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  • 5/17/07

    Craft in America

    to have nationwide television premiere on PBS, Wednesday, May 30 at 8PM (check local listings)

    Landmark project comprises three-part high definition program on PBS

    San Francisco—A visitor to an art filled home may quickly take note of paintings or photographs on the walls, but may overlook the finely wrought furniture, ceramics, glassware and fabrics, though the skill and artistry involved in creating these useful and often stunning objects has been quietly recognized for centuries. CRAFT IN AMERICA celebrates these works of art and recognizes them as important pieces of history linking us to the very soul and essence of American culture. Broadcasting in three-installments on Wednesday, May 30, CRAFT IN AMERICA is poised to become a national phenomenon.

    Ten years in the making, CRAFT IN AMERICA is a multi-faceted journey into the origin and continuation of craft traditions. The film illustrates the craftsmanship passed from artist to artist over the last two centuries and highlights the cultural significance of this craftsmanship. Ceramics, glass, wood, furniture, metalwork, jewelry, fiber and baskets are included in this one-of-a-kind project. “There is an extraordinary wealth of objects that mean so much to who we are as a nation, part of our living heritage, that are often hiding in plain sight,” says Carol Sauvion, executive director of CRAFT IN AMERICA. “Everything from iconic the Revere bowl, to a free-form Sam Maloof rocking chair, to a quilt that’s been passed down in your family from generation to generation.”

    In each of the three installments—Memory, Landscape and Community—we meet artists and their work in a way that goes beyond the media they work in. We explore the relationship between what they do, how they do it and why they have chosen a life of creating great and moving art for all to enjoy and appreciate.

    Some of the series’ featured artists include Mary Jackson (Memory) – a basket weaver who continues a South Carolina tradition that started with slaves from Africa; Richard Nokin (Landscape)—a Montana potter of protest who makes teapots and tiles that argue eloquently for peace and humanity; and Tom Joyce (Community) a New Mexico blacksmith and recipient of a MacAthur “Genius” fellowship, who instills a sensitivity to the land and its people in each of its works.

    CRAFT IN AMERICA will enlighten and satisfy the curiosity of all who have looked at a bowl, a necklace, a chair—and wondered how it came to be and turned out the way it did. As Sauvion says, “Art is history, craft is our story.”

    CRAFT IN AMERICA is a co-production of Craft in America, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and is presented in Association with KCET/Los Angeles. Executive in Charge of production for KCET is Joyce Campbell. Production Executive for KCET is Robert McDonnell.

    ABOUT CRAFT IN AMERICA CRAFT IN AMERICA, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization with a mission to promote and advance original handcrafted work, through educational programs in all media. The CRAFT IN AMERICA multi-faceted project includes a PBS documentary, traveling museum exhibition and lavishly illustrated book. For additional information on CRAFT IN AMERICA the public should visit www.craftinamerica.org

    ABOUT ITVS The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

    ABOUT PBS PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS's premier kids TV programming and Website, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Website on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

    CONTACT:

    Tim Etheridge, 415.356.8383 x250, tim_etheridge@itvs.org, ITVS

    Bo Smith, 323.851.7629, bo@artscommunications.org, Arts Communications

    Website: http://www.craftinamerica.org