Arkansas PBS > Engage > Blog > Arkansas PBS Wins Five Public Media Awards

Arkansas PBS Wins Five Public Media Awards

  • Posted by
  • Arkansas PBS
  • on

Arkansas PBS has won five Public Media Awards from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) in their 53rd annual competition – including Overall Excellence in Content, Overall Excellence in Marketing and Communications, Local Project – Reading in the Delta, Cultural Documentary – “Urban Forge: Ozark Artistry” and Independent Production – “Rap Squad,” Nathan Willis.


Winners were announced Tuesday, Jan. 25, during the Public Media Awards Gala during the 2022 NETA Conference and Corporation for Public Broadcasting Thought Leader Forum.


You can watch compilation videos of the winning and nominated projects at and nominated.


The Public Media Awards honor NETA members’ finest work in content, community engagement, marketing/communications and education.


“Our Arkansas PBS team is honored to have been recognized with these highly competitive national awards – including two for overall excellence for the second consecutive year,” Arkansas PBS CEO Courtney Pledger said. “Through hard work and dedication, and together with our numerous statewide partners, we have committed ourselves to reaching new audiences and sharing one-of-a-kind Arkansas stories. Congratulations to everyone who worked together to make this recognition possible – your creativity and innovation are truly worth celebrating!”


Arkansas PBS Public Media Awards


Overall Excellence – Excellence in Content 

 Overall Excellence – Excellence in Marketing/Communications

Local Project – Reading in the Delta 


Over the course of four days in four cities, the Reading in the Delta initiative nurtured the love of literacy in the Arkansas Delta. This program was designed to seed high-quality books and literacy experiences in areas challenged by distance and isolation from libraries and other community assets including digital connectivity. Reading in the Delta was made possible by the Joan R. and Charles M. Taylor II Memorial Endowment Fund.


Cultural Documentary – “Urban Forge: Ozark Artistry” 


This feature-length 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.


Independent Production – “Rap Squad,” Nathan Willis 


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.

Learn more about Arkansas PBS’ 14 total Public Media Award nominations here.


The complete PMA winners’ gallery may be viewed here.


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.




$5 for 5 public media awards text treatment over a navy circle along with photos from the winning projects and the NETA PMA53 logo treatment all over a cobalt background.

Help us celebrate five Public Media wins – including Overall Excellence in Content and Overall Excellence in Marketing and Communications – with a $5 gift today!


What can you do with $5? Buy a cheeseburger, a fancy coffee, or a couple of gallons of gas? To many of us, $5 is small change. But, when you donate to Arkansas PBS today, five bucks can have a HUGE impact, especially when combined with other $5 donations.

Those small gifts generate more local productions, more educational activities, more inspiring programming and more Arkansas stories.


We did it again – and, "we" includes YOU! So, how about a High Five?

Help congratulate Arkansas PBS on FIVE National Public Media Awards with a $5 gift today!

Your five bucks will spur new projects that will educate and entertain hundreds of thousands of people across our state.





See all of the outstanding Arkansas PBS content nominated for Public Media Awards in our YouTube playlist. 





53rd Annual Public Media Awards Winners Gallery