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April 22, 2021

PBS and The WNET Group Announce #PBSForTheArts Campaign

Today PBS and The WNET Group announced #PBSForTheArts, a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the resiliency of the arts in America during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and reopening. The collection of #PBSForTheArts programs will be available for broadcast on PBS and streaming on PBS.org/arts and the PBS Video app. Curated conversation and digital shorts will be available on PBS social media platforms using #PBSForTheArts.

#PBSForTheArts kicks off with new programming filmed within the constraints of the pandemic: Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet (Friday, April 23 at 9:00 p.m.), a contemporary rendering of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy from the National Theatre, where a company of actors in a shuttered theater bring to life the timeless tale of two young lovers who strive to transcend a world of violence and hate; Great Performances: The Arts Interrupted (Friday, May 14 at 9:00 p.m.), a new documentary special featuring the survival stories of arts organizations across America; and the new three-part series Inside The Met (Friday, May 21 at 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. and Friday, May 28 at 9:00 p.m.), which goes behind the scenes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s struggle to survive amid the pandemic and its response to the urgent demands for social justice during its 150th anniversary.

As the campaign expands over the coming months, it will include new specials and original digital content from long-standing arts strands including Great Performances, American Masters and PBS NewsHour’s Canvas, while PBS Digital Studios, The WNET Group and other award-winning PBS arts series will provide digital programming. PBS member stations will also contribute content to their local schedules that examine the resiliency of the arts and artists in their communities.

“As we prepare for life post-COVID, it is so important that we come together to restore and revitalize the arts, which are central to the cultural health of our country,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “Through this sweeping initiative, PBS and our member stations will showcase the resilient spirit of the arts and ensure that all Americans can continue to access extraordinary dance, theater and musical performances on public television.”

As PBS’s largest producer of arts programming for more than 50 years, The WNET Group will lead digital content production and PBS member station collaboration efforts nationwide. The WNET Group will gather and curate content from local musicians, actors, dancers and artists that represent the range, diversity and scope of the performing arts.

“In times of crisis, the arts have the ability to lift us up, bring us together and give us hope for a better tomorrow. We are pleased to partner with PBS to spotlight the resilience of performing arts organizations as we look forward to the return of live performances and an end to the pandemic,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of The WNET Group.

Variety was the first publication to report on the campaign in a story that was published yesterday.

The press release was picked up by Manhattan Week, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Daily Times Leader and many others. BroadwayWorld also reported on the campaign.

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