culture

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The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Jay Leno

The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created in 1998 by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Mark Krantz, Peter Kaminsky, Bob Kaminsky and Cappy McGarr to recognize the art of humorists who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. Each year, the Mark Twain Prize is awarded to a different comedian. The 2014 Mark Twain Prize recipient is Jay Leno and the evening pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the comedy icon. Taped at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the special features a star-studded cast of Leno’s friends and colleagues including top entertainers and comedians, Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Robert Klein, Al Madrigal, Seth Myers, Jerry Seinfeld, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and special appearances by Jamie Foxx and Betty White.

Jay Leno first appeared as a guest host on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson in 1977, became the exclusive guest host in 1987, and became main host in 1992. Leno has also gained an international following on the internet with his new creation, Jaylenosgarage.com, winning an Emmy Award and two additional nominations for Outstanding Special Class–Short-Format Nonfiction Programs. Along with a variety of books, voice-overs, and charitable work, Leno is known as a fantastic comedian and television personality.

Tune into WETA TV26 & HD Sunday November 23 at 8pm for The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2014: Jay Leno.
After the awards program, stay tuned for Richard Pryor: Icon at 9:30pm.
 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Washington in the 80s | New WETA TV26 Production

WETA TV26 proudly presents Washington in the ’80s, the latest in a series of documentaries exploring changes in Greater Washington decade by decade. You may have seen WETA's Washington in the ’60s and Washington in the ’70s and as you may guess, Washington in the ’80s chronicles the decade’s events through the recollections of those who saw and shaped them. The one-hour WETA production premieres Monday, November 17 at 8pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Repeats on Saturday, November 22 at 9:30pm and Wednesday, November 26 at 8pm.

Among the topics discussed are politics: Marion Barry’s three terms as mayor and President Ronald Reagan's administration and their influence on the city. Homelessness, the Vietnam Memorial, the changing media landscape, the Air Florida winter crash and the deadly Metro derailment the same day. DC's gay community, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the crack cocaine epidemic, and Washington’s dubious distinction of “Murder Capital USA”. Sports: Two Super Bowl championships for the Washington Redskins, the national champion Georgetown Hoyas and the meteoric rise and tragic death of Len Bias at the University of Maryland. DC’s unique music scenes, Go-Go and DC punk, and their surprising interconnection and the rapid expansion of Washington’s theater scene.

 

 

Washington in the ’80s features the firsthand accounts of notable Washingtonians such as politicians Marion Barry and Carol Schwartz, television journalists Maureen Bunyan and Tom Sherwood, radio journalist Kojo Nnamdi, political commentator Pat Buchanan, entertainment reporter Arch Campbell, former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, musician Kato Hammond, and former police chief Isaac Fulwood — offering a diversity of perspective and experience. The program is narrated by Gordon Peterson, WJLA anchor and former host of Inside Washington. The one-hour WETA production premieres Monday, November 17 at 8pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Repeats on Saturday, November 22 at 9:30pm and Wednesday, November 26 at 8pm.

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WETA Arts | New Episode in November

WETA Arts spotlights and celebrates visual and performing art in Greater Washington and around the nation. This half-hour magazine-style arts series presents a variety of stories, profiles, and critic discussions, introducing emerging and established artists alike.

This episode of WETA Arts showcases innovative local and international art on display across the country.  First, we take in the immersive and energetic atmosphere of the fourth annual (e)merge Art Fair. Here we speak with Director Jamie Smith, local artist Sheldon Scott, and international Israeli artist, Avner Sher about their (e)merge experiences.  Then we meet an artist who's humanitarian mission helps him feed members of his community through his art.  Next, we travel to Houston for the International Quilt Festival and discover wide range of stunning and complex works of art.  Finally, we get an inside look of the striking exhibition Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities with The Phillip's Collection Director, Dorothy Kosinski (pictured above).

Watch WETA Arts on WETA TV26 & HD Friday October 31 at 8:30pm, Sunday November 2 at 2:30pm, and throughout the month of November!

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Documentaries in October | Independent Films on WETA TV26

This October on WETA TV26 & HD, tune in every Monday night for fascinating independent films presented by POV and Independent Lens. Read about each film below and mark your calendars!

Monday October 6 at 10pm POV: The Act of Killing
This film explores a horrifying era in Indonesian history and provides a window into modern Indonesia, where corruption reigns. Not only is the 1965 murder of an estimated one million people honored as a patriotic act, but the killers remain in power. In a mind-bending twist, death-squad leaders dramatize their brutal deeds in the style of the American westerns, musicals and gangster movies they love — and play both themselves and their victims. As their heroic facade crumbles, they come to question what they've done. Watch the trailer here. Some images may be disturbing.

Monday October 13 at 10pm Independent Lens: Bully
An intimate, unflinching look at how bullying affects five kids and their families. Opening a window onto the pained lives of bullied kids, it documents the responses of adults to aggressive behaviors beyond “kids will be kids” clichés, capturing a growing movement to change how bullying is handled in schools, communities, and society. Watch the trailer here.

Monday October 20 at 11pm Independent Lens: Twin Sisters
The poignant story of two girls from China adopted as infants by two separate sets of parents — one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway — who grow up knowing they have a twin living on the other side of the world. Despite being on different paths, the magical bond between them grows deeper. Watch the trailer here.

Monday October 27 at 11pm Independent Lens: Brakeless
What led the driver of a Japanese commuter train to accelerate perilously, causing a deadly crash? Piecing together personal accounts of those affected by the tragedy, Brakeless poses a question for a society that equates speed with progress: have what were once national virtues — punctuality and compliance — become dangerous? Watch the trailer here.


 

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WETA Movie Night: September 6

Watch WETA TV26 & HD this Saturday, September 6 for a classic feature film and two Independent Lens documentaries related to Hispanic Heritage Month.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
This is a romanticized account of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang from the 1930s. Excited by Clyde Barrow's outlaw demeanor, Bonnie Parker joins him in a crime spree across multiple towns.  Soon the pair joins Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche in a bank robbery. Will they get away with the heist? How long can they pull off this lifestyle? This movie is packed with drama, action, adventure, and romance. Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Gene Hackman. This film won the 1968 Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Estelle Parsons and Best Cinematography: Burnett Guffey. Also watch Sunday at 11:30am!

Independent Lens: Las Marthas airs Saturday at 11:30pm
In the lingering aftermath of the U.S.-Mexican War, the border town of Laredo, Texas created an annual debutante ball unlike any other. Las Marthas follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.

Independent Lens: The State of Arizona airs Sunday 12:30am
The turbulent battle over illegal immigration in Arizona that came to a head with Senate Bill 1070 frames this riveting documentary tracking multiple perspectives — activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, ranchers, and others — as America eyes the results.

 


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

Ken Burns September on WETA TV26 | The Roosevelts & More!

Ken Burns’ newest documentary film The Roosevelts: An Intimate History premieres this September! Watch this new program as well as a selection from the Ken Burns collection this September on WETA TV26 & HD. Read this blog post for details on all the Ken Burns films airing on WETA TV26 & HD this September. Also, watch our local WETA TV26 Washington, DC video segments related to the Roosevelt family.

Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts: An Intimate History airs Sunday September 14-Saturday September 20 at 8pm & 10pm daily *NEW*
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History archives the lives of three members of the most prominent and influential family in American politics: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt. This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore's birth in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History premieres on WETA TV26 & HD Sunday September 14 at 8pm.

WETA TV26: Roosevelt Island
A living memorial to Theodore Roosevelt’s nature conservationist ideal, this DC area hidden gem is one with deep meaning.

WETA TV26: FDR Memorials
Learn about the popular FDR Memorial and the lesser-known FDR Memorial both located in Washington, DC. 

Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea airs Monday September 1 from 5:30am-6pm
This series is a story of people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

Ken Burns’ The Statue of Liberty airs Friday September 5 at 8:30pm & Monday September 15 at 5pm
For more than 100 years, the Statue of Liberty has been a symbol of hope and refuge for generations of immigrants. In this lyrical, compelling, and provocative portrait of the statue, Ken Burns explores both the history of America’s premier symbol and the meaning of liberty itself.

Ken Burns’ The Civil War airs Sunday September 14 from 7:30am-8pm leading to the premiere of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
This film is a comprehensive examination of The Civil War told by dramatic readings, photos, and more.

Ken Burns’ The War airs Monday September 15-Friday September 19 at 1pm daily
This is the story of World War II through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four American towns. The war touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary times.

Ken Burns’ The Address airs Monday September 15 at 3:30pm
The film tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address.  In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address.

Ken Burns’ Lewis and Clark part 1 airs Tuesday September 16 at 3pm, part 2 airs Wednesday September 17 at 3pm
Lewis and Clark re-creates the 1803 journey to locate the Northwest Passage, the most notable expedition in U.S. history was led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with soldiers, an African-American slave, a female guide, and Canadian boatmen.


 

WETA TV26 logoCategory:TV26

WETA TV26 August Music Programs

This August WETA TV26 & HD presents a wide variety of music oriented programs. Read on to see what shows are scheduled and a short description for each program. Show air dates are subject to change.

Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin' With Frank & Bing  
A profile of composer Jimmy Van Heusen, who wrote such classics as "Swinging on a Star" and "Come Fly With Me." Included: remarks from Frank Sinatra Jr., Harry Crosby, Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine and John Pizzarelli; and archival performance footage of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.  Airs Wednesday August 13 at 8pm & Friday August 15 at 11pm.

The Big Band Years  
Peter Marshall hosts this celebration of big bands of the 1930s and '40s. Included: Glenn Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway, as well as singers Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly (Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra), the Pied Pipers (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra) and Frank Sinatra (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra).  Airs Tuesday August 12 at 10pm, Saturday August 16 at 8pm, and Wednesday August 20 at 8pm.

