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Arkansas PBS is a finalist for 13 Public Media Awards

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We’re excited to share that Arkansas PBS has been named a finalist for 13 Public Media Awards (PMA) from the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) in the 54th annual competition! The Public Media Awards honor NETA members’ finest work in community engagement, content, education, marketing/communications and overall excellence.


Arkansas PBS is a finalist in the following PMA categories:

Overall Excellence - Excellence in Community Engagement

Overall Excellence - Content

Overall Excellence - Excellence in Education

Overall Excellence - Marketing/Communications

Community Initiative - “COVID-19 PSA” - This multipronged campaign was designed and executed to be a hyperlocal, highly personal “friends and neighbors” effort to combat COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and vaccine reluctance. It featured intimate and confessional video storytelling by people who have been negatively and profoundly affected by the coronavirus, and plain-spoken, fact-based information by healthcare professionals. Produced by Nathan Willis, Sajni Kumpuris, Bryan Frazer and Casey Sanders.


Local Project - Dolly Parton Special Event - Dolly Parton came to Arkansas to celebrate the success of her Imagination Library program in the state at a closed event hosted by Arkansas Imagination Library (ARIL). Community leaders representing Imagination Library affiliates across the state will attend the event, along with statewide leaders and supporters of ARIL.  Understanding that this event would be enjoyed by the entire state, Arkansas PBS stepped in to livestream the event for the general public not only to experience a moment with Dolly but to share awareness of the amazing resources of books the Arkansas Imagination Library provides in our state for free to children. Arkansas PBS also received an exclusive interview with Ms. Parton that launched a month later to promote literacy in our state. 


“Rise and Shine”

This extensive educational program was designed to boost summer learning and help K-5 students retain academic learning targets. The six-week program – featuring lessons led by Arkansas teachers to reinforce learning in key subjects including literacy, math, science and social studies – was produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education.

Kids and Family - Rise and Shine Power Packets

Education Resources for the Community - Rise and Shine Summer Learning

Learning Events - Rise and Shine Summer Learning


Topical Feature - “7 Days: The Opioid Crisis in Arkansas” - This intimate film illustrates the human toll of the current opioid crisis in Arkansas, sharing deeply personal stories from Arkansans who have suffered from addiction and documenting the continued fight to address the issues surrounding opioid use, misuse and addiction. "7 Days," produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, features medical professionals and leaders from the Arkansas Office of Drug Director, the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Little Rock Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Produced and directed by Nathan Willis. Executive produced by Courtney Pledger and Sajni Kumpuris.


Education - “Blueberry’s Clubhouse: Oral Histories" Mosaic Templars Cultural Centers - In this virtual field trip, kids learn about “Passing it on!” with the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. When people think about history, they often think of books. This segment teaches that things that happened in the past have actually been passed down through storytelling, as well as how to ask questions to build an oral history. Produced by Charles Eric White and Terrell Case.


Short Form - “Speaking Volumes: Lexi Jarrett” - Inspired by her time with EAST Initiative, 10th-grader Lexi Jarrett has been building up sports broadcasting for years at Cross County High School, near Wynne, Arkansas. Jarrett pursued a course in media, served as the Thunderbirds’ first female commentator and led a team of students to livestream football games, produce podcasts and more — all while showing resilience through personal trials with Tourette Syndrome. Produced by Charles Eric White and Terrell Case.


Podcast - "The Growing Season" - As the podcast format lent itself to long-form storytelling, The Growing Season was developed with a double meaning – not only would the project highlight the “growth” of the subjects involved, but it would tell the story of those subjects over a full agricultural season on their land. The Growing Season tells the story of a lifestyle often taken for granted.  These stories not only bring the humble foundation of our state’s largest industry into the spotlight but give these Arkansans control of their own narrative as they speak openly and honestly about their lives. Writer/Director: Corey Womack


With today's 13 NETA nominations, along with last week’s announcement of a record 21 Emmy nominations, Arkansas PBS is in the running for 34 awards.


Awards were judged by a group of expert panelists from within the public media system, as well as industry professionals working outside of public media. Except for the overall excellence categories, stations competed within their appropriate divisions based on their station size.


Winners will be announced during the 54th Annual Public Media Awards Gala presented by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) on Sept. 18 as part of the NETA Conference and CPB Public Media Thought Leader Forum.


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National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA)