Labor Day is meant to be a day of celebrating hard work. And for me, hard work has always meant being in a place where I can make a difference in the world and in the lives of individuals in my community. It’s why I joined PBS12, where we are hard at work bringing you stories that connect, engage, and make an impact. PBS12 is also in a period of transformation – and I’m excited to share more about it with you.
Our station was founded on the core beliefs that we are a hyper-local nonprofit media organization that has the privilege and the responsibility to tell new and unique stories in a different way – that ultimately, we can have a positive impact by offering local solutions to global problems. In many ways we are changing. But in many ways, we are leaning into our roots.
In the coming months we will launch several new local shows that will take a deep dive into the issues that most impact Colorado – because PBS12 is Impact Media for Colorado. This fall we are also hosting three community events that closely align with our new Impact Media mission:
The U.S. and the Holocaust
PBS12 is planning an event in late October focusing on the upcoming documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein. This critical conversation about the Holocaust will be facilitated by a retired professor from the Regis University Center for the Study of War Experience, and we will hear from local Coloradans whose family members survived the Holocaust.
Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors
In November, our sponsor AARP and the City of Denver are partnering with us to screen Chicanas: Nurturers and Warriors – a locally produced documentary that looks at what it means to be a Chicana in Denver.
I hope to meet you at these events! I am eager to get to know you personally and hear your ideas for what you think is important for PBS12 as we embark on this journey together.
With your help, we will continue to serve our community in a way that no other media outlet does. PBS12 has always championed diversity, inclusivity, and critical thinking. Your viewpoints matter to us, and they are always welcome.
President and General Manager, PBS12
P.S. I invite you to reach out to me personally with your thoughts and ideas for making PBS12 the best public television service organization possible. My direct email is KristenBlessman@pbs12.org.
Can we listen to each other respectfully?
The recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe V. Wade was yet another example to me of why our mission of providing Impact Media at PBS12 is so critical. When we are able to hear an individual’s story and experience that has helped to shape their opinion, I believe we are closer to providing respect for one another while leaving space for differing opinions. Certainly everyone has an opinion on the topic of abortion – and most of us are extremely passionate about our points of view. Abortion is inherently personal. Some argue that’s why it should be left as a personal decision to a woman, her partner, family and medical care provider. Others argue it’s personal to them because of their deeply held religious beliefs. Others, like a recent guest from The Independence Institute, argued last week on PBS12 that Roe v. Wade was a flawed law from the beginning and therefore needs amending.
In addition to our current trusted local programs like Colorado Inside Out and Devil’s Advocate, PBS12 is creating a platform for several new shows that will roll out later this year. These programs will offer the community an opportunity to convene and have these incredibly important and personal discussions. We will allow space for all sides of the issues, and we will offer solutions – not just problems – that are meant to unify us as a community. We don’t have to agree on solutions, but I know from speaking to many of you personally that we want to hear different perspectives in order to develop our individual views.
It is no secret that I have spent much of my career standing up for women’s rights, so for me personally, the decision made by the Supreme Court last month felt like a devastating step backwards for women in America. As a mother and a woman who has endured struggles with my own journey to motherhood, including several miscarriages, this topic is emotional for me. I also have an incredibly close friendship with a woman who is very much pro-life. If it weren’t for one woman’s decision to choose to give birth, she wouldn’t have been able to adopt her daughter. Because I know her story and she knows mine, we respect one another’s opinions.
I’m guessing the topic of abortion and reproductive rights is personal for you too. I want to hear from you about how you believe we can move forward from this massive legal decision in a way that’s thoughtful and meaningful. Can we write better legislation? Can we find common ground that respects life and trusts women to make the right choice for themselves and their families? Can we be sure to include both legal and medical minds in this catalytic discussion? Can we increase voter turnout so that more voices are heard – especially diverse voices that are impacted?
I believe finding answers and offerings solutions to these critically important questions that will ultimately define this era is why you and I are both here, supporting public media together. Thank you for your support and trust in PBS12. I look forward to hearing from you and finding solutions to support women and our community together.
Kristen Blessman President & General Manager
I was inspired recently by this cartoon that not only reminded me of the differences between inequality, equality and equity but added a fourth definition, justice. There is so much talk – and dare I say lip service – paid to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), but left out of the action is that last piece: justice.
PBS12, then known as KBDI, was founded by a group of citizens who wanted more inclusion and diversity in the kind of programs available here in Colorado. At the time, some called their ambitions rebellious, but we like to think they were ahead of their time. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and indeed justice, are part of our DNA here.
Back in the 1980s, we aired a program called The Lambda Report, that covered the issues and ideas of the Gay community. And while we aired it back-to-back with The Rush Limbaugh Show, it was The Lambda Report that yielded bomb threats to the young station. We stood our ground.
Today, we actively curate programming, not only from PBS and other public media sources, but we partner with local filmmakers and organizations and create original content that seeks to bring diverse voices, races, genders, and experiences to our on-air and digital channels. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “the arc of moral history bends toward justice,” but we believe it’s essential that we must actively participate to speed up that arc.
In June, we’re recognizing the accomplishments, history, and stories of LGBTQ+ people and the movement that is known as Pride. We’re celebrating the incredible legacy and learnings of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the news of emancipation to Texan slaves, a full two years after the end of the Civil War. As part of Denver’s #Juneteenth celebrations, we’ll have a camera crew roaming around to capture our unique Colorado embrace of the holiday.
On our air, a couple of titles in June pop out for me:
Out in Rural America follows five stories from the LGBTQ+ community over six years, exploring the issues of self-doubt, discrimination, acceptance, and small-town and Midwestern LGBTQ+ life from a cultural, social, familial, and religious perspective.
The Long Shadow is the story of two daughters of the South, Director Frances Causey and Producer Sally Holst, who when they set out to find causes for the continuing racial divisions in the United States, discovered that the politics of slavery didn’t end after the Civil War. In an astonishingly candid look at the history of anti-black racism in the United States, The Long Shadow traces the imposition of white privilege and its ultimate manifestation: slavery.
There is work to be done on teaching, accepting, and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. PBS12 is proud to be a place where these ideas and practices find a home – bringing people together in understanding, so that as a community we can put them into action.
I’ve heard so much lately about misinformation in media and I know there are huge efforts underway to prevent disinformation from hitting our airwaves. This is more important now than ever before. Too often, opinion, masquerading as fact, makes its way to our households and somehow becomes reality.
The other day I was listening to a story on the radio and actually heard information that seemed so totally absurd I wanted to pull over, stop driving and scream. But it was steeped in “research and data” from the perspective of the source so to fault the media wouldn’t really be fair. Or should it be?
This scenario is not new for any of you that I’ve heard on my listening tour over the past six months. I’ve been told that many of you are tuning out all media because it’s becoming a source of stress in your lives. Turning off news has become the preferred method of coping in a world that seems wildly scary and polarized.
My point in sharing this with you is that I think we need to start sharing information in a totally different way. And at PBS12, we’re focused on presenting trustworthy, accurate information along with content that can help you escape into a great drama series on Masterpiece to take care of your mental health.
I’ve been meeting with organizations that agree with the importance of presenting stories that address big societal challenges along with inspiration, hope, and opportunities for action toward collective solutions. I met recently with Julia Hoppock at Exposure Labs, right here in Colorado, and producers of the film The Social Dilemma who are working toward these goals.
Another organization, Warrior Films, creates content that inspires needed social change by telling compelling stories highlighting transformational solutions. We’ll be airing their films, Veteran’s Journey Home, exclusively in Colorado on PBS12 on May 24 through May 26 at 9 p.m. each night, along with a live screening and panel discussion at the Sie Film Center in Denver on June 1 at 7 p.m.
My point in sharing this is that I believe until we start storytelling in a way that gives people hope of a better outcome or a meaningful impact made, we will continue to remain polarized and separated as a nation and as a community. I know that PBS12 is going to play a meaningful role in bringing Colorado back together again by sharing these types of stories with our viewers. It’s why we are impact media for Colorado and why we are going to start the movement right here.
Be the change you want to see in the world. One wrapper at a time.
One of my greatest strengths – and also one of my greatest weaknesses – is that when I get an idea, I have a big picture vision for where it needs to be. As a result, I often have to remind myself that it’s not going to happen overnight. On the journey to a great idea or big picture vision, we have to take small steps to get there.
