Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WQED Season Spotlights Community Health, Diversity and Regional Issues



October 11, 2011

George Hazimanolis

Maria Pisano



PITTSBURGH – WQED’s new season of local programs covers the region with a crop of fresh new stories, documentaries, and talk programs focusing on topics including the environment, regionalism, diversity, health, politics and history.

October 13 begins the second season of Rick Sebak’s It’s Pittsburgh and A Lot of Other Stuff. The award-winning documentarian has a new slot in prime time – the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m.

The locally-focused documentary program Experience, which received 8 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® nominations in its first season, returns on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. beginning October 24.

Horizons, a blend of features and interviews focusing on the region’s ethnic and cultural diversity continues on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. starting November 1 hosted by Chris Moore.

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. will again feature Pittsburgh 360°. The magazine-format program profiles people, places and issues shaping the region, and will re-launch on October 20 hosted by Michael Bartley and Tonia Caruso.

4802 returns on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning October 28. Chris Moore hosts the lively discussion of the news of the week, with a regular panel that welcomes well-known Pittsburgh television, radio and web personality Lynn Cullen in the new season. Cullen, a popular guest panelist in past episodes, joins Bill Green, Heather Heidelbaugh and Valerie McDonald Roberts.

Below are upcoming highlights of WQED’s local programming:


Mondays at 7:30 p.m. (Each episode will ENCORE Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. of the following week) – Upcoming episodes include:

• October 24

Living With Diabetes - Despite efforts from the medical community to promote awareness, the number of diabetes cases continues to rise. People with diabetes know that the disease affects just about every aspect of their lives. WQED follows four local people of various ages and lifestyles diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic who are successfully managing their health with medication, exercise, diet and determination.

• October 31

Managing Marcellus – This unusual look at the Marcellus Shale issue centers around a locally-produced play with actors in the roles of a gas industry representative, an elected official, an environmentalist, and a land owner - all grappling with the controversy, misconceptions and decisions surrounding Marcellus Shale drilling. WQED features not only the performers, but their real-life counterparts.

• November 7

Pittsburgh: An Arsenal of Freedom - WQED contributing reporter Dave Crawley documents Western Pennsylvania’s contributions to World War II, including the Bantam Jeep designed in Butler, LST production on Neville Island, steel production in Homestead, and the Westinghouse artist who created the Rosie The Riveter image.

• November 14

Pittsburgh Is Art! – Western Pennsylvanians are familiar with the prestigious opera, ballet and theater productions in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District – but what about the region’s lesser-known arts organizations? WQED spotlights some of the “small arts” groups that fly under the mainstream radar, yet bring diversity and vibrancy to the cultural scene.

• November 21

Cresson: The History of a Tuberculosis Sanatorium – The TB sanatorium in Cresson, PA closed in 1962 but former patients are still haunted by their experiences. Many Western Pennsylvanians with family members who were sent away to Cresson remember the stigma of a TB diagnosis. WQED chronicles the fascinating history of the Cresson “San” through rare archival images and the poignant stories of a Texas man who was confined as a teenage patient - and is determined to see Cresson one last time.

• December 5

Visiting Volant – The tiny town in Lawrence County, PA has transformed itself into a charming tourist attraction and fly-fishing destination. WQED explores Volant’s history, fascinating shops, the town’s Amish influence and its scenic outdoor activities.


Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., here is a sampling of new stories this season:

• November 1

Indian Burial Grounds - Native American Eugene Strong is on a one-man, lifetime crusade to save the burial mounds of his ancestors, including one in McKees Rocks. Chris Moore reports.

• November 1

Ayurveda – Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional, alternative, medicine native to India. Chris Moore shows viewers how it is being practiced right here in Pittsburgh

• November 8

Pieces of Venezuela in Pittsburgh - Jose Puentes came to Pittsburgh ten years ago from Venezuela to attend CMU's Performance Residential Program. Now he's keeping alive the traditions of Venezuelan folk music.

• November 22

Homewood Artists Residency – This new initiative is creating a space where artists can both live and work in this Pittsburgh neighborhood. Sponsored by the Andy Warhol Museum, the project hopes to have a lasting impact on the lives of the artists and more permanent residents of this once-thriving community. Minette Seate reports.

It’s Pittsburgh and A Lot of Other Stuff

All NEW every 2nd Thursday from 8-9 p.m.

• October 13

North Park vs. South Park – Rick Sebak brings viewers a look at the fun rivalry between Pittsburgh’s two great county parks.

Pittsburgh 360°

Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

• October 20, 27, November 3

The Power of 32 - An in-depth look at the power of regional thinking and the initiative that has local lawmakers thinking and using their influence in a whole new way. The Power of 32 initiative involves 32 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia creating a vision for the region’s future. Tonia Caruso and Michael Bartley report.

• October 27

Senior Softball - They play with the enthusiasm of teenagers, but three of the players on this local softball team are 80 or older, and not one is younger than 65. Tonia Caruso spotlights this team in Pittsburgh’s North Hills.

• November 10

Historic Flag - WQED's Chris Fennimore tells the story of an American flag made by his father while serving in Germany in World War II, and how it ended up in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

• December 8

Opera Champion of Pittsburgh – The Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh is looking for its own “idol.” Reporter Beth Dolinar follows the regional competition of amateur singers hoping to win cash, voice lessons and a solo role on stage.

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (; and The WQED Education Department.

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