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Exclusive New Content Expands WETA Forum Network

New Partnership Offers Free Online Access to The Smithsonian Associates Lectures


Washington, D.C. — WETA today announced expansion of WETA Forum Network, part of the station’s ongoing collaboration with the national Forum Network, a consortium of online educational content. WETA Forum Network presents Washington's best lectures and conversations online via www.weta.org/forum. WETA’s new partnership with The Smithsonian Associates, a division of the Smithsonian Institution, permits the station to record and video stream exclusive Smithsonian lectures. These lectures increase the depth and breadth of lecture videos available through WETA Forum Network, a free public service of the Washington-based public television and radio station.

“WETA is pleased to present to the nation a collection of Washington’s most engaging conversations,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA. “We believe the quality and variety of The Smithsonian Associates lectures contribute tremendously to WETA Forum Network’s strength, benefiting both people in our community and beyond who seek stimulating educational resources online.”

“We are excited to be part of WETA Forum Network and showcase a sampling of our exceptional opportunities for learning and growth,” said Barbara Tuceling, director of The Smithsonian Associates.  “We look forward to expanding our reach within the Washington community and across the country with a partner who shares our commitment to lifelong learning.”

This new collaboration between the two groups yields a wealth of new material for WETA Forum Network. Posted videos on www.weta.org/forum currently include the following Smithsonian Associates lectures:

·         “Jane Austen: The Author, Her Legacy and…Sea Monsters?” a panel discussion of Austen works in popular culture, featuring Austen scholar Tara Wallace and mash-up authors such as Seth Grahame-Smith.

·         “Marc Chagall: In Context and In Person” a conversation about the Russian artist’s life and works led by Chagall’s granddaughter, Bella Meyer, and art historian Juliet Bellow.

·         “Scott Turow: Setting Thrilling Legal and Novel Precedents” an interview between NPR radio host Scott Simon and lawyer and author Scott Turow.  

Future highlights include “How Madeline Albright Pinned Down Diplomacy,” featuring the former Secretary of State, and “Ted Leonsis Shares His Life List,” featuring the entrepreneur and owner of the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards.

The Smithsonian Associates is a division of the Smithsonian Institution that offers educational and cultural experiences throughout Greater Washington. Each year The Smithsonian Associates creates and presents nearly 1,000 individual programs. Among them are lectures and seminars not available anywhere else but the Smithsonian, where the very top experts in their fields come to enlighten, challenge and engage the public.

WETA Forum Network is part of the national Forum Network, a public television initiative housing a growing collection of more than 3,000 lectures, debates and conversations by world-class speakers contributed by top universities, libraries, museums, think tanks and other organizations. The Forum Network partners with public television stations to bring academic and cultural lectures from their local communities to a worldwide platform. The Forum Network, created and managed by WGBH Boston, is funded by PBS, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

WETA Forum Network has built strong ties with Washington-based organizations that provide the public with educational and entertaining lectures. These partners include the following groups:

·         The American Foreign Service Association as the professional association for the U.S. Foreign Service, AFSA presents discussions of foreign policy and diplomacy.

·         The Goethe-Institut Washington which organizes and supports events that examine German culture abroad and further intercultural exchange.

·         The Greater Washington Board of Trade this regional organization hosts lectures with some of today’s most successful business leaders.

·         The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington which has preserved, chronicled, and presented the story of the local Jewish community for 50 years.

WETA continues conversations with other Greater Washington civic and cultural organizations to create new partnerships to expand the offerings of WETA Forum Network.

WETA is the third-largest producing station in the public television system and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital. WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia with high-quality programming. Classical WETA 90.9 FM brings classical music, concerts and specials to Greater Washington. As the leading PBS station in the nations capital, WETA Television broadcasts on four channels: WETA TV 26, WETA HD, WETA Kids and WETA Create. WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal, and Ken Burns’s The Tenth Inning. Embracing the educational mission of public broadcasting, WETA creates leading public service websites such as ReadingRockets.org, LDOnline.org and Brainline.org; and the company develops community outreach programs to engage people of all ages in the joy of lifelong learning. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at weta.org.

 

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