wednesday, July 1 (check local listings), with the hit movie WILD KRATTS: Back in Creature Time. Two new episodes of WILD KRATTS premiere each of the following Wednesdays in July. In addition, “Rhino Bowl,” an online game from WILD KRATTS, debuts this summer at pbskids.org. In this new mobile-friendly adventure, players must use rhinoceros-strength creature power to save the day.

CURIOUS GEORGE 3: Back to the Jungle: On Monday, August 17 the hit 2009 movie CURIOUS GEORGE 2: FOLLOW THAT MONKEY is followed by the world television premiere of CURIOUS GEORGE 3: Back to the Jungle. In the movie, George goes on an epic adventure to space that crash lands in the jungles of Africa, leading to an unforgettable journey with some new animal friends.

WORDGIRL: This summer, WORDGIRL flies onto screens from coast-to-coast and flexes her crime-solving muscles in 20 never-before-seen episodes on PBS KIDS digital platforms, including pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App. Two episodes per week will premiere on air and on digital platforms throughout the summer.

Partnership Activities

AARP Foundation: PBS KIDS has partnered with AARP Foundation Experience Corps to extend the learning from this summer’s new WORDGIRL episodes. Through this initiative, AARP Foundation Experience Corps tutors, PBS member stations and their local partners will provide WORDGIRL literacy activity booklets to children in kindergarten through third grade. The activities build on the literacy and vocabulary skills addressed in the new WORDGIRL episodes, which will premiere weekly this summer. Episodes and materials will be available online at youtube.com/pbskids and youtube.com/aarpexperiencecorps, as well as pbskids.org/learn.

I Can Read! books published by HarperCollins Children’s Books: PBS KIDS and HarperCollins are offering free reading party kits for hosting an I Can Readathon event through participating retailers and PBS member stations. The kits include an I Can Read! activity booklet, reading logs, activity pages, stickers, certificates, a PBS KIDS Summer Safari activity chart and activity sheets.

Reading Is Fundamental and National PTA: PBS KIDS is partnering Reading Is Fundamental and National PTA to encourage families to explore reading and learning through a variety of activities this summer.

Digital Resources

PBSKIDS.org/learn: PBS KIDS provides parents with daily learning tips, extended learning ideas and recommended games and activities now through August 30 at pbskids.org/learn.

Free Apps: PBS KIDS offers a variety of free apps for parents and kids to support summer learning, including the PBS KIDS Super Vision App, now available on Apple Watch, and the popular PBS KIDS Video App. Information about the apps is available at pbskids.org/apps.

Free PBS KIDS Videos:  PBS KIDS will once again offer free episodes of favorite PBS KIDS series through iTunes this summer.

Community Activities

Parents can follow @TexasPBS on Twitter and Facebook, and PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook for more information on free summer learning resources and special offers from PBS KIDS and its partners. Press materials related to PBS KIDS’ summer learning initiatives are available on PBS PressRoom.

About Texas PBS
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by:

• Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates,

• Spearheading collaborations among stations,

• Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and

• Advocating for policies that support robust public media.

About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content,
including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

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2015 TEXAS MEDAL OF ARTS AWARDS COMING TO TEXAS PBS STATIONS

Posted June 4, 2015

Awards Ceremony Features Jamie Foxx, T Bone Burnett, Dan Rather,
The Gatlin Brothers, Chandra Wilson, and Others
Presented by Texas Lottery

 

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Cultural Trust and Texas PBS are excited to announce the statewide broadcast of the preeminent Texas Medal of Arts Awards for the first time in the
event’s history on Texas PBS stations thanks to the generous support of the Texas
Lottery. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Trust and this year’s honorees include a
distinguished class of individuals who have achieved greatness through their creative
talents, as well as those whose generous philanthropy has opened doors of opportunity for
Texans of all ages. For more information, visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

The Texas Medal of Arts broadcast will feature honorees: T Bone Burnett, Music; Jamie
Foxx, Film; Kilgore College Rangerettes, Dance; Rick Lowe, Visual Arts; Dr Pepper Snapple
Group, Corporate Arts Patron; Margaret McDermott, Individual Arts Patron; Emilio Nicolas,
Multi-Media; Dan Rather and Chandra Wilson, Television; Charles Renfro, Architecture;
Robert Schenkkan, Theatre; Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts;
Lawrence Wright, Literary Arts; Ruth Altshuler, Standing Ovation Award; and The Gatlin
Brothers, Lifetime Achievement Award. It also includes performances by Texas Young
Masters Ani Mayo and Amber Pickens, and an All-Star jam finale featuring Jamie Foxx, Ray
Benson, Betty Buckley, and others.

