Category Archives: MAPB

WKAR Takes Home National Awards

Via Imani Farmer, WKAR.ORG:

(l-r) Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education; Susi Elkins, WKAR director of broadcasting and general manager; and Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager all honored to accept two awards at the 2017 NETA conference on January 23.  Photo credit: WKAR.

WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University received  two awards at the 2018 National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Conference on January 23 in Washington, DC.

The honors included a promotion award for the special event WKAR Family Launch Open House and a production award for the performance of BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon.

The 2017 NETA awards were presented to 30 projects from 20 public television stations at the annual NETA Conference in Washington, DC. The competition honors member stations’ finest work in community engagement, promotion, instructional media, and content production.

“It was an honor representing our amazing WKAR team at the NETA awards ceremony,” said Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager. “The opportunity for the station to be highlighted in this way, and in front of so many stations and organizations from around the country, is important as we continue to grow our reach.”

The promotion award for WKAR Family Launch Open House is a testament to all the hard work and effort of WKAR Family. An initiative which brings together the resources of PBS KIDS and Michigan State University to provide free programming, technology and learning tools to kids, as well as dedicate resources to researching early childhood development.

“Receiving an award for our PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel and WKAR Family launch event is especially important as it brings awareness to the growing educational needs within our local community and beyond,” said Sochay.

The production award won for BackStage Pass: Toronzo Cannon performance helps bridge WKAR’s own original showcase with bluesman Cannon to provide outstanding and award winning entertainment.

“We filmed it at Blues Fest in Old Town, Lansing,” said Nicole Zaremba, BackStage Pass producer. “Cannon was amazing, a Chicago staple as Blues goes. It was an honor to host him on the show and highlight his musicianship and learn about his inspiration towards and behind his music.”

In this award winning BackStage Pass video, contemporary bluesman Toronzo Cannon from Chicago performs the title track from his album, “John the Conquer Root,” “Ti Ni Nee Ni Nu,” and more.

You can watch Toronzo Cannon’s performance and other BackStage Pass episodes at video.wkar.org. In addition, families and parents can enjoy more WKAR Family segments at video.wkar.org.

WKAR was very pleased to receive both awards at the 2017 NETA Conference and looks forward to continue providing award winning content.

WCMU Presents Pinkalicious Kids and Culture Day

This Saturday, February 17, WCMU Public Media will host “Pinkalicious Kids and Culture Day” from 10 a.m. to Noon on the campus of Central Michigan University.

As part of this great event, WCMU is introducing kids to the brand new PBS Kids show, “Pinkalicious & Peterrific.” Families can stop by for games, activities and a sneak peek of this fun new program.

“Pinkalicious & Peterrific” is based on the beloved children’s books and encourages kids to get creative with art and self-expression.

WCMU is partnering with “Kids & Culture” which brings free events like this to the Mt. Pleasant community and encourages kids to learn more about culture and the arts.

For more information, visit the station’s website here.

WCMU To Present Kids and Culture Event

WCMU Public Media is partnering with Art Reach of Mid-Michigan’s Kids & Culture free event from noon to 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 17, for a variety of activities such as bracelet making, coloring, etc.

The event will be held at the WCMU studios in Mt. Pleasant.

Alysha Fisher of WCMU said, “The date of our event ties in nicely with the launch of a new PBS Kids show, ‘Pinkalicious and Peterrific’. The program is based on a book series which encourages kids to get creative with art and self-expression.”

“Pinkalicious and Peterrific” will premiere its on-air broadcast on WCMU on Monday, Feb. 19.

“I’m excited to add WCMU Public Media as a new partner to Kids and Culture in 2018,” said Amy Powell, executive director of Mid-Michigan Art Reach. “Kids and Culture is in its third year, and each year we add new elements to keep the kids engaged.”

WKAR Holds Celebration for WKAR Family and PBS KIDS 24/7

Left photo: The community celebrates the birthday of WKAR Family and the PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel! Right Photo: Sparty hanging with kids at PBS Kids Day at WKAR. Photo credit: Amanda Pinckney

On January 27, nearly 800 children, parents and families visited the WKAR studios in East Lansing to celebrate the first birthday of WKAR Family and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel with “PBS KIDS Day at WKAR!”

