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AETN focuses Arts and Culture programming on Friday nights

Posted on 23 Sep 2011

Start and end your Friday nights with awesome local and national (and way diverse) arts and culture shows on AETN.  I am a fan of ballet and the banjo (go figure) so I’ll be tuning in to “The Little Mermaid from San Francisco ballet” with my daughter (most likely dressed in her pink leotard and matching hair bow) Dec. 14 and “Give me the Banjo” from the Blue Ridge Mountains Nov. 4 with Steve Martin and friends.  And OH! Pearl Jam! Seriously.  On PBS.  Oct. 21.  And then there’s the Arkansas peeps – Keith Harkin of Celtic Thunder (solo and acoustic in our AETN studios), author Mark Spitzer (who will explain his hilarious travels in the south hunting the gar), Arkansan Bonnie Montgomery and her folksy, checkered shirt retro self and more…

You can find “AETN Presents” at 6:30 p.m. and “PBS Arts Fall Festival” at 9 p.m.  And here’s the deal – if you are busy chasing kids or worked late or washing your hair at 6:30 Fridays and missed us, you can find that same “AETN Presents” show the following Wednesday at 6:30 and also after “Austin City Limits” Saturdays at midnight.

You may not live near a grand arts mecca or even near a half decent theater group.  But you may have a television (or a computer) where you can get the most amazing arts shows from across the country – “PBS Arts Fall Festival” features 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 that has blown me away already…..and I have only seen little blips of each.  Wait until you see the little mermaid’s costume….long flowy mermaid tail that I will (almost guaranteed) have to figure out how to sew, glue or steal for my five-year-old ballet star.  

And let me tell ya – if you like film or want to see another side of life in Arkansas, check out some amazing student films as part of our “Student Selects:  A Young Filmmakers Showcase” Dec. 16 starting at 6:30 p.m.  You will be happy you did. Here’s a little preview of the film topics:

  • “Life at Hamilton” A group of students take an unflinching look at their daily learning environment at an inner-city alternative school. This film chronicles the students’ own metamorphosis of attitudes, as they discover through interviews with staff and students the many positive efforts at work all around the school.
  • “Quality of Opportunity” Students examine the evolution of the Little Rock Central High School neighborhood: a place immortalized as a key location in the civil rights movement, tainted by violence and disrepair, but now in the midst of a revival. The film focuses on some of the individuals that are making a difference to change the perception of the historic area from “hood to neighborhood.” 
  • “Dreaming for Justice”  A Hispanic immigrant student looks at the monumental challenge facing others in a situation much like his own; without the needed legislation, many undocumented students seeking higher education are left without needed financial assistance or legal work, or worse -- facing potential deportation.

To find out more and the full Fall schedule of “AETN Presents” check out aetn.org/aetnpresents - our local series that features a variety of arts and cultural subjects and encompasses the series “On the Same Page” and “On the Front Row.”

For more information on AETN Arts Fridays or “PBS Fall Arts Festival” and view clips from upcoming shows, visit aetn.org/aetnartsfridays.

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