Arkansas PBS earns 18 nominations for Mid-America Regional Emmy Awards, named finalist for 11 Public Media Awards


Winners to be announced in September

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS has earned 18 regional Emmy Award nominations from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and has been named a finalist for 11 Public Media Awards from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) for original, local productions, marketing and communications efforts, community engagement and education projects. Winners will be announced at ceremonies slated for September. Nominated projects may be viewed at

“At Arkansas PBS, telling the unique stories of the people of our state and providing the best in educational community engagement is at the heart of everything we do,” CEO Courtney Pledger said. “To be recognized with so many nominations – including three Overall Excellence categories – shines a light on the priority we place on creativity, local perspectives and deep Arkansas connections.”

For the third consecutive year, Arkansas PBS is a finalist for three Public Media Awards for Overall Excellence: Marketing/Communications, Community Engagement and Education.

Arkansas PBS original productions receiving multiple nominations included:

AR PBS Sports

AR PBS Sports, the home for 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 statewide by featuring hometown athletes competing in the biggest games of the season. Under contract with the Arkansas Activities Association, Arkansas PBS broadcasts high school championship activities for football, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball for classifications 1A-7A. In addition to creating viewing opportunities for those who may not be able to attend the games, AR PBS Sports enables talented young athletes to connect with college recruiters and possible scholarships.


This original Arkansas PBS documentary breaks through the surface to explore the living, breathing ecosystem beneath. The film address soil conservation and delves into how Arkansas farmers, ranchers and more are improving their operations by helping the environment. Major funding for “Dirt” was provided by the Pulaski County Conservation District and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Arkansas.

  • “Dirt” – Regional Emmy Award, Documentary – Cultural. Produced by Jennifer Gibson.
  • “Dirt” – Regional Emmy Award – Audio – Live or Post-Production. Audio by Tracy Prince.
  • “Dirt” – Public Media Award, Content – Topical Feature.

“Blueberry’s Clubhouse”

This original pre-K-2 children's program features Blueberry, a curious puppet guide, and her friends at Camp Onomatopoeia participating in fun, engaging and insightful summer activities across The Natural State. The series is produced in partnership with the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts.

“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 featured lessons led by Arkansas teachers to reinforce learning in key subjects including literacy, math, science and social studies.

  • “Rise and Shine” Season 2 – Public Media Award, Community Engagement – Community Initiative.
  • “Let’s Take a Vacation” – Regional Emmy Award, Entertainment – Short Form Content. Produced by Levi Agee.
  • “Let’s Take a Vacation” – Regional Emmy Award, Director – Short or Long Form Content. Directed by Levi Agee.
  • “Songs Away” – Regional Emmy Award, Director – Short or Long Form Content. Directed by Eric White.
  • “Songs Away” – Regional Emmy Award, Editor – Short or Long Form Content. Edited by Eric White.
  • “Songs Away” – Regional Emmy Award, Graphic Arts – Motion Graphics and Visual Effects. Graphics by Eric White.
  • “Songs Away” – Regional Emmy Award, Musical Composition/Arrangement. Composed by Steve Lee.

Arkansas PBS also received the following nominations:

The Public Media Awards honor NETA members’ finest work in content, community engagement, marketing/communications and education. With the exception of the overall excellence categories, stations compete within their divisions based on their station size. Awards are judged by a group of expert panelists from within the public media system, as well as industry professionals working outside of public media.

The 55th PMA winners will be announced at the PMA Gala Sunday, Sept. 10, at the 2023 NETA Conference and CPB Public Media Thought Leader Forum. The complete PMA finalist’s gallery may be viewed here.

The 47th annual Mid-America Regional Emmy Awards ceremony will be held Saturday, Sept. 30. The complete list of nominees may be viewed here.

About NATAS Mid-America chapter

The NATAS Mid-America chapter was chartered in 1962 and began honoring outstanding achievement in this region with local Emmy Awards in 1976. The Mid-America chapter includes the television markets primarily in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois and surrounding DMAs: St. Louis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Springfield (MO), St. Joseph, Columbia-Jefferson City, Joplin-Pittsburg, Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk, Ottumwa-Kirksville, Davenport-Rock Island-Moline, Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg, Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Fort Smith-Fayettville-Springdale-Rogers, Jonesboro, Monroe-Eldorado and Shreveport (LA). NATAS Mid-America is one of 19 regional chapters of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, headquartered in New York City.

About NETA

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) is a professional association representing 302 member stations in 49 states, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. NETA provides leadership, general audience content, educational services, professional development, and trusted financial management services, including human resources and benefits administration, to individual public media licensees, their affinity groups, and public media as a whole. More information is available at

About Arkansas PBS

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Russellville), KETS (Forrest City), KETS (Gaither) and KETS (Yancy).