There were many challenges this year as the pandemic kept our daily lives in limbo, but there were also remarkable opportunities. The WNET Group remained steadfast in its commitment to bringing arts, education, and inspiration to its diverse audiences in innovative ways.
As one of the only media destinations in the country where anyone can experience the arts – free of charge, no tickets required – it was vital for The WNET Group to be a leader in the community. As arts organizations remained closed, #PBSForTheArts, a new initiative from PBS and The WNET Group, took audiences inside creative spaces as artistic creators transformed original performances into socially-distanced productions – from bubble residencies in the Hudson Valley, to “Götterdämmerung” from Michigan Opera Theatre… held in a Detroit parking garage.
Community collaboration and strong partnerships reinforced our core mission of lifelong learning and access to education. In a way that only public media could, The WNET Group aided students, teachers, and caregivers with new educational television episodes, the return of summer’s hit program Camp TV, and 36 early learning workshops.
The WNET Group continued its responsibility of covering under-reported global and national issues – climate change, poverty, racism and discrimination – while underlining the power of local public service journalism. NJ Spotlight News’ online COVID-19 hub had more than 3.3 million unique visitors; that means one third of New Jerseyans relied on our local newsroom to track data during the pandemic. And newsmakers and thought-leaders were brought together in “live journalism” events such as American Cities Rebuilding, a virtual conversation on envisioning the future for cities in the wake of COVID-19.
Everything we do – from journalistic work and live theater performances to virtual educator workshops and community convenings – we do to advance the mission of public television. We thank you, our loyal viewers and supporters, for helping make what we do possible, and for ensuring that The WNET Group remains a beacon of quality, accessibility and diversity for years to come.
Edgar Wachenheim, III
The WNET Group