Posted 17 Sep 2018
"Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street," an Emmy-winning original documentary produced by the Arkansas Educational Television Network, will be broadcast nationally on WORLD Channel Saturday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. The film showcases Little Rock, Arkansas's, West 9th Street –once a vibrant, African-American business and entertainment district and home to Taborian Hall and the Dreamland Ballroom – and explores the street's glory days and how urban renewal, the Eisenhower Interstate Program and more influenced its future. The film first aired on AETN in April 2017.
"Dream Land" was chosen to air nationally on the WORLD Channel by some of the nation's best public television programmers. Documentaries to be included in the WORLD schedule are chosen from the best films from PBS, NETA, American Public Television and independent producers.
AETN WORLD, one of the network's four unique digital channels, is broadcast on AETN-4 over the air with an indoor or outdoor antenna. Cable and satellite companies have a choice whether to carry AETN's additional channels. A complete list of providers, the channels that they carry and corresponding channel numbers is available at aetn.org/channelinformation. Viewers are encouraged to contact their service providers if AETN's additional channels are not currently available.
Told by local residents and historians, "Dream Land" seeks to recognize, memorialize and share the significant past of the once thriving West 9th Street. Taborian Hall, the only remaining historic structure on the street, stands as a living witness of the community's former grandeur. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Taborian Hall housed varied and important black businesses, including professional offices, a USO, the Gem Pharmacy and the Dreamland Ballroom.
By the 1930s, Dreamland Ballroom was host to musicians, dances, socials, concerts and sporting events. Dreamland Ballroom was firmly established as a stop on the "Chitlin Circuit," which showcased regional and national African-American bands and stage shows.
The impact of federal programs such as Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program are also explored.
Though little remains of the street's former glory, viewers will be taken on a historical journey from the late 1800s to today. To help bring the Dreamland Ballroom back to life, the documentary features special reenactments by Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers, Bijoux, Detroit Johnny, Jazz R Us and dancers from the Tidwell Project, among others. A stroll down West 9th Street shows what remains today.
Major funding for the film was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council and The Moving Image Trust Fund. Additional information is available at aetn.org/dreamland.
WORLD is a 24/7, full service multicast channel featuring public television's signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming complemented by original content from emerging producers. Launched in August 2007, WORLD is produced and distributed by WGBH/Boston, American Public Television (APT) and WNET/New York in association with Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). WORLD is distributed by APT and is now carried by 70 licensees/152 stations representing 63.66 percent of U.S. TV households.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. Audiences can also watch on several digital platforms, and members with AETN Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the state of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).