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AETN Arts Fridays premieres Oct. 14 with 'AETN Presents: On the Same Page,' PBS Arts Fall Festival

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) will debut AETN Arts Fridays beginning Friday, Oct. 14, to provide Arkansans with world class arts and culture programming, including the locally produced series “AETN Presents” at 6:30 p.m. and the PBS Arts Fall Festival at 9 p.m.
“AETN offers Arkansans a front row seat to America’s largest stage and a chance to be truly inspired,” AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. “By concentrating our local arts series and PBS arts programming on Fridays, viewers can tune in for the arts in Arkansas and on a global stage.
“We hope that viewers will start and end their Friday nights by watching our book and music shows and returning for the PBS Arts Fall Festival that showcases talent from nine different cities.”
“AETN Presents” features a variety of arts and cultural subjects and encompasses the series “On the Same Page” and “On the Front Row.” Previously included in the series have been performances by the Cate Brothers, Trout Fishing in America, 3 Penny Acre, Dale Hawkins, The Claudia Burson Trio, The Salty Dogs and Epiphany; and authors Buzz Bissinger, Wells Tower, Billy Collins, John T. Edge and Kenneth L. Smith.
As part of PBS’ commitment to increasing every American’s access to and participation in the arts, PBS is launching the PBS Arts Fall Festival, featuring a range of artists, performances and celebrity hosts. Full-length performances, behind-the-scenes interviews, profiles of artists and performers, and mini-documentaries of women rock-and-rollers, banjo pickers, choreographers and local art scenes are a front row seat and back stage pass to entertain and inspire viewers. In addition, www.pbsarts.org will host weekly, curated, immersive, themed exhibits that take consumers beyond the television and into the creative process itself, and PBS will create innovative classroom tools to help fill gaps in arts education.

The October AETN Arts Friday schedule includes:
• Oct. 14 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Same Page With C.D. Wright.” Wright was born in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and spoke to host Tommy Sanders about her latest book, “One With Others: [A Little Book of her Days].” At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Minnesota “The Guthrie Theater Presents H.M.S. Pinafore.” This film from Twin Cities Public Television is a production of the beloved Gilbert and Sullivan classic from the Guthrie Theater and is infused with fresh musical arrangements of Sullivan’s memorable melodies, from big band swing to classic pop.  Actor Rainn Wilson hosts.
• Oct. 21 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Same Page With Darcy Pattison.” Pattison and Sanders discus her newest book “Prairie Storms,” which was released in August. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Seattle “American Masters: Pearl Jam Twenty,” presented in collaboration with PBS member station KCTS. In honor of Pearl Jam’s 20th anniversary, award-winning director and music journalist Cameron Crowe creates a definitive portrait of the seminal band, chronicling the years leading to the band’s formation, the chaos after their rise to mega-stardom, their step back from center stage and the creation of a work culture that would sustain them.
• Oct. 28 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Same Page With Mark Spitzer.” Spitzer discusses his newest book, “Season of the Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America's Most Misunderstood Fish,” with Sanders. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Miami “Great Performances: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp.” This program, presented in collaboration with PBS member station WPBT, illustrates the grace and beauty of one of America’s finest dance companies, Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, in a trio of signature works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp.  Actor Andy Garcia hosts.
The November AETN Arts Friday schedule includes:
• Nov. 4 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Still on the Hill.” Hailing from the Ozarks, Still on the Hill features a unique brand of Arkansan “folkgrass.” The accomplished multi-instrumental and 2010 Governor’s Arts Award-winning duo of Kelly Mullhollan and Donna Stjerna performs primarily their original compositions interspersed with new arrangements of traditional songs. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains “Give Me The Banjo.” This film from PBS member station UNC-TV takes viewers on a musical odyssey through 300 years of American history and culture by way of the banjo. The film is narrated by actor/comedian/banjoist Steve Martin and guided by modern banjo masters, such as Earl Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Abigail Washburn and Ralph Stanley.  Roseanne Cash hosts.
• Nov. 11 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Kevin Kerby + Battery.” This episode features entertaining, energetic rock ‘n’ roll and the honest songwriting style of lead singer, Kevin Kerby. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Chicago “American Masters: Bill T. Jones: A Good Man.” Viewers will 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. The presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station WTTW.
• Nov. 18 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Front Row With The Smittle Band – featuring Stephanie Smittle.” The band is led by Stephanie Smittle and includes Wythe Walker, Jim McGeHee, Ray Wittenberg and John Davies. They play lounge, Americana and jazzy sounds inspired by the classics. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Cleveland “Women Who Rock.” 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 The film reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll. Presented in collaboration with PBS member station WVIZ/PBS ideastream.
• Nov. 25 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Keith Harkin.” A member of Celtic Thunder, Harkin treats audiences to a solo performance taped in the AETN studios. Harkin is the blond, scruffy member of the band and is also a successful solo performer in Ireland. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from Los Angeles “Great Performances: Il Postino from LA Opera” with Plácido Domingo. World-renowned tenor Domingo joins the LA Opera in this romantic new opera by composer Daniel Catán based on the Oscar-winning Italian film. This presentation is in cooperation with PBS SoCal.  Singer Linda Ronstadt hosts.
The December AETN Arts Friday schedule includes:
• Dec. 2 – At 6:30 p.m. “AETN Presents: On the Front Row With Bonnie Montgomery and Montgomery Trucking.” Montgomery, an Arkansas native, mixes country, folk and opera. Montgomery Trucking blends produces an eclectic mix of music that has been described as a hybrid of country, hillbilly and folk. Also featured is an excerpt from Montgomery’s highly anticipated project “Billy Blythe,” a short-length opera about the adolescence of former president Bill Clinton. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from New York “Great Performances: Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park.” Beloved tenor Bocelli performs a free concert on Central Park’s Great Lawn with the New York Philharmonic. Joining Bocelli are Céline Dion, Tony Bennett, Chris Botti, David Foster and others.
• Dec. 16 – At 6:30 p.m. “Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase” featuring Arkansas student films in Project VoiceScape. Featured films include: “Life at Hamilton,” an unflinching look at the daily learning environment at an inner-city alternative school; “Quality of Opportunity,” an examination of the evolution of the Little Rock Central High School neighborhood; and “Dreaming for Justice,” a look at the monumental challenge facing a Hispanic immigrant student seeking higher education without needed financial assistance or legal work. At 9 p.m. will be PBS Arts from San Francisco “Great Performances: The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet.” Hans Christian Andersen’s haunting tale of love comes to life with San Francisco Ballet’s production of John Neumeier’s inventive ballet. This presentation is in collaboration with PBS member station KQED.
More information on AETN Arts Fridays and the PBS Fall Arts Festival, including previews, are available at www.aetn.org./aetnartsfridays and http://pressroom.pbs.org/.  More information about “AETN Presents” is available at www.aetn.org/aetnpresents.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit www.aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at www.aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).

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