Who calls themselves an environmentalist? Certainly, someone like Greta Thunberg remind people of the story and can grab that title with relish, but what about the rest of us? Companies that are divesting themselves of fossil fuel investments, technology firms who are developing systems to track and disrupt pollution, and organizations that are working to educate and advocate for systemic change qualify. Even our great state of Colorado has a clean energy plan to achieve by 2040. Arguably some lofty goals to hit in a very short period of time. But organizations like Xcel Energy and others are taking on the challenge.
And how about individual citizens? There are activists among us, but I’m thinking about the rest of us who are interested in being a part of the solution but don’t know how to get started in a meaningful way. I believe the answer is education and understanding. When we can empathize with those impacted by more powerful storms, longer and devastating fire seasons, and record-breaking drought cycles, we begin to activate ourselves as environmentalists. And if you are looking to get involved, Colorado has so many organizations to choose from.
In April we celebrate Earth Day around the world, but here at PBS12 we dig in all month long with stories that raise awareness and caring for how we approach this seemingly intractable and increasingly dire situation. Climate change is seriously impacting our neighbors as witnessed in December’s Boulder County wildfires, human and bear conflicts in our cities, and in water shortages that threaten many parts of Colorado.
What motivates someone toward “pro-environment” behavior? It’s not just economics or the “myth of self-interest” but when individuals’ social identities are closely tied to the community. Our mission is to build community around shared beliefs and ideals, and build compassion so that we make can small changes individually and make a great impact together.
It can feel overwhelming, but your actions can be small. Make a list of positive changes you want to make and then tick them off week by week. Those changes add up, day by day, month by month, and year by year.
Together we can be an unstoppable force for change.
I was glancing recently at the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. If you haven’t seen them, it’s fascinating to think that all global challenges can be summarized into 17 key areas. It’s not the first time I’ve seen these goals, but it was with a new perspective that I viewed them the other day. I was filled with absolute gratitude for being at PBS12 at this time in our history. We have so many opportunities to share impactful content with our Colorado community – to show how we’re making a difference locally in these key areas.
Out of 17 goals to change the world, number five is Gender Equality. As we find ourselves in Women’s History Month, it is so important to share the stories of women who have paved the way for equal rights for all. We’re excited to share a variety of programs that celebrate the stories of women and their journeys, including:
Aldwyth: Fully Assembled – Wednesday, March 16 at 8:00 pm
This film chronicles the life of Aldwyth, a single-named South Carolina artist who defies categorization. She is a painter, a sculptor, a box constructionist, and an intricate collagist. Like her artwork, the trajectory of Aldwyth’s artistic life has been anything but simple. Aldwyth: Fully Assembled follows her remarkable creative journey, documenting her challenges and obstacles and telling the story of her inspiring “second act.”
Secrets of the Surface: The Mathematical Vision of Maryam Mirzakhani Syam – Wednesday, March 23 at 8:00 pm
This documentary examines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field. In 2014, prior to her untimely death at age 40, she became both the first woman and the first Iranian to be awarded the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics, often equated in stature with the Nobel Prize.
The Eye is the First Circle: The Documentary – Wednesday, March 30 at 9:00 pm
This original film produced by PBS12 and Schler Productions, LLC was inspired by the Denver Art Museum’s (DAM) 2016 groundbreaking exhibition, Women of Abstract Expressionism and author Mary Gabriel’s New York Times bestselling book, Ninth Street Women. Like the DAM exhibition, the documentary recognizes the diverse group of women abstract expressionist artists of the 1940s and 1950s who, until recently, have been absent from the narrative of art history, unlike their contemporary male artists who gained widespread acclaim during their lifetimes.
We also invite you to attend the screening of The Eye is the First Circle at the Denver Art Museum on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:00 pm. RSVP to Kcooper@PBS12.org.
When you’re taking on a systemic issue like creating an equal world for all genders, research shows that when women see other women paving a path forward, it inspires them to do the same. We’ll also be featuring some trailblazing women in our very own community over our airwaves. Women that can inspire us right here in Colorado, including Lauren Casteel, Patricia Barela Rivera, Michelle Lucero, Leslie Herod, Lorii Rabinowitz, Simone Ross, Lisa Calderon, and Bree Davies. Be on the lookout for those this month as well.
It’s also important to know that the fight for gender equality isn’t just held in the hands of women. Men play a critical role in this mission. I hope all our viewers see impactful content this month that allows them to envision how they can also make an impact in the world.
I’m asked often what drew me to lead PBS12. Leading the Colorado Women’s Chamber and fighting for women’s growth and equity in business is an incredible cause, so why would I leave it? And my answer is most likely one you can relate to.
When I saw the role at PBS12, I felt a surge of energy shoot through me. The kind of feeling you get when you know there’s something special – something that’s calling you. I’ve watched in disbelief, like I know so many of you have, how we’ve become so opposed to one another in the past several years; more divided on many levels. I grew up in a household where my mother was a Democrat and my father was a Republican. It was okay to share your feelings on both sides of an issue. But somehow as a country we’ve become so divided. Not just on political beliefs but in ways I can’t even explain. I feel like so much of us being divided as a country is because of the types of information we have access to or choose to find. And this gap feels like it’s getting wider.
But regardless, we won’t be successful as a nation, as a culture, if we’re not brought back together again. I learned in my time fighting to create diverse workforce cultures that the ones with the most diversity in race and gender are the ones that are most successful. Companies actually make more money and have more customer satisfaction when they are diverse. Makes sense if you think about it, because you get to know different cultures and hear unique perspectives that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Back to PBS12. As an organization, we have a responsibility to our community to bring people together.
And part of that duty is to provide and give access to diverse content and storytelling to everyone. Doing this creates an incredible impact and begins to bring us back together again. More importantly, this keeps us connected so hopefully this type of division never happens again.
That’s why our programming in months like Black History Month is absolutely critical to our mission. I can find content on PBS12 that I can’t find anywhere else. And as a viewer I can learn how to engage and connect with this content right here in our Colorado community. It’s programming that allows me to create a ripple effect and make an impact of my own.
I hope you’ll join me in watching some of our Black History Month programming throughout February. Here are just a few selections, but you can check out our entire primetime grid, or go to our highlights page for other suggestions.
Beyond the Baton: A Conductor’s Journey
Through The Banks of The Red Cedar
President & General Manager
P.S. We’re planning a brief interruption of our 10 p.m. broadcast of DW International News starting Thursday, February 24 and we want to hear from you about how you watch DW. While we’re doing this trial, you’ll still be able to watch DW News at 4:30 p.m. weekdays on PBS12.1, livestream DW anytime at PBS12.org/DW and watch PBS12.3 anytime. Share your thoughts with us about DW and international news – take our 30-second survey!
Impactful Programming. Welcome here.
I made the shift to working in non-profit organizations many years ago. And while I enjoyed working in both non-profit and for-profits, there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you know you’ve made an impact; planting a small seed that creates true and meaningful change in society.
At PBS12, as a non-profit organization, I believe it’s our responsibility to make a measurable and meaningful impact in our community. We live by a commitment to our community that the content and programs we share creates conversations, engagement and action that sparks change.
In the coming years we are making the commitment to you, valued members of our community, that we intend to create and share content and programs around issues and information that matters most to Coloradans. In listening to our members and the voices from our community, our pillars are Industry, Arts and Culture, Local Issues, Wellbeing, Global Views and Diverse Voices.
By sharing stories and conversations and creating programs in these areas, we intend to measure the positive change that happens as a result of this programming. It’s why we do what we do.
We hope to hear ideas from you as we begin to think about this content and information. And we hope as a result of viewing it, that it creates action and engagement on your end that allows for change to happen.
Thanks for being a part of our community.
President & General Manager
P.S. We’re happy to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 17 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. with special programming. Additionally, check out our January primetime grid.
Bravery. Welcome here.
December finds us at the intersection of yearning for the peace and connections associated with the holidays but still facing the scary realities of Covid and our communities divided by politics, inequity, and fear. While we prepare to air Ken Burns’ Muhammad Ali, this quote attributed to the three-time heavyweight boxing champion resonated.
“We can’t be brave without fear.”
At the height of his fame, Ali challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases, and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation. And yet his story is full of contradictions. He was a ruthless competitor in the ring only to become a symbol of peace and pacifism.
