From the PBS programs and local traditions you love to pivoting to serve The Natural State in the face of COVID-19, Arkansas PBS is here for you, year to year and moment by moment. As you make your end-of-year giving plans, read with us to see how Arkansas PBS is making an impact you can support!
Serving The Natural State
Adapting in Response to COVID-19
From the beginning of COVID-19’s outbreak, we’ve been dedicated to answering your questions and meeting Arkansans’ needs. With “Arkansans Ask,” Arkansas PBS made sure that you could ask experts your questions by bring together a panel with experts from The Arkansas Department of Health, UAMS Health, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and more. Together they helped answer address your concerns related to COVID-19, its impact on schools, the economy and more.
Meanwhile, when COVID-19 closed schools in Arkansas for eight weeks in the spring, we immediately pivoted to focus on providing daily, curriculum-based, at-home educational programming to pre-K through 8th grade students with “Arkansas AMI” on AR PBS-1 and myarkansaspbs.org, and we worked quickly to develop new ways to watch through the PBS Video App and Engage Arkansas PBS app. It was an outstanding chance to partner with Arkansas Department of Education to serve schools and families in the majority of our 75 counties.
In the same way, when summer camps and family vacations were canceled due to the pandemic, we launched a new, locally-produced children’s program, “Blueberry’s Clubhouse” – intentionally designed to help kids cope with difficult feelings, keep learning at home, and go on virtual adventures around the state when in person camps and trips were no longer available.
Through the Arkansas Citizens Access Network (AR-CAN), we’ve also brought you breaking news updates about COVID-19 directly from Gov. Asa Hutchinson both online and on air, and we’ve worked to improve access to various Arkansas department, commission, committee and governmental meetings — increasing transparency and safety during a challenging time.
We didn’t stop with the public affairs aspects of life, either! On top of giving you access to the science and political information you need to be safe and well, we know that we all need things that make everyday moments enjoyable, too.
That’s why we created specialized program for Arkansans from all walks of life and families adjusting to a new norm. “Home Cooking with Kat and Friends” shared recipes, cooking lessons and tips while more people renewed their interest in cooking at home. “Exploring Arkansas” host Chuck Dovish shared his favorite lesser known and less traveled places to visit around the state where families could safely socially distance.
Supporting Diverse Voices and Holding Important Conversations
In Arkansas, the voices and stories of all communities are important. A new digital series, “The Glow With Big Piph,” celebrates minority creators, artisans and entrepreneurs who share their ‘glow’ to inspire others.
Big Piph, THE Hip Hop Adventurer – a Stanford-educated, world traveling, motivational speaking artist and musician talks to a fashion designer, culinary artist, musician, spoken word poets and others. You can explore the full series here.
Yet — as vital as a focus on celebration of diversity is — we put a premium on addressing the important conversations our nation so desperately needs to have. In Arkansas, we’ve kept the conversation about race and equity alive by convening a panel of experts to talk about current events and issues in “Healing the Divide: Race Relations in Arkansas” as stories of injustice plagued the news. In our follow-up episode, a panel of young activists from across the state joined us to share their thoughts as a new generation of voices.
Election Cycles and Citizenship
This election year, educators at Arkansas PBS created specialized toolkits and resources for parents and teachers to help guide and engage students through the civics process this election year. Students learned how to be a good citizen by understanding what voting means, how to use your voice, how to research and debate.
Leading the Way in Education
Arkansas PBS, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, is a national leader in professional development.
ArkansasIDEAS serves as the largest source of free online professional development for all Arkansas educators. We offer 54,000 registered users more than 700 courses and 1,700 credit hours - and we've awarded over 800,000 credit hours. ArkansasIDEAS is by far the nation's most affordable online professional development at $11.68 per course versus an average of $199 in other states. More than a dozen states have asked Arkansas PBS for access to ArkansasIDEAS.org.
Protecting The Natural State
Arkansas PBS works with Arkansas emergency management officials to provide a critical public safety service, using our technology as the backbone for the emergency alert system. As the only statewide network, we’re uniquely able to help all of Arkansas be aware of safety and weather alerts.
Since 1964, Arkansas PBS has served you and, in the more than 50 years we’ve worked with educators, families and government entities, we’ve had the privilege of creating vital and beloved traditions that keep our state both informed and entertained!
This election year, we hosted “Election 2020: Arkansas PBS Debates” where you got to hear directly from candidates in four races about local issues so you could make informed decisions at the polls. From giving candidates from minority parties a voice to demystifying ballot initiatives, the Arkansas PBS Debates continue a tradition of fairness and information you can count on every election cycle.
Our weekly public affairs program, “Arkansas Week” and host Steve Barnes have kept The Natural State informed with balanced coverage for decades, and this institution is more relevant than ever as we meet with newsmakers each week to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on our state, racial injustice and the election season.
In Arkansas, high school sports are a part of life whether you live in the big city or make your home in a rural part of the state.
We’re proud to be the home for these high school championship games, recognizing the vital role high school activities play in the education and development of young adults while connecting families statewide by featuring hometown athletes competing in the biggest games of the season.
Arkansas is known as the Natural State and Arkansas PBS programs such as “Exploring Arkansas” serve as your outdoor guide to all the waterfalls, hiking trails, mountain biking, swimmin’ holes and kayaking you can stand. During the summer when we were all adapting to social distancing, host Chuck Dovish created a special series called “Trails Less Traveled” to guide adventurers to lesser-known caves, trails, overlooks and waterfalls where they could safely social distance.
Telling Arkansas’s Stories
Arkansans depend on Arkansas PBS to document our state's history, to tell the stories that make Arkansas what it is, and to bring the outdoors, arts and news of our country and beyond directly to their families. Arkansas PBS has been entrusted to share the state's history and heritage, arts and culture and influential men and women — leading us to air 110 hours of local programs annually and win more than 500 regional, national and international awards. Arkansas PBS focuses on what is most important and needed for Arkansas viewers: public affairs, arts and culture, nature and outdoors, health and more.
Last fall, we started digging into the myths and tales passed down from generation to generation in our digital series “Once Upon a Time in Arkansas.” A little bit of history plus a little bit of Grandpa’s ghost stories and a little bit of reality made for great storytelling! Explore the tall tales and true stories — and uncover the power of belief — anytime here.
In Mountain View, Arkansas, you can find artisans toiling daily in the ancient art of blacksmithing, and we explored how in our original documentary “Urban Forge: Ozark Artistry.”This time-honored tradition of craftsmanship and art is being passed down to younger generations to keep this skill and process alive — it’s a uniquely Arkansas story. Learn more when you watch on your schedule here.
We love our teachers in The Natural State! Our original, digital series “Heart of a Teacher” celebrates the heroes behind the learning and what inspires them to teach. Meet the educators from all over Arkansas who give their lives to teach our kids here.
We also highlight the students, teachers and parents doing extraordinary things in our state with the digital series “Cool Schools.” Small or large, we celebrate schools who are fostering school and community pride here.
Bringing PBS to All of Arkansas
Because Arkansas PBS is a PBS affiliate, we allow Arkansans to experience the world from their own living rooms, computers and mobile devices. Series and documentaries like "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," "Last Days in Vietnam," "The Roosevelts" and "EARTH A New Wild" delve into topics important to Arkansans. PBS programs go beyond the sound bite, bringing in-depth analysis of evolving stories such as the Ebola health crisis, stories from Ferguson, the elections and more. Think Wednesdays feature "NOVA" and "Nature," taking Arkansans around the world and beyond, opening minds and broadening horizons. And, Arts Fridays deliver America's largest stage - PBS arts and culture programming found nowhere else.
What’s more is that we’re here for Arkansas from the very beginning. As part of America’s largest classroom. PBS KIDS is the No. 1 educational media brand and the No. 1 source of media for our nation's preschool teachers. Together with PBS, we help prepare children for success in school and in life as they learn reading, math and essential skills with well-researched, fun and commercial-free programming.
Investing in Arkansas’s Future
When you give to the Arkansas PBS, you’re making an investment in the people of Arkansas and help ensure that we can continue bringing the best in public media to our state. Learn more about the value you’re giving to yourself and others at valuearkansaspbs.org. You can also get more details about the Arkansas PBS Foundation and the benefits you get in return as an Arkansas PBS member at myarkansaspbsfoundation.org.
Become an Arkansas PBS Sustainer and support public media for all of Arkansas today: https://myarpbs.org/donate