There were many special guests who helped bring in the fun, including Sparty, Laura Sams and Robert Sams from “Get Your Feet Wet LIVE”, Splash and Bubbles, Curious Crew and host Dr. Rob Stephenson, our sponsors and various community organizations.

“We are ecstatic with the turnout for PBS KIDS Day at WKAR,” said Susi Elkins, WKAR director of broadcasting and general manager. “Thanks to our sponsors and all the various community organizations that participated, families were able to not only have fun but also receive valuable information on local resources involving education and health.”

The open house and party featured many fun activities and games for kids to partake in. Many enjoyed taking pictures with Potter Park Zoo’s owl, exploring the impression table with Impression 5 or reading books with the Capital Area District Library.

“PBS KIDS Day is an absolutely exceptional endeavor in supporting families and children throughout our region,” said Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education.

Kids also participated in MSU’s Department of Kinesiology’s obstacle course , baby treadmill and tummy time and posed for a picture with Sparty, Splash and Bubbles!

“PBS KIDS Day at WKAR was so much fun,” said Julie Sochay, WKAR content and community engagement manager. “We loved celebrating this special day with so many of our local families, friends, teachers and partners. Thank you to all those who joined us!”

In addition to the activities, WKAR presented a video of the Playtime Pad Research Project, a collaboration with WKAR, MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, PBS KIDS, MSU’s College of Education and the Lansing School District. The project explores the effectiveness of tablet-based learning in early childhood math literacy, while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers and parents.

“The data collected from student usage will better inform how technology can increase math proficiency,” said Pizzo on the significance of the Playtime Pad Research Project. “This is powerful when we look to increase student achievement at an early age and improve educational outcomes in the STEM fields.”

For more pictures of the event please visit WKAR’s Facebook and Flickr pages.

Michigan Radio Podcast Gives Voice to Detroit’s MorningSide

Imani Mixon

Michigan Radio is launching a local project to give voice to residents of Detroit’s MorningSide neighborhood, as part of the station’s continued participation in the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The MorningSide Podcast project will recruit residents from the neighborhood to produce regular podcasts of local interest and news for their fellow MorningSide neighbors. Michigan Radio will assist with the production and distribution of the podcast.

The MorningSide neighborhood is located on the east side of Detroit, bounded by Harper Avenue and I-94 on the north, Mack Avenue to the south, East Outer Drive and Whittier on the east and Alter Road and East Outer Drive to the west.

Detroit-based writer Imani Mixon is spearheading the project. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she returned to her hometown of Detroit to document its history and resurgence, with a particular focus on neighborhood change. Last year, she reported weekly articles in Detroit’s North End neighborhood as an On The Ground project editor with Model D Media.

The first MorningSide Podcast episode will be distributed by the end of February, with many more coming throughout 2018. Funding for the project is provided by the James L. Knight Foundation.

Michigan Radio is an NPR news station, and broadcasts at 91.7 FM in Detroit and southeastern Michigan, 91.1 FM in Flint, 104.1 FM in West Michigan, and online at michiganradio.org. Michigan Radio is licensed to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

About the Detroit Journalism Cooperative
The Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC) is a partnership of five media outlets reporting about and creating community engagement opportunities relevant to the city’s bankruptcy, recovery and restructuring. The Cooperative includes The Center for Michigan’s Bridge Magazine, Detroit Public Television (DPTV), Michigan Radio, WDET, New Michigan Media and Chalkbeat Detroit,  a partnership of ethnic and minority newspapers.

WEMU Hosts State of the Station Breakfast

Vocalist Sarah Casello

WEMU hosted its sixth annual State of the Station breakfast  Thursday, January 25, at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor.  Vocalist Sarah Casello sang with the Paul Keller ensemble and Jacobs Media VP/General Manager Paul Jacobs delivered the keynote address to WEMU’s key stakeholders that included elected officials, EMU administrators, arts leaders, and WEMU major donors.

WEMU Manager Molly Motherwell gave an update on WEMU’s highlights and accomplishments from 2017, which included a yearlong celebration of WEMU’s 40 years of jazz broadcasting, a $133,000 increase in donations from the previous year, new content partnerships with the Civ City initiative, the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County and Concentrate Media, and the retirement of WEMU’s award-winning music director Linda Yohn.

WEMU’s goals and challenges for 2018 are to strengthen and expand its major donor program, address its aging infrastructure and equipment, and maintain its strong presence as part of the local civic and cultural community through more content partnerships, more local news coverage, and an ongoing commitment to presenting jazz and blues from live and local hosts.

Michigan Radio Welcomes NPR’s 1A to Ann Arbor

Joshua Johnson

Michigan Radio and the Wallace House will welcome NPR’s daily talk show, 1A, to Ann Arbor for a live broadcast and a special event featuring host Joshua Johnson this February.

The special event, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “Speak Freely: Debating the First Amendment in a Changing America.” Host Joshua Johnson and a panel of guests will examine the first amendment, free speech and what it means in a divided America. The topic is particularly timely as the University of Michigan and other universities debate allowing white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak on their campuses. The “Speak Freely” discussion will be held on Thursday, February 15 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Rackham Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus.

In addition to this event, 1A will originate the national broadcast of their show from Michigan Radio’s Ann Arbor studios on Thursday and Friday, Feb 15 and 16. 1A is a production of WAMU and normally broadcasts from studios in Washington, DC. As part of their efforts to reflect conversations taking place across America, 1A travels to member stations across the country several times per year. Along with other yet to be determined topics, the live broadcast from Ann Arbor will include the shows regular Friday national and international news round up.

With a name inspired by the First Amendment, 1A explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program airs on more than 200 NPR stations across the country and can be heard on Michigan Radio every Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Joshua Johnson has hosted 1A since the show premiered in January 2017. Every day, Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. Before joining WAMU, he co-created and hosted the provocative nationwide public radio series, Truth Be Told, which explored race in America. Johnson began his public radio career helping launch a unique regional news partnership between Miami’s NPR station, WLRN, and The Miami Herald. Then he served for over five years as morning news host for KQED in San Francisco.

Michael Walenta Celebrates 30 Years at WGVU Public Media

(center) Michael Walenta, WGVU General Manager, surrounded by staff.

On January 11, Michael Walenta, WGVU (Grand Rapids) General Manager, celebrated 30 years of leading the station.  Under Michael’s leadership, WGVU has grown from from one FM station and one TV station (that was on four hours a night) to a multi-platform Public Media station with two FM NPR stations, two AM Real Oldies & NPR stations, two TV stations with five channels each, WGVU Digital Studios, and WGVU Engage. Under his leadership WGVU has become a vital piece of the fabric in the West and Southwest Michigan community.

Michael, a Petoskey native, is married to Nancy.  Along the way, they’ve welcomed two children: Kevin, who is currently a Producer/Director at Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kristen, who is attending Law School in Grand Rapids.

Congratulations to Michael for 30 years at WGVU Public Media!

Michigan Radio Brings “Snap Judgement” to Kalamazoo

Glynn Washington

Michigan Radio (WUOM/WFUM/WVGR-FM) will welcome the hit public radio storytelling show Snap Judgment to Kalamazoo for a live show on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM.

Snap Judgment is a popular public radio storytelling show that airs on Michigan Radio and over 365 public radio stations nationwide. Created by Detroit-native and University of Michigan graduate Glynn Washington, Snap delivers a raw, intimate, musical brand of narrative — daring audiences to see the world through the eyes of another. Snap Judgment Live features the world’s finest storytellers, on stage, backed by the Snap Judgment band, Bells Atlas. The show crafts powerful multi-platform experiences (radio, stage, screen) that deliver raw, intimate narratives – giving audiences a glimpse into the lives of a stranger.

Tickets for Snap Judgment Live in Kalamazoo will go on sale to the public on Friday, January 12, 2018.

Snap Judgment Live is co-presented by the Kalamazoo State Theatre and will be coming to West Michigan for the very first time. The show last appeared in Michigan at a sold out performance in Royal Oak in December 2015.

Snap Judgment can be heard on Michigan Radio every Saturday at 1 and 9 p.m.