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President and Mrs. Obama Host "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina"

PBS Music Special to Feature Latino Performers Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, George Lopez, Gloria Estefan and More, Airs October 15

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” is a concert hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama on the South Lawn of the White House that will be broadcast by PBS.  The sixty-minute program, to be taped live by WETA Washington, D.C., on October 13, will celebrate Hispanic musical heritage and airs on the final day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET, on PBS stations nationwide.  (Check local listings.)  It will also be broadcast on Telemundo, the American Spanish-language television network, on Sunday, October 18 at 6 p.m. ET, and on V-me, the national Spanish language network partnered with public television, on Friday, December 25.  The program, part of the WETA “In Performance at the White House” series, will include Marc Anthony, Jimmy Smits, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, George Lopez, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino”, the Bachata music group Aventura, and the Chicano rock band Los Lobos, with Sheila E. leading the house band.  Further talent information will be announced in the coming days.

“WETA is thrilled to embark on this forty-second production of the ‘In Performance at the White House’ series,” noted Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA.  “One of our greatest national treasures is the rich cultural life of this country, and we are proud to join the White House in bringing this concert to all Americans.”

“‘In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina’ will provide PBS viewers with a front row seat at what promises to be a very special evening.  This program, together with our forthcoming ‘Latin Music USA’ series, underscores the important contributions Latino and Latina artists make to American entertainment and culture.  It also reflects PBS’s longstanding commitment to showcasing our nation’s rich diversity,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger.

“We are proud of our Latino culture and deeply honored that President and Mrs. Obama are welcoming our artists into the White House for this memorable ‘Fiesta Latina’, that all can enjoy through the PBS broadcast,” commented Patricia Boero, executive director of Latino Public Broadcasting.  “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” is a production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Latino Public Broadcasting.

“In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” will be the second “In Performance at the White House” program during President Barack Obama’s administration.  “In Performance at the White House - Celebrating the Music of Stevie Wonder: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize” was taped on February 25, 2009 and broadcast nationwide on February 26, 2009.  The event celebrated musician Stevie Wonder’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize  for Popular Song.

“In Performance at the White House” has been produced by WETA since 1978 and spans every administration since President Carter’s.  The series began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz.  Since then, “In Performance at the White House” has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, theatre and dance among them.  The series was created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home.  Past programs have showcased such talent as cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov, country music singer Merle Haggard, the United States Marine Band, soul and jazz singers Natalie Cole and Aretha Franklin, leading Broadway performers, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The executive producers of “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” are Dalton Delan and David S. Thompson of WETA and Tim Swift of Bounce, a division of AEG.  Corporate funding for the program is provided by Pepsi-Cola.  Foundation support is provided by The Annenberg Foundation.  Major funding is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.

The evening concert will be streamed live by the White House on www.WhiteHouse.gov and available to stream on the series website on pbs.org after the broadcast.  For more information about “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina,” visit www.pbs.org/inperformanceatthewhitehouse.  An electronic press kit, including downloadable talent photos for promotional use, is available at pressroom.pbs.org.

WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for public television.  WETA’s other productions and co-productions include “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “The Kennedy Center Presents,” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including the premiere this past September of “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”  More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) supports the development, production, acquisition and distribution of public media content that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of interest to Latino Americans.  These programs, including the series ‘VOCES’, are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations.  Edward James Olmos is founder and Chairman of the LPB Board of Directors.  More information is available at www.lpbp.org and www.voces.tv.

PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.  Each month, PBS reaches more than 115 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances.  PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions.  Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life.  PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing nuriosity and love of learning in children.  More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 and is steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.  It helps support the operations of more than 1,100 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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Press Contacts

Kate Kelly
kkelly@weta.org

Carrie Johnson
cjohnson@pbs.org