“Broadcasting the Texas Medal of Arts Awards has been a goal of the organization for quite
some time and it is fitting we can make this goal a reality in time for our 20th anniversary,”
said Jennifer Ransom Rice, executive director off the Texas Cultural Trust. “This is a
wonderful opportunity for people across the state to experience what this event truly means to the honorees and everyone who attends. Texas PBS is the perfect broadcast partner due to their state-wide reach and commitment to cultural and educational programming, and we are grateful for the support of the Texas Lottery.”

The following Texas PBS stations will broadcast the Texas Medal of Arts Awards on (check local listings):

  • Amarillo: Friday, June 12 at 9:30 pm
  • Austin: Sunday, June 28 at 1:30 pm
  • Corpus: Sunday, June 14 at 7 pm
  • College Station:   Sunday, June 7 at 6 pm
  • Dallas: Friday, June 12 at 8pm
  • El Paso: Friday, June 12 at 8 pm
  • Harlingen: Friday, June 12 at 10 pm
  • Houston: Friday July 10 at 9 pm
  • Killeen: Friday, June 12 at 9 pm
  • Lubbock: Friday, July 10 at 8 pm
  • Midland/Odessa: Friday, June 12 at 8 pm

Texas PBS is a nonprofit association of the 12 Texas public television stations. The stations
work together to sustain public media and produce content relevant to Texans. For more
information on the Texas PBS station in your area, visit www.texaspbs.org.

“We are so pleased to bring this celebration of artists to the living rooms of Texans,” said
Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS Executive Director. “The Texas Cultural Trust showcases
exceptional artists from our state and nurtures future artists. We feel fortunate to help
spread the word about all the amazing talent from our state.”

“Like the recipients of this year’s awards, the Texas Lottery is committed to giving back to
the state through its support of Texas education and veteran’s assistance programs. We are proud to honor their accomplishments and to sponsor the Texas Medal of Arts Awards.” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission.

The Texas Medal of the Arts Awards is the Trust’s signature event that celebrates those
whose artistic talent and philanthropic support of the arts ensure its continued importance
to the state’s economy, children’s education, and cultural landscape of Texas. Since its
inception in 2001, the Awards have celebrated 97 influential and talented honorees. For a
full list of previous honorees, visit www.txculturaltrust.org/tmaa.

About the Texas Cultural Trust
Established in 1995, the Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that
promotes and highlights the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining
our vibrant Texas economy. The Texas Cultural Trust supports the programs of the Texas
Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. In addition to the biennial
Texas Medal of Arts Awards, other programs include: Texas Women for the Arts, Founders
for the Arts, Adventures in the ARTS, the Young Masters scholarship program, Art of
Economic Development, and an Art & Digital Literacy Curriculum. For more information on
the Texas Cultural Trust, visit www.txculturaltrust.org

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Ken Burns Cancer Film to Screen at the Texas Capitol

Posted on March 19, 2015

KLRU-TV — Austin PBS — Texas PBS,  American Cancer Society, and CPRIT host March 25 event, sponsored by Texas Oncology

The event is now full and we are no longer taking audience RSVPs.

Media Contact: Kierstan Schwab Texas PBS kschwab@texaspbs.org


Austin, TX – KLRU-TV, Austin PBS; Texas PBS; American Cancer Society and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)  today announced that they will host a preview screening of the new Ken Burns film, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. The screening, sponsored by Texas Oncology, will take place at the Texas Capitol from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. It will include a 30-minute clip from the film as well as a panel discussion of leading cancer experts from Texas. The three-part, six-hour documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Simon & Schuster 2010).

The March 25 screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. William Rice, Oversight Committee Chair of CPRIT and Senior Vice President for Clinical Innovation at St. David’s HealthCare. Panelists are: • Dr. Greg Aune, Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio; • Dr. Emil Freireich, Ruth Harriet Ainsworth Chair, Developmental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; • Dr. Margaret Kripke, CPRIT’s Chief Scientific Officer and former Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and • Dr. Debra Patt, Medical Hematologist-Oncologist and Director of Public Policy, Texas Oncology Cancer Center.

