Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TONIGHT - He's the Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island makes its national television debut later this year, but you can see it FIRST exclusively on Rhode Island PBS tonight at 8 PM. For details and to watch a short clip, scroll down to our March 13 blog.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Gefilte Fish Chronicles

Here's a preview of a heartwarming documentary, THE GEFILTE FISH CHRONICLES.

With all the wonderful chaos of preparing for a large gathering of family, The Gefilte Fish Chronicles honors the rich tradition of Pesach (Passover) with an intimate and candid look at the Dubroff family celebration. But don't be misled - no matter what your heritage is, you will find your OWN family members among these charming storytellers.

The Gefilte Fish Chronicles in a funny, touching, and universally familiar story of love, of tradition, and of generational family unity - and it's reality television the way it should be!

Watch the entire film on Wednesday, APRIL 16 at 8 PM.


Here's an advance look at CARING FOR YOUR PARENTS, an important documentary we're airing on Wednesday, APRIL 16 at 9 PM.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring (Auction) Fever

If it's Spring, it's time for the Rhode Island PBS SPRING AUCTION!

Sure enough, today is the first day of online bidding for Spotlight items!

Spotlight items (formerly called Majors and Specials) are our most sought after, unique, and exciting donations. When you click on an item, you'll find all the details you need to make an informed bid, including images, a link to the donor's website, and the sell-off time. Spotlight items will be auctioned online only on Saturday, April 26.

Hundreds of other great items will be available for live auction each night during our televised auction April 21 - April 26, starting at 7 PM Monday-Friday, and at 5PM on Saturday.

Don't Miss That Great Buy Again!

This year, the rapid response from our hundreds of generous donors combined flawlessly with advanced technology - and a lot of sweat and organization by our two auction staff - to make an important improvement we've been dreaming of for years. For the first time ever, the entire schedule of items - the day and time (within a half hour) that an item will be auctioned - is available online in advance of the televised auction. In fact, the schedule is ready right NOW.

This improvement allows us to show you that we acknowledge and respect your limited viewing time. As exciting and important as the live auction is - it's THE priority for all station staff for that entire week - we know you may not be able to dedicate your week glued to your television for four hours a night, waiting for those items you know we'll be featuring at some point.

Now, if you invest a little time reviewing the schedule first, you can KNOW when we'll auction off all those great buys that peak your interest, and you can plan to watch, bid, and WIN!

Everybody Wins

The Spring Auction is the biggest fund raising event for the station. The money we raise from winning bids goes a long way in keeping the programs you love to watch on Rhode Island PBS.

The auction is a win-win-WIN deal:

1. Local businesses win by making a tax-deductible charitable donation, and receiving on-air television recognition for their generosity.
2. High bidders win by supporting high quality programs and specials on Rhode Island PBS, and get great deals for their generosity.
3. Rhode Island PBS wins by getting the funds we need to deliver the quality programming you just can't find on other channels, without commercial interruption.

Browse online SPOTLIGHT items here

Review the live auction SCHEDULE here

Thursday, March 20, 2008

AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later

It doesn't happen often enough, but sometimes government red tape simply evaporates just in time to accomplish some real good.

That's exactly what happened late last week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a waiver to Rhode Island PBS to simulcast a charity concert with VH1 to benefit The Station nightclub fire survivors and their families. The one-hour television program, VH1 Classic Presents: AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later, airs Sunday night, March 23, from 10-11 P.M. It's fitting that the show should air on Easter Sunday - the February 25 concert at the Dunkin Donuts Center was called "Phoenix Rising."

Rhode Island PBS is simulcasting the show so viewers without pay television service can watch it over the air on channel 36. The show will be simulcast on VH1 Classic, on VH1, and on MHD: Music High Definition.

By FCC rules, public television stations are restricted from using their airtime to directly raise funds for organizations other than themselves. Because the concert benefits The Station Family Fund, Rhode Island PBS had to seek special approval by the FCC to air the show.

The "Phoenix Rising" charity concert featured an eclectic mix of classic rock and country music, New England artists and nationally-known acts. Twisted Sister, Winger, and Tesla performed, as did Aaron Lewis of Staind and Eric Martin of Mr. Big. Country artists taking part included John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Dierks Bentley.

A one-hour special created from the four-hour concert, VH1 Classic Presents: AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later will feature concert highlights from the Phoenix Rising! Musicians United to Benefit the Victims of the Station Nightclub Fire and include interviews with the music fans who survived the horrific fire five years ago.

All proceeds benefit The Station Family Fund, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization founded by survivors of The Station Nightclub fire. The Station Family Fund is committed to providing survivor relief, including costs of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

It's an honor for Rhode Island PBS to help bring this program to the public.

Bret Michaels introduces the show.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about the live concert if you attended, about the televised version of the show, or about The Station nightclub fire.

Narragansetts tell their Stories in Stone

From the rhythmic chink of a chisel on granite to the twittering flute over the placid landscape, Stories in Stone casts a mystical enchantment right from the beginning. What follows for the next 26 minutes measures up to – even exceeds – expectations set by the opening.

Stories in Stone is an engaging film about the Narragansett tribal stone masons who, over the last four hundred years, have built many stone walls that wind picturesquely
through the woods of southern New England. Interspersing footage that elegantly captures the beauty of the walls with interviews with tribal elders and members of two prominent Narragansett mason families, producers / directors / writers Marc Levitt and Lilach Dekel weave a story that is both poetic and inspirational. In the photo is Russel Spears, one of South County's master stone masons.Filmed in both video and film, Stories in Stone uses scenic footage and original music to express both the traditional and contemporary aspects of this craft. With no central narrator, Stories in Stone allows the Narragansett to tell their own story.

Stories in Stone began filming in 2002 as a result of Marc Levitt’s enduring interest in stone walls of southern New England. Marc first wrote a story about a stone wall mason in 1983. He conducted oral histories with stone masons at a local storytelling festival in 1986. He worked on a joint photographic/oral history project about the masons of South County, Rhode Island, in 2000 with photographer Mathias Oppersdorff. Now, Marc shares with a wider audience his interest and passion for the walls and their builders.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island

Ahh, the power of motivation!

When I previewed The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island, I was struck by the transformation of the main character (played with perfection by Stephen Thorne) from a bumbling, timid reader of radio copy to a suave, confident - and persuasive - star of the airwaves.

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island is rich in historical and cultural content. It's also peppered with humorous local Rhode Island references - you can't resist smiling. The double entendres will make you laugh out loud.

The one act play is based on a lost manuscript by Pulitzer Prize winning Rhode Island author Edwin O'Connor (The Last Hurrah). The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island was adapted for stage and screen and directed by Rhode Islander Robert Rose, winner of six Emmy Awards from the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Rose discovered the manuscript while researching O'Connor's biography.

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island looks like a 1950s television comedy – complete with minimal sets, scene transition wipes, and laugh track. The cast is small but talented: Trinity Repertory Company’s Stephen Thorne; Bob Colonna, winner of the prestigious Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts; and Susan Boyce, national touring entertainer. Rhode Island talent at its best!

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) has accepted the 30-minute program for distribution to public television stations nationwide. As the presenting station, Rhode Island PBS is able to air the show before its national television premiere later this spring. We're proud to bring it to you!

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island will air on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Wednesday, March 26 at 8 PM.