Wednesday, August 8, 2007

(W)EDUcational Discussion

We had a pretty good crowd last Friday morning to hear Joyce Cotton, the Director of Marketing and Community Partnerships at WEDU. Joyce has been in television for 31 years (really Joyce, you can't be that old) and at WEDU for six years. She had a lot to share with us about activities at WEDU that are largely unknown to a lot of people, myself included.

As we were doing our customary self introductions, Bill Moriarity apprised us of the sad news that Artists Gallery Royale is closing at the end of this month. Bill, you were not the captain of the Titanic. Honest.

We got through the rest of the introductions without any other really sad news. Joyce told us about several programs that she is engaged in on behalf of WEDU, but I am going to cover a couple of the highlights. I encourage you to visit the WEDU web site at WEDU.ORG .

The Ready to Learn Program is an extension of WEDU's children's programming. The station works with Head Start programs, schools, Girl Scouts or whoever might be interested in participating in special events with WEDU. One of the most successful of these is Angelina's Ballerina held at Ruth Eckerd Hall during the holiday season. This event typically sells out with over 300 children participating.

There are also the WEDU Be More Awards. This is a program where WEDU partners with non profit organizations to honor particularly noteworthy non profits. Last year WEDU sent out 700 nomination invitations, receiving 82 back. There was a luncheon judging event to select the winners. WEDU will be hosting their Be More Awards Workshop at their studios on September 19. Check it out on the WEDU web site.

We also discussed WEDU's local programming. Tom and Joyce provided us with DVDs of The Gulf Coast Journal which will be entering its fifth season this year. This is a program produced by WEDU featuring former NBC newsman Jack Perkins and Sarasota County. You can watch it on the WEDU web site here. It would be tremendous if we could secure funding for a similar program for Pinellas or the Tampa Bay area.

I want to close by reminding everyone that Herb Snitzer will be giving his "formal" talk on his work at the Museum of Fine Arts this Sunday, August 12th at 3:00 PM. I hope to see you all on both Friday morning and on Sunday afternoon.

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