“This timely documentary emphasizes the vital importance of cancer research, and how one scientific advance builds upon another,” said Wayne Roberts, CPRIT’s chief executive officer. “It reinvigorates all of us at CPRIT to do everything we can to ensure that advancements in mitigating cancer are not only found more quickly, but found right here in Texas. We’re honored to help host this special preview of the film.”

The film was executive-produced by Burns and will air on Texas PBS stations March 30-April 1. The documentary is part of a larger national project, which also includes a comprehensive national engagement campaign. The project is a collaboration between Florentine Films, Laura Ziskin Pictures, WETA, Ark Media, Stand Up to Cancer and an array of other project supporters, including WNYC, serving as the official radio partner.

“Texas has been a leader in the fight against cancer both in its commitment to research and the birth of many of the leading national organizations working for cancer patients, survivors and their families,” said Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS executive director. ‘We are proud to bring together legislators, advocates and researchers to explore how far we’ve come and what we have left to do.”

“Texas Oncology couldn’t agree more with the hopeful message of the Ken Burns documentary – highlighted in vivid, personalized, and emotional stories about research-driven breakthroughs in genetics, immunotherapies, and other treatment advancements. That’s why we are pleased to join with Texas PBS and others in hosting this special preview of the film,” said Jeff Yorio, oncologist, hematologist, Texas Oncology-Central Austin. “Texas physicians, researchers, and their patients are playing a major role in turning the corner on cancer treatment discoveries.”

“The screening event here in Austin will be just one of many happening across the country over the next month,” says Andrea Taurins, Senior Director of Community Engagement, for the American Cancer Society. “Together, we’ll get to see how cancer started, whom it affects, and how we can eliminate it once and for all. With this much attention focused on cancer, its days are numbered.”

CancerFilms.org, the documentary’s newly expanded website, features an innovative digital short film series executive-produced by Burns and created by Redglass Pictures. Each of these conversation-starting short films showcases the intimate story of a cancer patient, caregiver, researcher or survivor and invites the viewer to engage with the project themes. Among those who have contributed stories to the project are actress Maura Tierney, actor Terrence Howard, New York Times Columnist Suleika Jaouad and the Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr. Jose Baselga. Six stories from this series can be viewed now on the project’s Producers’ Blog at the following link: http://cancerfilmblog.org

“My work as a filmmaker is directly linked to the death of my mother from cancer when I was 11,” said Burns. “From the age of three, I watched her suffer and struggle with this awful disease, forever creating for me a desire to explore the past and to listen deeply to the stories that we all have to tell. I was frightened and exhilarated by Sid’s book and thrilled by (the) suggestion that we collaborate to turn this remarkable accomplishment into a film.”

Also, the interactive website includes user-generated content exploring the three aspects of the series: a riveting historical documentary, an engrossing and intimate vérité film that focuses on current patients, and a scientific report. The website is intended for the vast cancer community of patients and survivors, family members, caregivers, scientists, clinicians and other healthcare providers — to share their stories. Engage with the project at CancerFilms.org, on Twitter via @CancerFilm or project hashtag #CancerFilm, and visit the project on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CancerFilm.

“I am of course honored to have an opportunity to work with such accomplished filmmakers and with such inspiring partners,” Dr. Mukherjee noted. “Emperor very much grew out of my experience as a cancer physician trying to navigate and to understand this historic disease. Treating cancer is one of the most significant human challenges we’ve ever faced. But now, for the first time, we are at an extraordinary moment in the history of cancer research because we finally are beginning to understand what causes cancer at a cellular, or molecular, or a genetic level in a way we just did not know ten years ago or even five years ago. This project will provide the public with a clearer vision of where we are in this extraordinary journey.”

Barak Goodman, who in addition to directing the film serves as the series producer, observed, “This is such a rich, historic and still tragic story that it challenges us as filmmakers every day. But it is also a moment of great optimism that at last we may be turning the tables on this disease. I want people to come away from our film with less fear and more hope about the future of cancer.”

