As part of PBS’ commitment to increasing every American’s access and participation in the arts, PBS is kicking off a multi-platform event on October 14th, and every Friday night into December, featuring a range of artists and performances from nine different communities and celebrity hosts from each locale. Full-length performances, behind-the-scenes interviews, profiles of artists and performers, and mini-documentaries of women rock-and-rollers, banjo pickers, award-winning choreographers and local art scenes are a front row seat and back stage pass to entertain and inspire viewers. In addition, PBSArts.org will host weekly curated immersive, themed exhibits that take consumers beyond the television experience and into the creative process itself, and PBS will create innovative classroom tools to help fill gaps in arts education.
Friday, November 4 at 9:00 p.m.
PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains
Give Me the Banjo
Narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, the film explores the roots of American music — the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, blues, old-time, folk, bluegrass and country. It is a story of America’s quintessential musical instrument from its African slavery roots to the 21st century, featuring performances and commentary from contemporary folk musicians such as Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as from leading music historians, instrument builders and collectors .
Friday, November 11 at 9:00 p.m.
PBS Arts from Chicago
American Masters - Bill T. Jones: A Good Man
Follow award-winning director/choreographer Bill T. Jones’s intense creative journey as he leads his company in the creation of Fondly Do We Hope ... Fervently Do We Pray, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial. “Bill T. Jones: A Good Man” is a co-production of A Good Man Film LLC, Kartemquin Films, Independent Television Service (ITVS), THIRTEEN’s American Masters for WNET, and Media Process Group, with the cooperation of the Ravinia Festival. The evening’s presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station WTTW. .
Friday, November 18 at 9:00 p.m.
PBS Arts from Cleveland
Women Who Rock
From Bessie Smith to Janis Joplin to Tina Turner, this performance documentary vibrates with energy as it traces the indelible mark that amazing women musicians have made on America’s soundtrack. Inspired by the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, “Women Who Rock” reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll, while exploring how those dynamics between the sexes have changed with time. The film is produced with assistance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Friday, November 25 at 9:00 p.m.
PBS Arts from Los Angeles
Great Performances: Il Postino from LA Opera
Bask in the beautiful voice of world-renowned tenor Plácido Domingo with the LA Opera in this romantic new opera by composer Daniel Catán based on the Oscar-winning Italian film. GREAT PERFORMANCES is a production of Thirteen for WNET New York Public Media. The evening’s presentation is in cooperation with PBS SoCal (Southern California).
Friday, December 23 at 9:00 p.m.
PBS Arts from San Francisco
Great Performances: The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet
Experience Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale of love with San Francisco Ballet’s production of John Neumeier’s inventive ballet. The original score is by young Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach. Part of GREAT PERFORMANCES’ “Dance in America.” GREAT PERFORMANCES is a production of Thirteen for WNET New York Public Media. The evening’s presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station KQED.