Friday, May 16, 2008

Documentary Goes National

The title of this blog is the headline for a recent article in The Republican, the newspaper here in Springfield, Massachusetts. WGBY was thrilled to learn that about 90 PBS stations nationwide voted to pick up the program from the distributor, American Public Television (APT). That actually translates into the possibility that our series will be seen on 195 PBS stations across the country and in Puerto Rico! We needed just 25 votes to secure national distribution by APT, so these are great numbers. Furthermore, we were picked up by 6 of the top 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia. That's good stuff.

The name of the game during May has been wrapping up loose ends. I recently completed a graduate-level online course in Evaluating Outcomes that was invaluable and will inform my final reporting to our grantmakers, A Partnership for a Nation of Learners/IMLS/CPB. I'm also busy getting the tapes ready for their national distribution because the technical standards are different. Over the next 2 weeks, the regional version of the series will be put on DVD and beautifully packaged, thanks to our graphics designer, Joel Heaton. They will not be sold but they will be given as gifts to local educational institutions, museums, and supporters of the project. It's important to me that regional institutions have access to this resource! The educational component of this partnership project is its cornerstone and can remain so well into the future. That will be the legacy of this grant and the efforts of WGBY, the Springfield Museums, Baypath College and the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield and The Republican's Newspaper in Education.

The partners will meet one last time next week so that I can bring everyone up to date and have the opportunity to offer updates, congratulations and thanks. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago that I met many of these people for the first time!

You can now view all clips from the shows by going to our website and clicking on "Documentaries". Soon you'll also find a very cool interactive feature for students under "Education & Outreach" as well as podcost versions of lesson plans for teachers who would like to use Springfield's Currier & Ives collection as a primary source in their lessons on art, art history, American history, or visual literacy.

We are still showing the docs in the community. Next week I'll speak at the Agawam Public Library and offer the audience the chance to view all 3 episodes. This is especially gratifying near the conclusion of our project because Agawam happens to be my hometown! It has been very sweet, indeed, to be back with friends and family during the last 14 months as I managed "Currier & Ives: Perspectives on America".

I'll keep you posted!

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