About The Film

Ken Burns Presents CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES A Film by Barak Goodman is a production of Florentine Films, Laura Ziskin Pictures and WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Executive Producer and Senior Creative Consultant: Ken Burns. Written by Geoffrey Ward and Kenneth L. Burns; and Barak Goodman and David Blistein. Based on the book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. Produced and directed by Barak Goodman. Executive Producers: Dalton Delan, David S. Thompson, Pamela Oas Williams and Laura Ziskin.

About KLRU-TV

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique – whether music, arts or public issues – by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org

About Texas PBS

The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by: • Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, • Spearheading collaborations among stations, • Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and • Advocating for policies that support robust public media. For more information about Texas PBS go to: www.texaspbs.org.

About the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas.  CPRIT’s goal is to expedite innovation in cancer research and product development, and to enhance access to evidence-based prevention programs throughout the state.  Under the guidance of its governing body, the Oversight Committee, CPRIT accepts applications and awards grants for a wide variety of cancer-related research and for the delivery of cancer prevention programs and services by public and private entities located in Texas. All CPRIT-funded research will be conducted in state by Texas-based scientists and reflect CPRIT’s mission to attract and expand the state’s research capabilities and create high quality new jobs in Texas.

About Texas Oncology

Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.® in the fight against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology.

Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology, through its affiliation with US Oncology Research, has played a role in more than 50 FDA-approved cancer-fighting drugs, nearly one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date.

Texas Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks focused on advancing cancer care in America. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Texas Oncology is united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health. For more information, visit www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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Texas PBS and Bullock Texas State History Museum Partner to Promote One of the Biggest Discoveries in North America

Posted on October 24, 2014

Austin, TX — The Texas PBS stations today announced a partnership with Bullock Texas State History Museum and the State Preservation Board to let Texans know they can now see the remains of one of the most important shipwrecks in North America. La Belle: The Ship That Changed History will open to the public starting Saturday, Oct. 25. Texans can visit the exhibition and see the French explorer La Salle’s ship that sank in in Matagorda Bay off the Texas Coast in 1686. On view daily, the exhibition includes a live-action rebuild of La Belle Wednesday through Saturday in the gallery through May 2015.

Five Texas PBS stations have teamed up with the Bullock Texas State History Museum to drive visitors to the museum and this special exhibition. The new campaign designed by KLRU-TV, Austin’s PBS, features the significance of this exhibition and encourages Texans to see it for themselves. PBS viewers in Dallas, Fort Worth, College Station, Houston, San Antonio and Austin will be encouraged to visit the museum.

“This exhibition tells the story of France’s 17th century ambitions and the extraordinary archaeological resurrection of La Belle,” Bullock Museum Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez said. “This partnership with Texas PBS will allow us to get the word out about this long-awaited and history-changing chapter to the Story of Texas.”

Pairing the efforts to draw new visitors with the unique PBS audience will bring more Texans to the museum. Also, the Bullock Museum sponsorship helps PBS stations bring Texans the popular educational and entertaining programs that are found on PBS stations such as Antiques Roadshow and American Experience.

“We know that Texans and particularly Texas PBS viewers are passionate about Texas history,” said Kierstan Schwab, executive director of Texas PBS. “Partnering with the Bullock Museum enables us to link that passion to the Bullock Museum and one of its most important exhibitions.”

Plagued by piracy, murder, and miscalculation, La Salle’s North American colonization expedition seemed destined for failure. Setting sail from King Louis XIV’s France in 1684, La Salle intended to land at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Instead, he sailed into Matagorda Bay. By 1686, bad weather left the expedition’s one remaining ship, La Belle, abandoned in the bay’s shallow waters. It eventually sank into the mud and took all of its stories with it. Until it was discovered in 1995.

More than 100 artifacts and a live-action reassembly tell a story that was lost at sea for 300 years. Discover what items 17th century French settlers thought were important enough to transport across the ocean to establish a new North American colony. An iconic La Belle artifact, the bronze cannon, tells more than a military story.

It was the carved dolphin handles, along with other cannon insignia, that helped historians determine that the wreckage they had discovered was indeed La Belle. A replica of the ship pinpoints where the artifacts were found during excavation. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, watch up-close inside the gallery as the ultimate artifact of the exhibition, the ship itself, rises again as experts reassemble the vessel, timber by timber.