John Sebastian Presents: Folk Rewind 
A John Sebastian-hosted celebration of the 1960s' folk-music boom, featuring archival footage of the era's top performers and modern-day performances by Barry McGuire, Roger McGuinn, the Chad Mitchell Trio, Chad and Jeremy, and Jesse Colin Young (of the Youngbloods). Airs Monday August 18 at 8pm and Thursday August 21 at 10pm.

Woody's Children: 45th Anniversary Concert Live at Symphony Space  
A celebration of the 45th birthday of the "Woody's Children" folk-music radio show, featuring David Amram, Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters, Emma's Revolution, Christine Lavin, Holly Near, Tom Paxton and Noel Paul Stookey. Also appearing: Nora Guthrie and singer-songwriter Doug Mishkin. Airs Tuesday August 19 at 10pm.

50s & 60s Rock Rewind  
Archival performances by such artists as Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Bo Diddley, Johnny Otis, Buddy Holly, the Platters, Everly Brothers, Chordettes, Bobby Darin and Lloyd Price accent this compilation of classic songs from the 1950s and early '60s.Other featured performers include Fats Domino; Ricky Nelson; Elvis Presley; the Champs; Sam Cooke; Paul & Paula; Paul Anka; Conway Twitty; the Diamonds; Five Satins; Shangri-Las; Neil Sedaka; and Roy Orbison. Jon "Bowzer" Bauman hosts. Tuesday August 19 at 11pm, and Friday August 22 at 9:30pm.

Classical Rewind  
Martin Goldsmith hosts this collection of classical masterpieces, including ones by Mozart, Edvard Grieg, Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Aaron Copland, Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Maurice Ravel, Richard Wagner, Jacques Offenbach, Antonio Vivaldi, Modest Mussorgsky, Carl Orff and Tchaikovsky. Also: Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell and Stewart Copeland of the Police offer their thoughts on the compositions. Airs Friday August 15 at 10:30pm.

 

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WETA Movie Night: July 19

This week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies are thrillers! Beginning at 9:30pm, catch A Streetcar Named Desire then at 11:30pm watch the POV independent film Mugabe and the White African.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
Disturbed, alcoholic Blanche DuBois moves from Mississippi to New Orleans to live with her sister after being fired from her teaching job.  While her reality crumbles around her, Blanche is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law Stanley. Abuse and drama push Blanche to a breaking point, but can she survive in this harsh situation? A Streetcar Named Desire won the 1952 Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role Vivien Leigh; Best Actor in a Supporting Role Karl Malden; Best Actress in a Supporting Role Kim Hunter; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White Richard Day and George James Hopkins. This film also airs Sunday at 11:30am.

POV: Mugabe and the White African airs Saturday at 11:30pm
This is the story of white Zimbabwe farmer Mike Campbell, whose farm (which he purchased after the country's independence in 1980) has been targeted by strongman Robert Mugabe's government for confiscation as part of the country's land-redistribution program. The documentary details Campbell's efforts to save his farm by taking his case to an international court, a process that proves frustrating due to several delays, as well as his run-ins with Mugabe's thugs.

 


 

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WETA Movie Night: July 5-6

Check out description for this week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies below! Tune into WETA TV26 & HD beginning at 9:30pm on Saturday for a night full of movies that are sure to excite and entertain.

Cool Hand Luke (1967) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
In this prison drama, Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. Jackson struggles to conform to rural prison life. Also airs Sunday at 11:30am!

POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs airs Saturday at 11:30pm
A profile of 98-year-old Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American social activist in Detroit who has spent much of her adult life fighting for civil rights and female equality.

POV: Good Fortune airs Sunday at 1am
This documentary investigates that international anti-poverty projects in Africa that may not be helping the people they're meant to. A plan to build modern housing in Kibera meets local resistance as residents fear that the project will benefit the well-connected, not them. In the west, neighbors worry that a rice farm's planned reservoir will cause their lands to flood.
 

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WETA Movie Night: June 28 & 29

This week’s two WETA Saturday Night Movies are vastly different in topic and style. The first is a classic Western that entertains with phenomenal acting. The second is a powerful documentary that sparks thought and discussion. Tune in the Saturday for two back-to-back movies on WETA TV26 & HD!

The Big Country (1958) airs Saturday at 9:30pm
A Yankee sailor and his fiancée arrive in the Old West at a family ranch to find themselves in the middle of a deadly feud between two powerful ranchers each looking for an easy supply of water and fighting over a piece of valuable land. This classic Western drama is full of excitement, you won’t want to miss your chance to see it commercial free on WETA TV26. This film stars Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives. Ives won the 1959 Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Can’t watch it Saturday night? Set your DVR or tune in Sunday at 11:30am for a repeat!


Independent Lens: Love Free or Die airs Sunday at 12:30am

Gene Robinson became the first openly gay priest in a committed same-sex relationship to be ordained a bishop in any Christian denomination. Robinson has received threats of violence but with his beloved husband Mark at his side, Robinson continues to calmly make the case that who you love doesn’t determine whether God loves you. Robinson’s story parallels the conversation underway in many American churches about whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of God, and also the debate in legislatures and courthouses across the nation as to whether LGBT people are entitled to equal status under the law.


 

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