In this moment, he’s a personification of the contradictions within our society. We’re passionate about our beliefs but unwilling to listen to the passions of people across the aisle. We dread holiday meals for their potential to unleash the divisions even our closest loved ones represent.
But we must be brave, even in the face of our fear, to create the change that’s needed. I believe PBS12 provides a space to be brave, to ask the difficult questions and to inspire us to have the courage to dig deeper.
Each month, this letter is an opportunity for me to share the values that shape our programming decisions and indeed, what we believe in as an organization that serves the community. We were founded by a group of citizens who wanted more from media than commercialism and only mainstream ideas. That spirit of independence – some might even call it bravery – lives on today.
While you come together with the important people in your life this holiday season, take a moment to reflect on your shared humanity and try to really listen to the fears that shape any entrenched beliefs. You might just find that a healthy heaping of understanding makes for the most delicious meal.
I know I speak for my colleagues here at PBS12, when I extend my most heartfelt wishes for a joyous holiday season to you.
Here at PBS12, we use this monthly President’s Letter to talk about what we stand for. It’s a chance to let you know what’s important to us, and an opportunity to articulate how we live these values in the work we do every day. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the value that feels significant is uplift.
I recently won the Women of Distinction Award for the Girl Scouts of Colorado and as I and the other recipients were accepting our awards, we were asked what word we would use to describe ourselves. Mine was uplift. I want to be a source for uplifting others to get where they want to go in life.
It’s the same for the type of programming we’re curating at PBS12, and why airing inspirational content is so important. When we see others do amazing things, we believe we can do them ourselves. Our society as a whole is elevated.
As we enter the holiday season and a chance to spend time with loved ones and slow down our pace, I felt it important to share a value that is core to the way I’ll be leading at PBS12. We can certainly use more uplifting stories in our lives. Here are some of the highlights to look forward to:
I know that as I look at the month ahead, I’ll be thinking of ways to put uplifting others into action in my own life. Perhaps tuning into any of these programs with those you love will provide inspiration to do the same.
With gratitude for the opportunity to serve our community,
President & General Manager
Hello PBS12 Community
What an honor it is to be joining this incredible organization. I’ve always been drawn to powerful missions, and the relevance of PBS12’s mission is stronger and more needed today than ever before.
As I was exploring the realm of public television, I found an article that reminded me just how important public television is given where we find ourselves in society. Research shows that people exposed to news on public television are better-informed. They are likelier to vote, and have more realistic perceptions of their societies. Countries with strong public broadcasters have higher levels of social trust, and are less likely to hold extremist political views. You can read the article on our website at PBS12.org/endeavor.
It is true what they say about history… it does repeat itself. There are so many parallels to the environment in which public television was created and the one we find ourselves in today. But one thing is certain. We are absolutely craving community and a place where common and unique thoughts are shared and can bring us together. PBS12 is a trusted source, an advocate and truly levels the playing field for access to educational and critical content. In short, we build community here.
Thanks for all you do to support the efforts of PBS12. I hope to chat with as many of our members as possible to hear what matters most to you and what helps build this community that you’ve chosen to be a part of. I look forward to joining you in making a huge impact now and well into the future.
President & General Manager
Visionaries. Welcome here.
I’m so thrilled to say this is my last communication with you as interim President of PBS12. Not because I haven’t loved every minute of it, but because I’m so incredibly excited about our incoming President. Kristen Blessman has a long and storied history with non-profit organizations, and particularly in Colorado. She is a champion of growth, a visionary, and has a passion for our mission. She is a dedicated leader, with an outgoing, enthusiastic nature and an eye to the future. She is incredibly well known in our state and is tremendously respected by all who have had the great experience of interacting with her. I know you are in excellent hands, and I’m so delighted we were able to bring her on board.
Keep watching as we continue to bring you first rate content dedicated to you, our viewing family. I look forward to the future and all the amazing programming we will continue to offer you. Here are just a few highlights of what’s happening on PBS12 in October.
World’s Greatest Cemeteries – The world’s greatest cemeteries hold more than mortal remains. They are also monuments to landscape, design, horticulture and history. Join Host Roberto Mighty as he tours these beautiful outdoor museums with cultural experts, historians, authors and actors. Together, they share inspiring stories about diverse historical figures who helped make our world what it is today. Six episodes start on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. beginning October 5.
Sounds on 29th + Saturday night music is back with all-new episodes – On October 2, starting at 7 p.m., PBS12 sets the musical stage with a new lineup of national and local music programs including all new episodes of Austin City Limits, now starting its 47th season, and two local, original programs: Sounds on 29th, celebrating its 10th season and Head Room Sessions, now in its 3rd season. Saturday music nights are a PBS12 signature go-to for fans of national and local musicians in genres that range from rock to country to R&B to alternative to pop.
Both Sides of the Story – Starting on October 1 at 7:30 p.m., PBS12 will premiere season seven of our original student debate tournament, Both Sides of the Story. Kicking off a 12-episode format, the tournament provides a consolation bracket that gives each of the eight students from eight metro Denver-area schools three debate opportunities over the course of the season. A new twist to the competition will be debate themes including environmental issues facing Colorado and the world.
Enjoy the fall and sincere thanks for allowing me to guide this incredible organization for a few months. It’s been my honor and privilege to do so.
Interim President and Vice Chair, PBS12 Board of Directors
Grit. Welcome here.
Hello PBS12 community! We are so delighted to have you here with us, always! As summer comes to a close, we enter my favorite time of year, the Fall. For me, it has always seemed like a season of possibilities. I assume because that’s when school started, but I still feel excitement as the days grow slightly cooler and we all sleep a little deeper. It’s also a perfect time to get back to our routines and catch up on our favorite shows. We have some fantastic things in store for you that I’m excited to tell you about!
This month we’re exploring the concepts around grit. It’s a term that is bandied about that seems to be related to toughness or picking yourself up by your bootstraps. But that’s not the kind of grit we’re trying to understand and indeed, tell important stories about. Grit, to us, is about passion and it’s a process for mastery of something you care about over time.
We’re thrilled to introduce you to Generation GRIT, a PBS12 original program we’re pioneering with a group of amazing young Coloradans, experts, and nonprofits. The G.R.I.T. in our series stands for grow, restore, inspire, and transform, and it’s something we see a lot of in Generation Z.
The series is an attempt to get inside the minds of this storied and dynamic group and have a look into what our future could be. From what we’re learning, they’re ready to grow, restore, inspire, and transform to help build a better world. In a hosted discussion format, you’ll meet young people who are passionate and thinking hard about issues like the emotional and intelligence quotients of music and healing, financial literacy, gender identity, suicide prevention and mental health, the environment and climate, homelessness and more.
Being able to share the perspectives of committed youth who are speaking up for what they believe in is in the heart and soul of PBS12. It aligns with our core values of inclusion and respecting others’ viewpoints. Generation GRIT debuts on-air and online on October 1 at 7 p.m.
Speaking of passion, we’re delighted to bring the story of Frank Mechau to you in Mechau. This PBS12 original documentary shares the life of one of Colorado’s finest artists, who left an indelible mark in the art world and the state of Colorado, including being commissioned to paint no fewer than 11 murals in various post office and several government buildings around the country. Tune in for Mechau on September 15 at 8:30 p.m.
A couple of other programming notes that we’re feeling passionate about… our new (exclusive to Colorado) series, The Indian Doctor joins our regular Monday drama lineup at 8 p.m. on September 13th, right before season 4 of Unforgotten on Masterpiece, which airs at 9 p.m. Both are beautifully acted and sure to please.
Like the young people you’ll meet in Generation GRIT, we’re committed to learning and making a difference in our community. We want to hear your ideas about what issues you’re concerned about and what you’re doing to solve them. Please share them on our contact us page.
As the summer days fade and the excitement of Fall and all of its wonder is right around the corner, we look forward to sharing some time with you.
Interim President & General Manager
Compelling conversations. Welcome here.
Hello, I’m Kim Carver, the interim President and General Manager of PBS12 and I am also currently serving as Vice Chair of the PBS12 Board of Directors. I’m so thrilled and honored to be a part of this incredible organization. As you may know, our dearly loved leader Kim Johnson retired in July. Her stewardship, compassion, intelligence and incredible culture has taken us to amazing places. She will be so greatly missed by us all but her legacy will live on with us and having worked with the staff and I can assure you that they are an unbelievably dedicated and talented group of people. I am excited to work with them and I have no doubt that the ship will be steady until Kim’s replacement is announced.