About Bullock Texas State History Museum
Since its inception, the museum has looked at utilizing innovative and inspiring ways to tell the many-faceted Story of Texas. The Bullock Museum is a hallmark of excellence in history education, teacher preparation, visitor experience, and family enrichment.

Learn more at www.thestoryoftexas.com.

About Texas PBS
The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by: • Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, • Spearheading collaborations among stations, • Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and • Advocating for policies that support robust public media.

For more information about Texas PBS go to: www.texaspbs.org.


Texas PBS Stations Collaborate with Texas Public Radio and Texas Tribune to delve into perspectives on water shortages

Posted on October 13, 2014

Austin, TX — Texas PBS announced today that seven stations are collaborating with the Texas Tribune and public radio partners to provide an in-depth look at how communities are coping with water shortages across the state. The collaboration will produce a one-hour special that will air on Texas PBS Stations this month (see schedule below). Texas Perspective: Water is the first in a future series aimed at tackling important issues that affect all Texans.

“We hope this collaboration will provide a new way to look at problems and solutions in our state,” said Kierstan Schwab, Texas PBS executive director. “We are all Texans but we have different perspectives on how to approach tough issues. This public media collaborative will try to identify various perspectives and share them across the state.”

Despite the widespread attention on the drought, Texas communities are still working hard to raise awareness of water shortages throughout the state. Texas Perspective: Water  (texaspbs.org/texasperspective) program and web site will delve into water use, how drought has changed urban environments, specifically several major urban plans already in progress; water supply, an examination of the dwindling supply  and communities on the brink of not having enough water to meet basic needs; economic impact, how industry and agriculture use is driving conservation plans;  water acquisition, a piece about buying water rights, shipping water, other infrastructure needs such as reservoirs and water conservation, how cities are using gray water and dealing with the need for tougher conservation measures.

Panhandle PBS and KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, led the production effort and put together the 60-minute broadcast special. KERA in Dallas, KCOS in El Paso, KTTZ in Lubbock, Houston Public Media and Basin PBS in Midland & Odessa contributed stories to the 60-minute news magazine program. In addition, Newspaper Tree in El Paso and the Texas Tribune in Austin contributed stories and content for the program.

“One of the strengths of public media is we are deeply tied to the communities we serve,” said Bill Stotesbery CEO and GM of KLRU and chair of Texas PBS board, “which uniquely positions us to be able to do this kind of in-depth reporting across the state.”

This public media partnership includes reporting partners in public radio and the Texas Tribune.

Texas Perspective: Water The special news magazine program will air on all of the 12 Texas PBS stations.

Here’s a schedule:

• KACV-TV, Amarillo, 7 p.m. Oct. 16
• KLRU-TV, Austin, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16
• KAMU-TV, College Station, 8 p.m. Oct. 16
• KEDT-TV, Corpus Christi, 8 p.m. Oct. 16
• KERA-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth, 7 p.m. Oct. 22
• KCOS-TV, El Paso, 7 p.m. Oct. 16
• KMBH-TV, Rio Grande Valley, 7 p.m. Oct. 16
• Houston Public Media, 10 p.m. Nov. 10
• KNCT-TV, Killeen, Temple & Waco, 8 p.m. Oct. 23
• KTTZ-TV, Lubbock, 8 p.m. Oct. 16
• Basin PBS, Midland/Odessa, 8 p.m. Oct. 18
• KLRN-TV, San Antonio, 9 pm Nov. 20

The radio reports are scheduled to begin Oct. 15.

About KLRU-TV KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique – whether music, arts or public issues – by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Civic Summit and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all. Find out more at KLRU.org

About Panhandle PBS Panhandle PBS began operation in August, 1988 as the Panhandle’s PBS member station. Licensed to Amarillo College the station extends the community college philosophy of improving the quality of life for all residents. Panhandle PBS operates digital channels 2.1 and 2.2 — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to providing quality PBS Programming, Panhandle PBS has a long history of producing local programs that address timely concerns and celebrate the region. Panhandle PBS has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Edward R. Murrow and Barbara Jordan citations.  Find out more at PanhandlePBS.org.

About Texas PBS The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by: • Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates, • Spearheading collaborations among stations, • Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and • Advocating for policies that support robust public media.

For more information about Texas PBS go to: www.texaspbs.org.

