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Arkansas PBS Wins Five Mid-America Emmy Awards

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It’s our honor to share that Arkansas PBS won five regional Emmy Awards from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Saturday, Oct. 23!

To have the highly relevant work of the Arkansas PBS team recognized with five Mid-America Emmy Awards is an incredible achievement,” CEO Courtney Pledger said. “Of particular note is the Community Service award that demonstrates our absolute dedication to remaining a place for every Arkansan by bringing people together around the compelling stories of the state that we love.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to each of these unique projects – your creativity and dedication are evident in this meaningful recognition by the Mid-America Emmys.

The eight nominated productions, including the five winners, are available today in a playlist on the Arkansas PBS YouTube channel here.

Arkansas PBS won the Community Service Emmy Award for extensive work in education, civic engagement, public affairs, race relations and early childhood programming. Productions included: “Arkansas AMI,” televised lessons produced in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education’s (ADE) Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) when schools closed for COVID-19; “Blueberry’s Clubhouse,” an original pre-k-2 children’s program produced in partnership with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts; “Civics in a Minute,” digital shorts designed to help children understand the election process; “Healing the Divide,” examining how race permeates and affects the lives of Arkansans; “Arkansans Ask: COVID-19 Vaccine,” a live program answering viewer questions; and many other projects. The effort in community service was led by Pledger, Ed Leon and Sajni Kumpuris. Earlier this year, Arkansas PBS was also recognized with the national Public Media Award for Overall Excellence in Community Engagement.

“Urban Forge: Ozark Artistry” won Lifestyle – Long Form Content. The film centers on working blacksmiths in Mountain View, Arkansas, as they pass down the tradition and skills from one generation to another, turning raw materials into functional art and keeping a centuries-old craft alive. “Urban Forge” was produced by Charles Eric White, Terrell Case and CJ Burks and executive produced by Ed Leon.

“Blueberry’s Clubhouse: Blueberry’s End of Summer Jamboree” won Informational/Instructional – Long Form Content. The finale to the first season, this episode features a talent show with entries from kids all across Arkansas. The series is produced in partnership with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. This episode was produced by Charles Eric White, Terrell Case, Corey Womack and CJ Burks.

“Blueberry’s Clubhouse: Exploring Helium, Hydrogen & Nitrogen” won Informational/Instructional – Short Form Content. The segment, produced in partnership with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, features a visit to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock to show viewers what makes balloons float and explain more about gasses in the air. The short was produced by Charles Eric White and Terrell Case.

“Rap Squad” won Documentary – Cultural. The feature-length film is an intimate verité documentary about Arkansas high school hip hop artists who seek healing for themselves and equity in their community through their music. “Rap Squad” was directed by Nathan Willis; produced by Willis and Nolan Dean; and executive produced by Craig Renaud and Courtney Pledger.

Other Arkansas PBS nominations included:

“Blueberry’s Clubhouse PSA About Masks” – Public Service Announcement – Single Spot or Campaign. In this segment, Blueberry learns about wearing masks with 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Joel Lookadoo. The PSA was produced by Claret Collins, Anita Grote, Corey Womack and Charles Eric White.

“Arkansas AMI” – Promotion – Program (Single Spot). This animated testimonial from a second-grade student describes why she enjoys the Alternative Methods of Instruction programming that aired during quarantine. The spot was produced by Levi Agee.

“Arkansas PBS Sports – Home of High School State Finals” – Promotion – Sports. AR PBS Sports, the home of high school state championships in Arkansas, recognizes the vital role high school activities play in the education and development of young adults, while connecting families and fans statewide. The 2021 AR PBS Sports promotion campaign was designed to reinvigorate the look and energy of the coverage in a year when sports coverage might not have been a possibility. The spot was produced by Greg Mobley.



Help us celebrate five Mid-America EMMY Awards/NATAS wins — including the Community Service Emmy Award — with a $5 gift today!


$5 may sound like small change, but your five bucks can have a HUGE impact and support new, award-winning, local projects when you give to Arkansas PBS. 


Get started supporting projects that educate and entertain hundreds of thousands of Arkansans today:




See all of the outstanding Arkansas PBS content nominated for 2020 Mid-America Emmy Awards in our YouTube playlist.





Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Regional Emmy Awards