In the meantime, I will do my utmost to maintain the legacy of this brilliant station. A station that has served you for 40+ years and counting. We look forward to the future and embrace the opportunities and challenges ahead of us to ensure that we continue to bring you the same world class programming you have come to rely on. We are dedicated to you, the community, the viewer, the audience, our friends. Thank you for being such a wonderful support to us and we promise to do the same for you.
PBS12 is always on the lookout for compelling and interesting content that best serves our community, and we love The Indian Doctor for its sense of humor but also for how it treats the complicated issues around diversity and “the other.” We’re able to confront these issues in a heartfelt and very personal way through the lens of a community struggling for acceptance while bias and pre-conceived notions work as roadblocks…on both sides.
50-plus years later, these same issues are at the forefront of our national story. Who belongs? How do empathy and humanity play a role? Can we truly look in a collective mirror and recognize how we can do better today?
Here at PBS12 we are committed to examining these issues through our service to Colorado. As a board of directors (BOD), we support programming decisions that reflect the diversity and complexity of our community. We know that we serve a vast audience in terms of age, ethnicities, race, political leanings, and gender and we work hard to represent various viewpoints, knowing that our audience is intelligent and able to decipher their own views in the mix. We all have a role to play in not just tolerating our diverse neighbors but in working toward acceptance and even welcoming our differences.
We have agreed to our volunteer BOD service because we believe that PBS12 can make a difference on these issues. We believe in the power of public television to do a unique job at shining a light on issues without bringing heat to them. The Indian Doctor is representative of the kind of programming that can do this.
Be sure to check out all three seasons of The Indian Doctor, exclusively on PBS12 Passport and look for the broadcast debut in a special Labor Day weekend marathon (September 4-6 from 7-11 p.m. each night) plus the regular broadcast slot of Mondays at 7 p.m. starting September 13.
Thank you for being a part of our community and for supporting the mission of PBS12. We are so grateful to have you here with us.
Interim President & General Manager
Fighting for what you believe in. Welcome here.
Welcome, July! This year, our celebration of independence is so much sweeter thanks to the recent, addition of Juneteenth as a nationally recognized holiday! Thank you, Opal Lee, and thanks to all those who came together – for decades – to get this legislation passed. As it always has been, the very best of our shared successes are owed to individuals who can inspire others to join forces for the common good of all.
I’m no Opal Lee, and I’m not even among the small potatoes of Colorado’s history or its change makers of today. But I’d always hoped to be among a team of individuals who coalesce around something meaningful and impactful. I was given that opportunity over 30 years ago, working in several positions until I was honored to be tapped as the President of PBS12 in 2013.
Founded by thought pioneers, this fiercely independent, small PBS station has thrived against economic and technical odds, and it has been the best job I’ve ever had. In fact, I think it’s the best job anyone has ever had! Times have changed, our address and name have changed, and colleagues have come and gone; but all have taught me more than I gave, and now, I have to leave it. I’m retiring from my dream job.
Although I’m excited about joining my husband in his relocation to Albuquerque, I am really struggling with this life change. Public television has helped define how I think about our most complex issues, and my colleagues have helped define how I interact with our biggest challenges. So, without this role, who am I? My best answer is that I can continue to be a lifelong champion of PBS12 and of those who will continue to create, technically support, promote and fundraise for our programming. Colorado, you are in great hands!
PBS12 is not a physical address, it’s the hearts of my colleagues who are creating stories in ways that I could never have imagined and it’s the open minds of our curious viewers who want to know more about their neighbors, life perspectives and this ever-changing world. With you, we have embraced difference and independence, giving all of us something very strong to stand on, together.
In addition to rockin’ with you with an all-star line-up on July 4th, check out the following programs in July:
July 7 at 8pm: Rex Ray: How to Make a Rex Ray
Produced by our own Joshua Hassel, this documentary looks at the late, contemporary artist, Rex Ray. Join Rex on a tour from his hometown of Colorado Springs to his glorious studio in San Francisco, sharing his artistic process and everyday practice.
July 29 at 7pm: CCDC ADA 30th Anniversary Program
Brought to you by our longtime partner, the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, this special program celebrates the contributions of Coloradans living with various types of disabilities, showcasing resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every Friday night at 8pm: Colorado Inside Out
Colorado’s longest-running public affairs program is a must-watch for anyone interested in a diverse analysis of the state’s current affairs and politics. Host Dominic Dezzutti and esteemed journalists break down the local impact on key news and current events.
Stay tuned and stay involved. As individual viewers and as a collective audience, your input shapes our programming and inspires us to be independently local in our public media service. Like me, you will always belong, and you will always be welcome at PBS12.
President & General Manager
Championing each other. Welcome here.
Welcome, June! You bring two celebrations that are very important to us – Gay Pride and Juneteenth. Both represent struggles for equality, civil rights and simple acceptance that should have been immediately granted, but for far too long were not, and in some places, still have not.
At PBS12, both observances have great significance to us personally, and both have shaped the programming service we provide to Colorado. Since 1989, we’ve focused our priorities on communities that were marginalized within media and ignored, or worse, in our own neighborhoods. The viewers and members who have supported PBS12 for over 40 years in our resolve, have made our role possible, and together with you, we still stand strong.
We galvanized with new resolve in 1998, a year that saw the vicious murders of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming and James Byrd, Jr., in Texas. Those events were so horrific that we could hardly breathe as we scheduled the programs that audiences needed to see. But then 2020 saw the murders of George Floyd and an increase in violent crime against our neighbors who identify as LBGTQ. We refuse to turn the light out on these stories because we believe that as a people, we are capable of greater enlightenment and the diminishment of any one of us hurts us all.
As a community and as a nation, we’ve come a certain distance, so let’s finish the work we’ve started by doing more than just not being racist or not being homophobic. Let us intentionally champion each other, because every one of us has a story to contribute to our collective tapestry and future generations need the best of our moral fiber to build from. Among June’s special programs feature events that are difficult to be reminded of, yet there is hope as communities become outraged enough to rise up against ignorance and hatred:
Thursday, June 17th at 7pm:Becoming Johanna
After struggling to fit into a gender assigned at birth, a 16-year-old transgender Latina transitions with the support of a foster family and a school principal who helps her to thrive.
Thursday, June 17th at 7:30pm:Murder in Montrose: The Paul Broussard Legacy
The murder of a young gay man provides a much-delayed wake-up call to the harassment and violence against those within the LGBTQ community. This crime resulted in hate crime legislation and helped change the conversation among private citizens, within the church, and at the legislative level
Sunday, June 27th at 8pm:Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class
Discriminatory policies and attitudes still make it difficult for Black Americans to establish a middle-class standard of living. We have more to learn about what is stopping too many from realizing the American dream.
And to uplift us:
Sunday, June 27th at 9pm:The Grace Project
PBS12 partners with GRACE, a non-profit organization fighting to save the endangered gorillas in the Congo. This premiere episode with our partners connects us all to the multi-disciplinary approach toward saving animals, natural habitat, and the place environmentalists call the Earth’s Second Lung.
Thank you for watching and supporting PBS12 for over 40 years; together, we can make all boats rise.
President & General Manager
Enlightened thinking. Welcome here.
Welcome, May, and Welcome Asian American and Pacific Islander Month! Normally, we do not spotlight our programming that aligns with the “celebration” months because PBS12 has always been inclusive every month of the year. However, in the past year of COVID, when we should have been helping each other to survive and to thrive, the violence perpetrated against Asian Americans (many of them elderly) cannot go by unnoted. Those who could seriously think that our Asian American neighbors caused the COVID virus have fallen victim to neanderthal thinking, although that may not be fair to Neanderthals.
Hate crimes and other acts of intolerance continue to occur because too few people in positions of influence were willing to denounce hatred. But we can take it on. Together with all of you, we ARE public media and we are not willing to let hateful actions define who we are as a community. Our long-time viewers may recall that we used to say that we welcome all voices; we do not say that anymore because voices of hate are NEVER welcome at PBS12, nor is intolerance of our neighbors, most of whom enrich our own life experiences with their culture and perspectives that freshen and enlighten our own.