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Texas PBS and AARP Partner to Bring Texans Election Debates

Posted on September 22

The Texas PBS stations today announced a partnership with AARP Texas to help bring awareness to the fall election season. This AARP awareness campaign includes sponsorship of the 2014 Gubernatorial Debate and local sponsorship around the Lieutenant Governor’s debate. AARP has developed a guide to help Texas voters learn about the gubernatorial candidates’ positions.

KERA, the North Texas public television and radio stations, will host Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Wendy Davis in The Texas Debates: The Race for Governor. The live, one-hour debate is a co-production with NBC 5/KXAS-TV and Telemundo39/KXTX-TV, The Dallas Morning News and Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). The program will be broadcast on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, at 8 p.m. CT on television, radio and online.

KLRU, Austin’s PBS station, will host state Senator Dan Patrick and State Senator Leticia Van de Putte in The Texas Lieutenant Governor Debate 2014. The live, one-hour debate is a co-production with the Texas Tribune, Univision and Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). The program will be broadcast on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, at 7 p.m. CT on television, radio and online.

<< press release

Texas PBS teams up with Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission to drive visitors to Lafayette and Festivals Acadiens et Crèoles

Posted on August 26

Lafayette Louisiana

Six Texas PBS stations have teamed up with the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission (Lafayette CVC) to drive visitors to Lafayette, Louisiana and their upcoming Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. The new campaign designed by the Lafayette CVC showcases Lafayette’s unique and diverse cuisine. The sponsor message encourages viewers to “Taste Lafayette.”

Not only is Lafayette’s cuisine loved by visitors, it is nationally recognized and awarded. In the July/August issue of AAA Southern Traveler magazine, Lafayette won “Tastiest Town”; as well as “Best Small Town in Louisiana” and “Best Getaway in the South”. The 30-second sponsorship tempts PBS viewer’s appetites with images of Lafayette’s signature dishes and fresh seafood.  The campaign was designed to help showcase that unique personality of Lafayette: welcoming, hospitable, energetic, and the “Tastiest Town in the South.”

“A win in the tastiest town category continues a nice streak of food awards for Lafayette, and these types of awards help validate our reputation as a foodie town with some of the best locally owned restaurants in the world,” said Ben Berthelot, Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission President and CEO. Lafayette has also been awarded: Best Food City (Rand McNally/ USA Today, 2011), Tastiest Town in the South (Southern Living, 2012) and Top 10 Foodie City (Livability.com, 2013).

Signature dishes will be featured at the Bayou Food Festival, part of Festivals Acadiens et Créoles held in Lafayette’s Girard Park on October 9th-12th. Festivals Acadiens is an immersion of Lafayette’s culture, food, music and crafts.  The festival welcomes all ages.

Pairing the efforts to draw new visitors with the unique PBS audience will bring even more educated and affluent Texans to Lafayette. The Lafayette CVC sponsorship helps PBS stations bring the great educational and entertaining programs that are found on PBS stations on shows such as Antiques Roadshow and how-to programs such as John Folse’s A Taste of Louisiana.

“We know that Texans and particularly Texas PBS viewers love to travel to neighboring communities and states,” said Kierstan Schwab, executive director of Texas PBS. “Pairing the Lafayette CVC with the PBS audience is a great partnership for both of us.”

Research has shown that Texan’s frequently visit their neighboring state of Louisiana. TNS, leader in global market research, shows that 26% of Louisiana’s visitors travel from Texas.

About Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission

The mission of the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Lafayette as a vibrant visitor destination.

For more information on the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission and to personalize your very own Trip Planner, visit http://www.lafayettetravel.com  or call 1-800-346-1958.  Bon Temps the Official Tourism Guide of the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission can also be accessed or requested at the above contact.

About Festivals Acadiens et Créoles

Festivals Acadiens et Créoles is a cooperative of independent festivals that began in 1977 including the Louisiana Native & Contemporary Crafts Festival, Bayou Food Festival and Tribute to Cajun Music. The festival is held every October in Girard Park and surrounding areas.

For more information on Festivals Acadiens et Créoles, visit http://www.festivalsacadiens.com or call 800-346-1958.

About Texas PBS

The mission of Texas PBS is to build a vibrant public broadcasting platform throughout Texas by:

• Cultivating financial resources for local affiliates,
• Spearheading collaborations among stations,
• Illuminating public issues through relevant program content, and
• Advocating for policies that support robust public media.