Watch some of the finest talent in art, music, and theatre during the PBS Summer Arts Festival. Friday nights at 10:00 during the month of July, WETA 26 and WETA HD will air arts related documentaries and performances to showcase the diversity of arts programming on PBS .
June 29—10:00 PM
The Festival kicks off tonight with Mariachi High, a documentary that follows Mariachi Halcon, the championship winning high school mariachi band from Zapata High School in Zapata, Texas. The film shows a year in the life of the band’s members as they prepare to compete at Mariachi Vargas Extravanganza, the nation’s premier mariachi competition in San Antonio, Texas. The film captures the students’ passion for music and their bravery in the face of adversity and intense competition. If you want to hear beautiful music and see strong musicianship then Mariachi High should not be missed!
JULY 6—10:00 PM
Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World
An exploration of the complex artistic and structural elements of Islamic art and architecture, Islamic Art strives to illustrate the similar histories of Western and Islamic societies. Narrated by Academy Award Winning actress Susan Sarandon, the film features commentary from some of the world’s leading art scholars and surveys works from over nine countries and 1,400 years of cultural history. If you’re interested in how societal beliefs and aspirations are manifest in art and architecture, Islamic Art will not disappoint.
Check out this clip about the use of color in Islamic art.
JULY 13—10:00 PM
Tales from a Ghetto Klown
Follow veteran actor and comedian John Leguizamo as he makes an exciting return to Broadway in Tales from a Ghetto Klown. This documentary focuses on Leguizamo as he shares his unusual path to success and produces his one man show Ghetto Klown for audiences in New York City and his hometown of Bogota, Colombia. Get into the head of this master storyteller as he attempts to turn his life experiences into a resonant stage production.
Watch John Leguizamo perform part of Ghetto Klown at the Tony Awards.
JULY 20—10:00 PM
Homecoming-Kansas City Symphony presents Joyce DiDonato
Grammy Award winning mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra team up for an unforgettable performance in Homecoming—Kansas City Symphony presents Joyce DiDonato. Filmed in the architecturally stunning, Moshe Safdie designed Kauffman Center for the Arts, Homecoming will not only showcase the immense talent of both acts, but also document DiDonato’s triumphant return to her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. Awe inspiring in both sound and physicality, Homecoming will certainly satisfy fans of classical and opera music.
Watch the trailer on PBS.org!
Listen to Moshe Safdie talk about the importance of the Kauffman center:
JULY 27—10:00 PM
Journey to Cuba with musicians Kelvis Ochoa, David Torrens, Descemer Bueno, and Raul Paz, as they return to their home country for a concert in Havana. This documentary not only captures the first time all four artists have performed together, but also highlights the evolution of Cuban music in the 21st century. Lose yourself in the rhythm of guajira guitarists and Afro-Cuban drummers and join these four music superstars as they attempt to bring a new energy to the Cuban music that they love.
Listen to “Quedate” by Descemer Bueno and Kelvis Ochoa:
AUGUST 3—10:00 PM
The Barnes Collection
Physician. Chemist. Businessman. Art Collector. These are just a few of the titles Albert Barnes acquired during his long rich life as an academic and art patron. The Barnes Collection chronicles the ascent of Albert Barnes from his origins in working class Philadelphia to becoming one of the most renowned figures in the international art community. This documentary not only shows Barnes’s rise to prominence, but also explores the controversy surrounding his vast art acquisitions.
Watch the trailer at PBS.org!