It’s time, once again, to listen to one another’s stories and to discover our shared humanity; here are some highlights we proudly bring for the month of May:
Thursday, May 6 at 9:30pm:Mr. Tanimoto’s Journey
After Pearl Harbor, over 120,000 American citizens of Japanese descent were wrongfully held in internment camps across the country. Jim Tanimoto is the last living member of a group known as Block 42, who bravely protested the loss of their constitutional rights. This is a sobering reminder of how fear of other societies can cause us to abandon our own values.
Sunday, May 9 at 8:30pm:Stories in Thread
Hmong Pa Dau, or story cloths, are handmade textiles that illustrate what it means to be Hmong. They fought alongside American Soldiers in Vietnam, yet when the war ended, the Hmong were abandoned by our government to suffer genocide. Their fear of cultural loss is expressed in these Hmong Pa Dau, as are their hopes for perseverance and tolerance.
Sunday, May 23 at 8pm:Finding the Virgo
Vietnamese boat refugee, Lauren Vuong, embarks on a decades long search for the heroic captain and crew of a US cargo ship that rescued her and 57 other immigrants from certain death. This documentary is a universal tale of war, desperation, survival, and the heroes who embody the best of humanity. This story is a human antidote to anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric.
PBS12 exclusively brings the NHK channel (12.4/antenna and 262/Comcast) to Colorado, a 24/7 public media channel from Japan, featuring news, documentaries, unique interest and children’s’ programming, from the Eastern perspective.
Highlights for Other Interests:
Wednesday, May 12 at 8pm:The Dinosaur Echo
Discover the renaissance of paleontology in Canada today and what dinosaurs can teach us about climate change. TIP: Consider a visit with your family to actual dinosaur tracks west of Denver at Dinosaur Ridge!
Thursday, May 267 at 8:30:The New Environmentalists
This Emmy Award-winning program celebrates the environmental activists who have placed themselves squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries. Narrated by Robert Redford, The New Environmentalists illustrates how ordinary people are effecting extraordinary change.
Thank you, PBS12 viewers and members, for trusting us as your source for diverse, public media programming produced with purpose and with integrity. We have always relied on our community to make us strong, and together we can fight ignorance and hatred.
President & General Manager
Caring. Welcome here.
Welcome, April… you lead into the month with April Fool’s Day, but this year, many of us hope to put foolishness behind us in favor of coming together to navigate continued choppy waters. Governor Polis has announced that as of April 2nd, all people over the age of 16 are eligible for the COVID vaccine. This is great news, assuming that you can actually get an appointment.
March brought another mass shooting tragedy, this time in Boulder. Again, more innocent lives lost to an unbalanced individual with an automatic weapon built solely for mass destruction. There were heroes that day who risked their own safety to protect others; yes, an encouraging illustration of humanity, but we still haven’t stood firm on demanding legislation against ownership of rapid-fire weapons. We have work to do, friends.
This month, as weather turns to sunnier days and drier hiking trails, more of us plan to head outside to enjoy the incredible nature and scenery of Colorado. Enjoyment of our state’s beauty and wildlife is chief among reasons why people move to Colorado and choose to stay here. Last year, I was dismayed to see so many beautiful hiking paths – within and outside of city limits – with litter and other garbage left by the careless. It’s time to seriously turn our ears toward the scientists who are making strides in reclamation and advise us on how each individual can make a positive difference to our nature and our wildlife.
At PBS12, we do our best to provide programming that encourages all of us to be our best selves through life-long learning, and equally important, how to employ critical thinking by listening to other perspectives and respecting one another. For the month of April, we offer the following for your consideration as you plan your best path forward:
In honor and memory of those impacted by COVID: April 15 at 7pm:Hippocrates Café: Reflections on the Pandemic – This program features a collection of performances by artists who examine the impact of COVID-19 through music, art, animation, photography, story, poetry, and dance. A must-see documentary that examines the various ways individuals have processed the trauma associated with the pandemic. How are you processing your own experience?
For our Civic Activists: April 18 at 8pm:UnRepresented – This documentary reveals the driving forces behind the cycle of corruption in Congress; specifically, how special interests bankroll political campaigns and relentlessly lobby to rig the system in their favor, all within the law. Leaders and activists are working to restore a government that serves the people; if you do not agree with legislation, engage locally to help change it!
For our environmentalists: Wednesdays, starting April 14 at 8pm: – Tune in for a 7-week run of environmental specials including the documentary, The West is Burning, airing the day before Earth Day on April 21. Learn how forest management policies and litigation has contributed to catastrophic fires. This film also introduces new approaches to forest restoration and how to better steward the land.
For all of us: Wednesdays at 7pm: – New episodes of The Carol Burnett Show series. Because we all need to know that it’s still okay to laugh, and no one does it better than Carol Burnett.
The availability of vaccines for all is helping us to get back on track with the social aspects of our lives. I hope we can also take a moment to reflect on the fact that the pandemic has helped us see matters through a new lens. Join us as we work to raise awareness and positive intentions on making our world better.
President & General Manager
As neighbors, we march forward, together
Welcome March… The universe greets the 2021 spring equinox after a catastrophic cold front and a devastating tally of 500,000-plus American lives lost to the pandemic. These continue to be challenging times and our troubles know no geographic, economic or political boundaries. Our silver lining is that heroes large and small will always rise among us and see us through.
I am always heartened by the fact that when tough times happen, there are countless people who actively engage and help those hit hardest. History books don’t have room to name all the individuals who step up to help fix the damage, heal wounds and set us right again. Working together, we have always overcome whatever disaster comes our way. Sometimes the healing starts right away and sometimes it takes years or decades to process our emotions, to set a community right again and to adjust to whatever new version of ourselves we need to become.
PBS12 has been giving a lot of thought to the journey we’ve found ourselves on during the past twelve months. We help to tell these stories through our local programming such as Colorado Inside Out on Friday nights, our stories put to music in our Sounds on 29th music series and put to cadence within our special, Poetry Out Loud finals, which airs on Thursday, March 18th at 7pm. These are locally produced and are made possible by you through your generous support of your local public television station, PBS12!
Below is a brief look into what you help to make happen nationally and abroad. Sometimes our wounds are still fresh and hard to look at, but within each story our heroes rise to remind us of the strength from within and that we will always persevere:
Sundays, March 21 & 28 at 9pm: The Tsunami "The First Three Days"&The Tsunami "The First Year"
This two-part documentary from NHK in Japan recounts the triple disaster that claimed more than 20,000 lives ten years ago. This chronological documentary incorporates original footage of the 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific coast that triggered both a massive tsunami and a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. But amid the chaos rose countless heroes who sprang into action and paved the way to recovery.
Wednesday, March 17 at 7pm: I am Ireland
Listen to the story of Ireland’s road to freedom as legendary tenor, Paddy Homan and The City Lights Orchestra perform in Chicago’s
renowned Old St. Pat’s Church. Through song and inspiring speech, hear the stories of the Irish in a whole new way.
Thursday, March 25 at 7pm:Fauci: The Virus Hunter
Anthony Fauci’s career as told by noted colleagues and medical historian, Victoria Harden. Before COVID, Dr. Fauci made significant discoveries and contributions to science, to the benefit of us all. Don’t miss this story from one of our most esteemed medical heroes!
As we continue to come together in building tenacious roads to our recovery, let’s celebrate our resilience by being an everyday hero in all things large and small. We have many stories to tell as we continue to help all boats to rise. Arm in arm, let’s march on!
President & General Manager
Choosing words carefully. Welcome here.
Welcome to February – we embrace you by standing for love and for hope!
The second half of January created a sea change in us all, as we rediscovered the power of words to do good. The impactful oration by the enormously-talented Amanda Gorman during the inauguration ceremony, and the statements made by our newly-elected president and vice president underscore that our power lies in the words we share with one another, not in any political affiliation. We choose our words with good intentions, hoping to lift up and inspire our fellow man, and hoping to illustrate our love and respect for each another. Words can assault – but they can also heal. Your words matter to us because you help make us better stewards of public television in Colorado. At PBS12, we continually evaluate how we can best support our community through thoughtful development and curation of programming. You help us accomplish this through your feedback and through your engagement during our live programs.
Together with you and with our civic leaders, we work toward a more perfect community for the people, wildlife and nature that exist within our state. We address our flaws and our challenges rather than simply accept them, and so the concerns and ideas you have directly influence our program choices. From your concerns and interests, we have a very strong programming lineup for February, please check our schedule at PBS12.org for the daily line-up, but here are a few evenings that I’d like to spotlight:
February 10th at 8pm:Community First: A Home for the Homeless
As the Denver Front Range and rural cities alike witness the growth in our homeless population, tune in to this documentary for a unique and innovative new model for transforming the lives of homeless people through the power of community.
February 10th at 9pm:Waging Change
The injustice of unfair unemployment practices and its insidious impact on generation after generation is deftly addressed in this film about how our economy really works. This is a must-see program for those who want a deeper understanding of one of the roadblocks to economic equality and hope to make impactful change.
February 24 at 8pm:Heard
We must love our fellow adults and our young people enough to stop the violence, gangs and drugs in America’s public housing projects. This documentary shares the compelling stories of four people who grew up in “the projects.” They are now thriving in spite of, and because of, the challenges they’ve had to overcome. Let’s learn from them.
February 24 at 9:30pm:The Civic Life of Nathaniel Colley
Nathaniel Colley, Sacramento’s first private-practicing African American attorney, spent 50 years shaping the course of American history. His passion for education and civil rights brought Colley together with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Rosa Parks, Edmund “Pat” Brown, Joseph Biden and Bill Clinton. Let’s hear his words on justice and equality.
I have been energized by the positivity that the end of January brought to us and I hope that we can stay in this light throughout the month of February and beyond. As always, words do matter.
President & General Manager
Resilience. Welcome here.
Welcome, January, and welcome 2021! You’ve finally arrived, full of promise and cautious optimism. At PBS12, our word for this new day is resilience.
We’re emerging from 2020 a bit tattered around the edges and chagrined at the memories of when some turned on one another politically and socially – just when we needed each other the most. But life’s pendulum is always in motion, and we sense a coming back to center and to each other. As Americans, we know how to look our faults straight in the eye. We also know how to innovate and reinvent ourselves and have work to do.
Standing at the edge of 2021, we see new opportunities to embrace our differences; without them, we’ll never have a strong enough team to reach the finish line. If we want to settle for same-ness and conformity, let’s just open a carton of eggs. To reach the state of resilience that we are all capable of, let’s open our hearts and minds to the advantages of different. We’ll never be exceptional without it.
Nationally, the PBS system is focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, and locally at PBS12, we are recommitting to those ideals in everything we do. We are your public television station, and we welcome your voice in our discussions as we consider the content needs and expectations of Colorado viewers. We hope you’ll take this journey with us, and until we hear from you, here are some highlights for January’s celebration of difference:
January 4 at 4pm:America’s Test Kitchen
A new season of exploring rich flavors and culture from around the world.
We hope that by drawing from diverse life experiences and thoughts, our programming will continue to feed your mind, body and soul. At PBS12, we wish all of you a New Year defined by resilience through collaboration, and good health through taking care of one another.
I’d like to close this month’s letter with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles; Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances. Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience ask the question is it right: And there comes a time when we must take a position that is either safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”
President & General Manager
2020: Stink. Stank. Stunk. This is our Grinch moment to shine.
December, what will you bring? You mark the ninth month of an incredibly stressful and divisive year. We anticipate lumps of coal in our stockings, cursing 2020 for the losses we have incurred and for the large bits of debris left in their wake. Yet as we near the beautifully diverse holidays that are celebrated in December, maybe we can make room for a bit of gratitude as well. Caring more about others than our own self-absorbed complaints would be a great start.
The challenges of 2020 threw harsher light onto our collective weaknesses, but we’ve also been given (yet another) gift of opportunity to become more mindful of how we work and connect with one another. Many let politics, the stress of economic turbulence and social injustice divide us, but we don’t have to get stuck. One of our greatest qualities we have as Americans is our willingness to look squarely at our flaws – we just get hung up by the different views on how to correct them. But demanding narrowly defined perfection is no friend to getting results.
The disdain that the Grinch had for absolutely everyone, with the fear of different within the village, kept the division thriving. Yet one, small gesture of acceptance from one child changed hearts and minds. Of course, things aren’t that simple, but kids get the lesson in this story and it’s time that we adults get on board. I hope that the holiday spirit in all of us will surface; we will need each other as we right this country and ring in 2021.
So, to our neighbors of differing religious or political affiliations, we welcome to our hearth and home. Here’s a sampling of what we want to share with you this holiday month:
December 22 at 9pm:Rick Steves European Christmas
Celebrate Christmas in Europe, all from the comfort of your own easy chair. Rick visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to listen to local choirs and to discover “old country” family traditions.
December 23 at 8pm:All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Christmas of 1914, silence breaks out over the gunfire. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land Singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus, begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. This award-winning program recreates the moment in history when Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together.
December 24 & December 31 at 7pm:Gandhi’s Awakening & Gandhi’s Gift
A two-part series chronicling Gandhi’s life and legacy. After experiencing war’s brutality, Gandhi undergoes a spiritual journey, setting a new course for his life and for others.
December 24 at 8pm:Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
American icon Fred Rogers was a welcome friend in homes all across the country, teaching that tolerance and compassion are critical values we all need when faced with life’s challenges and difficulties.
President & General Manager
Uniting. Welcome here.
Welcome, November, and after navigating through this year of COVID, we are better prepared for the uncertainty that this election year brings – and its aftermath – than we might have been otherwise. Although it can feel that the division between parties, candidates (and thus, individuals), is at an all-time high, history tells us that we’ve been in this spot before. It’s just that previous generations didn’t have the vast array of communication channels we have today from which to attack and vilify each other.
Colorado has seen a notable increase in the number of voters this year, and that’s something to be very proud of. The question on the minds of many is, will our behavior in the election’s aftermath also engender pride? In conversations with my friends and colleagues, uncertainty about whether or not we have evolved to a higher level of resilience and coping skills that uniting this country will require. I certainly hope that rumors of people arming themselves in order to attack, threaten or intimidate those who think or vote differently is actually just the stuff of scary Halloween tales.
Listen, we’ve made it this far… we’ve got about 8 months of a serious pandemic experience under our belts during which we’ve revised business plans, remodeled schooling and changed our social behaviors. Add to that, we have seen heroism at its best as our firefighters, safety and charitable organizations have fought historic fires and have helped those most affected.
This year, as we sit down to our much smaller, socially-distanced Thanksgiving dinners, I hope we can unite around our collective desire for building better tomorrows, because we have real work to do. Divided, we have little hope in achieving social justice and all the other aspirations we hold dear. Building from what we have in common would be so much more rewarding, starting with civil conversations around our toughest challenges.
At PBS12, we have the honor of watching the younger generations lead the way through our high school debate series, Both Sides of the Story. Colorado’s articulate teenagers deliver intelligent and compelling arguments on both sides of some pretty daunting issues, all without name-calling and threats. I love it.
November is no different than every other month at PBS12; together with you, we discover and celebrate what makes us unique and what unites us. As our weather turns chilly, here are some other programming highlights that we have for you this month:
Thank you, to all our members and viewers! You inspire us to be our best, particularly as we rise to meet our challenges. We are Colorado. We are united as Americans… all of us.
With gratitude for you,
President & General Manager
A strong fall. Welcome here.
Welcome, October, because we’re ready for you! Yes, the universe has thrown us a culture-changing pandemic, brought social inequities front and center, and for good measure, devastating fires that are damaging the nature we hold dear. Yet, we’re still standing! We may be a bit frayed, singed, and worse for wear, but I see more and more of us reclaiming our resolve.
Our schools are changing how they educate, but our kids are back in school and are redesigning how they connect with friends. Times are tight, but Coloradans still value our many non-profit and charitable organizations, that in turn, continue to serve those in need. Our dedicated firefighters are not backing away from protecting our forests and our beloved restaurants have figured out ways to help us convene safely. We are exhibiting confidence in the face of overwhelming odds, we dare to hope when all seemed lost, and we’re facing our flaws in order to build something better than existed before.
The challenge before us this month is to participate in effective debate during one of the most important election seasons in recent memory, and do so without making enemies of each other. An honest look at history shows that this might actually not be the most contentious election season ever, or even feature the worst of behaviors. History has shown that we can not only recover, but we can even come out better on the other side, so let’s do it!
At PBS12, we stand for inclusive, unbiased approaches to content. And for this fall’s election season, we’re able to offer Colorado viewers something special – voices of our exceptional young people.
You’ve counted on our Colorado Decides election series for nearly 20 years for information that goes beyond a 30-second soundbite, providing solid information you can use. That tradition continues this season, every Friday night at 7:00 and 7:30 pm. We have also produced something special this year – we have expanded Both Sides of the Story. In this high school debate tournament, we hand the microphone to our young people who debate important issues impacting Colorado. Starting October 16 at 7:00 and 7:30 pm, tune in to watch these students deliver incredibly cogent arguments on issues important to Colorado. They will make you proud!
This fall, we are also featuring new specials from Rick Steves that offer a bit of escape while creating a better understanding of our world. You can tune in every Tuesday night at 9:00 pm, but I want to draw your attention to something extra: On October 20 at 8:00 pm, watch us on any of our online and mobile platforms for a live, exclusive conversation with Rick Steves! And on October 26 at 9:00 pm (on channel 12.1 and online), watch Rick Steves’ Travel as a Political Act. In Rick’s own words, “Travel can humanize our world.” Join us as an armchair traveler for this special.
Most important of all, you made each of these specials possible through your financial support, your advocacy of PBS12 and public media, and your feedback. We listen and respond to viewers and members who contact us with ideas, concerns and suggestions as you are at the heart of every program decision we make. We trust in you just as you trust in PBS12.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and have a great October!
President & General Manager
Reclaiming our humanity and humor. Welcome here.
Welcome, September, and we implore everyone to be kind because we can all use a break. Colorado joins the nation in struggling with health and economic challenges of the COVID pandemic, the heightened emotions and outrage surrounding institutional racism, and in our backyard, multiple wildfires threaten lives, homes and wildlife. We fear what the future may bring, and worse yet, we’ve begun to fear each other. So please, September, we need fresh opportunities that a new month and new season can bring.
Bring back to the forefront our humanity and our good will toward one another. With a lot of noise to rise above and a lot of mending and healing to do, we at PBS12 hold on to the faith we have in the people of this community. Coloradans still possess the frontier spirit and tenacity that shapes those born in this state and those who now call it home. We are fiercely independent and difficult to define, and I think we like that about ourselves. After all, we are the same lot that built the highest vehicle tunnel in the world so that more people could easily get to the mountains, yet we remain the only state to have turned down the Olympics in order to keep people out!
We miss our in-person gatherings, key rites of passage and our celebrations, which only gives more head space for dwelling in bad news. But with a new month and a new fall season ahead of us, we at PBS12 believe that it is time to reclaim positive experiences that life has to offer. We are rediscovering the value of shared laughter and a shared sense of wonder and exploration. To help bring these feelings to our Colorado neighbors, PBS12 offers Colorado the following, all new to our schedule in September:
Carol Burnett show – Carol’s Favorites! – This timeless series continues to make us laugh with the renowned cast’s ability to play off each other with non-bombastic humor. Wednesdays at 7pm, beginning September 2.
The Highpointers with the Bargo Brothers – Join in the thrill of climbing the highest peak in each of this country’s 50 states in this new series airing Tuesdays at 8pm. See Colorado and other high points as you’ve not seen them before.
Desert Utopia: Mid-Century Architecture in Palm Springs – This fascinating program traces the history of modern architecture in Palm Springs from the first bold forays into modernist design to the preservation challenges facing the region today. Airs Wednesday, September 2 at 8pm. Also, don't miss three more shows about modern architecture and design on Wednesdays at 8pm throughout September.
We offer these programs as a respite from our current difficulties and to help remind ourselves of what makes us human and what brings us back together – among those things is shared laughter and a common desire to know more about our world and how to engage in its splendor. Maybe laughing and exploring with each other, at least virtually, will help us work better, together. September can bring great promise, if we let it. We hope you and yours will continue to stay well as we journey onward.
President & General Manager
P.S. For all of you who love politics and want to engage with the Colorado issues and candidates, don’t miss Colorado Decides – PBS12’s trusted, non-commercial election coverage airing Fridays at 7pm, beginning September 11. And remember, we don’t accept political advertising so it’s a safe space for civic engagement.
Seizing the moment. Welcome here.
Welcome, August…. we greet you this year with some weariness and trepidation, battle-worn from this crushing pandemic, a troubled economy and social justice crisis. Yet, hope still flickers from within us as we remember that throughout history, the worst of times have always given rise to leaders that guide us through. Last week the country laid to rest a giant, John Lewis. One of his quotes that is so appropriate to us now, is “We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us.”
The convergence of a worldwide pandemic, the flood of emotion following the murder of multiple Black citizens and the historic political divide has most of us on edge and fearing that the very worst of days are at our front door. Could be. Unless, of course, we come together to do right, and to make these days go down in American history as among our finest. If I had three “stop” wishes, they would include a stop to bigotry, to stop ignorance, and a stop to the war between republicans and democrats. Seriously, just stop all of it.
As a small public television station, we do not have the answers on how to right all the wrongs. But we do know this, nothing will be made right by making enemies of those who look differently, worship differently, vote differently or identify differently from us. This moment in history has offered us the opportunity to rise above hatred and to rise above the ignorance that has blinded us to the real plight of those who have been marginalized and much worse. Will we take it?
We hope that you have already tuned into our new series, From Moment to Movement and have heard the stories and experiences of our Black neighbors. The PBS Newshour, Frontline, Amanpour & Co., and Democracy Now are likewise focusing on communities that have been ignored and marginalized. Our children’s programming has always been inclusive of all forms of diversity, sometimes receiving backlash from viewers not yet ready to embrace tolerance.
Our children today are the leaders of tomorrow, and they are watching us. The hope inside us knows that among them, will be another John Lewis, another Delores Huerte, another Martin Luther King, Jr. and another Chief Sitting Bull. Let’s give them the very best of us, the very best of humanity, so that they can grow strong in conviction and strong of heart. I hope the best is yet to come.
Stay tuned in and be present. And in spite of, and because of, all the trials that we face in 2020, time has chosen us. Let’s not waste this moment.
President & General Manager
Open eyes and open hearts. Welcome here.
Welcome at long last, July. Although you follow months of quarantined solitude and social unrest, you are nonetheless a stand-out month, reminding us of the hard-fought freedoms and rights that we enjoy. At least that’s the ideal; this year most of us are really struggling with the inequity of how freedoms and rights are applied. The recent Supreme Court ruling that protects the LGBTQ community against workplace discrimination shows how far we’ve come in accepting and supporting those of all sexual orientations and gender identities. So why can’t we resolve the matter of racism and white privilege?
We are an imperfect nation comprised of imperfect human beings, and one of the things we’ve been tone deaf to is the fact that it’s not enough to simply not be racist, we are also morally obligated to actively stand against racism. This brings up a point that really resonated with me recently.
During an interview within our new series, From Moment to Movement, Yoal Ghebremeskel is asked what he thought of the number of white people who have joined in the recent protests following the murders of George Floyd, and of black men and women too numerous to count. He responded that while it is important that white people participated, he posed the question, “Where have you been?”
Where have we been, indeed. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments were ratified in the mid-1860s and 100 years later, the civil rights movement took hold in an effort to end the racial divide. Yet, we’re still stuck in place because the application of legislated rights and justice in the hands of imperfect – and on occasion – abusive human beings. A system of abuses has continued with impunity, and the hurt, rage and frustration on the part of our black friends and neighbors have come to the surface in a way that we hope will be a solid turning point toward meaningful change.
The entire world has been shocked and deeply troubled about the egregious murders of black men at the hands of white police officers that were either ill-suited for that work or inadequately trained. But for the availability of phones and devices that recorded these recent events, they would likely have slipped our notice. These images are now part of our collective conscience, and it is up to us to intensify our conviction to call out racism and social injustice, and to listen to the voices that have been marginalized for too long.
PBS12 is committed to opening up the uncomfortable conversation about race, white privilege and the roots of white supremacy because we think we all have some important work to do. As always, our commitment to inclusivity and to championing social justice remains throughout our programming year-round. But I encourage you to take special note of our new series, From Moment to Movement, produced in partnership with award-winning journalist and producer, Tamara Banks. The series is comprised of several interviews from black Coloradans about their own experiences and perspectives on racism. We’re grateful to the Anchor Point Foundation for funding additional upcoming episodes of From Moment to Movement. Stay tuned for those.
If you want to join us on this journey, we welcome your comments and your support. Regardless of your ability to support us, we hope you will tune in and engage in this discussion. Let’s not waste this moment. Together with you, we at PBS12 stand for freedom and equality for all.
President & General Manager
A Reimagined June. Welcome here.
Welcome, June… You typically ring in kids just getting let out of school, graduation parties, and families looking forward to summer vacations. This year you’ve brought us something quite different: our kids have been home for a couple of months now, vacations are simply last year’s memories, and we can no longer easily identify our neighbors through all the face masks. June, you’ve somewhat failed us in these regards, but you are redeemed by the unexpected gifts that should have been on our wish lists all along.
Among the good stuff that June brings to us this year are home gardens that have never looked better tended, active family time with spouses and kids, and a growing sense of gratitude that in spite of our challenges, we know that we’re among the lucky ones. The vast majority of us are realizing now more than ever that we have always had a bounty of resources and graces that many in the world will never have. This certainly doesn’t make us feel good that so many are doing without, but this sense of gratitude is prompting steady donations to a lot of local nonprofits, and that’s always a good thing.
You, our members, have been very generous to us throughout this pandemic, and we have made every effort to give back to all our viewers. While PBS12 cannot help anyone travel to new destinations this summer, we are putting your support right into programming that we know Colorado loves. Let me share with you some highlights that you won’t want to miss:
We will be broadcasting the full complement of Downton Abbey seasons to all viewers on our channel 12.2 (channel 251 on Comcast) weeknights from 7-10 p.m. through the entire month of June! After this, all on-air and online rights expire, so this is your last opportunity to catch any seasons you missed. Come binge with us!
Our digital viewers will be given an advance look at the American Experience special, The Vote, available on PBS12 Passport June 8, ahead of its broadcast on PBS stations. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, but it took thousands of courageous women over 40 years to see this amendment ratified by all states. In this fractious election year, you’ll want to see this incredible documentary on PBS12 Passport!
Up your grilling game and your gardening skills with several new programs now available on PBS12 Passport; there is a lot of nature and nurture to explore on PBS, and we want to make sure that we are delivering on our mission to keep you engaged and entertained. So much more is available to watch and to binge on, right in the comfort of your own home and backyard.
We know that we are all making adjustments during this summer, but we have so much that we can do and so much that we can explore. Whatever brings you joy, we hope you are incorporating that into your day. Whatever you want to learn more about, we hope that we will always be your first resource in finding empowering, entertaining and worthwhile programming. We are your neighbors and your partners, and you will always be front and center to our mission.
Stay well, stay engaged, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
President & General Manager
Blooming together. Welcome here.
May has come, after all! And its arrival reminds me of the surprise that the Grinch felt when Christmas arrived without the trappings of a frantically paced, commercialized ritual – “it came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
As always, I learn a lot from Dr. Seuss, and one of the lessons I’m relearning is that a simplified life without immediate gratification is filled with heartwarming moments and opportunities to notice the previously unnoticed. And this May, our yard is showing beautiful signs of new life, all without the multiple trips to the store for new flowers, new ceramic pots, and new garden stuff. So as our cars sit parked in the driveway with the same tank of gas they had from several weeks ago, and as our wallets remain free from credit card receipts, we’re finding great joy in watching nature get ready for spring, in whatever form she takes this year.
This does not minimize the very real hardships and devastating impacts that COVID-19 is leaving in its wake; these challenges are the lead characters of our pandemic story, and will be for quite some time. But to ignore the positive aspects of a forced, slowed life would lay to waste the opportunity to recapture some of what we’ve lost sight of – substantive conversations with our family, friends and neighbors that we just didn’t always make time for. Just as the Grinch was filled with the awe of discovery, watching May arrive in all of its splendor – and at its own pace – is meaning a little bit more to me this year.
I’m reminded also, of the importance of making room for those who see the world a bit differently than we do, because they, too, have a lot to teach us and are often the source of some of our best ideas and inventions. That is why PBS12 has championed independent voices in Colorado for over 40 years. The hectic pace that seems to define our world leaves little room for anything other than the mainstream, the “standard,” and the voices that are the loudest. To provide a counterbalance, we season our schedule with documentaries from Colorado’s own producers and storytellers.
This month, you can count on the continuation of our local public affairs, music and community-focused programming, even if they are produced in a slightly-different way during these cautious times. But I’d like to draw your attention to one of the independent documentaries that we are featuring this month:
Thursday, May 21 at 7:30pm: Stand Up, Speak Out, Take Charge. Produced by Sam Lawrence, a promising young filmmaker with Autism from Ft. Collins, this film features inspiring interviews with individuals with disabilities who have become role models for others due to their own efforts in building their own independence.
Please tune in for this great story!
Elbow to elbow, let’s all dig in to see what we can make grow during this beautiful month of May. And thank you for watching and supporting local, independent media at PBS12; no fuss, no tags, no commercials, just local, national and international programming you can trust.
For more than 40 years, we’ve planted some fascinating gardens together and I always look forward to watching them bloom.
President & General Manager
Connecting in disconnected times. Welcome here.
Warm greetings from our homes to yours, and we hope you are safe and well during these unprecedented and uncertain times! As with all other business operations, we are securing the safety and well-being of our staff and will continue to work remotely throughout April, with very minimal onsite presence. However, always close to our minds and hearts, is our service to you, our viewers. Our team “meets” daily by videoconference, often several times, to assure that our broadcast and online programming aligns with what Colorado expects from public media, particularly now.
We know that you are facing the same challenges in your professional and personal lives. Much has been disrupted and we are a long way from “business as usual,” but there may be a point to the adjustments we are currently making.
Each one of us is being challenged to redefine our business practices, modify our own personal routines, and reconsider certain behaviors in order to take greater care of those who need us the most. For some, the coronavirus has had a devastating impact on their loved ones; for others, the disruption caused by this pandemic is also opening a new door to how we define community and our place within it. This truly is our moment to rise to the best version of what we know we can be, and I am curious to see what we can retain once all is well again.
At PBS12, just as in your own homes, we hope that we can retain this newfound mettle and can integrate some of the insights we’ve gathered during this quarantine forward. Our values and ethics are sharpened even further, and we take our responsibility to provide impactful public television seriously.
As Coloradans, we are having more conversation around solutions and softening the divisive rhetoric. It’s interesting how petty political and ideological differences are starting to take their rightful backseat to what is truly important to us. Every one of our neighbors are stepping up to the plate to care for those who are sick, suddenly unemployed, or simply falling into the abyss that upheaval can cause. Thank you, Colorado.
So, here’s what we promise to you in return. During this stay at home time, we see that even more of you are looking to PBS12 during this quarantine for substantive entertainment for their kids, trusted news and analysis, and for programming that provides a respite from our troubles. We are doubling down on what you’ve told us matters to your mind, body and soul by adding special reports, additional “mental getaways” online, and as always, we are a safe haven for your little ones at home. We promise to continue to listen to what you need from us as we continue this strange journey and you can count on us to continue our weekly, local programming. You won’t be seeing our studio for awhile, but you will see several of us coming to you through our laptops and iPads. We’ve been your neighbor for over 40 years, and we consider you to be family.
Stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
President & General Manager
Exciting changes. Welcome here.
Welcome local neighbors and global viewers, to our new name, PBS12! We have rebranded ourselves from Colorado Public Television (and CPT12) to reflect our new approach to PBS, local and international content. Although we’ve changed our name, we are not changing our commitment to staying aligned with the interests of our expanding and dynamic viewers. In short, we promise to be PBS in a whole new way!
On March 1, we launched our new international service, DW (Deutsche Welle), a highly regarded European source of international news and global documentaries. DW now broadcasts 24/7 on channel 12.3 and channel 252 on cable. But that’s not all – we also feature the full DW stream on our website, PBS12.org, for our desktop and mobile viewers. And there’s more! Starting on March 16th, we will bring DW international news to the 10 p.m. time slot on channel 12.1, giving our viewers an opportunity to hear global journalists help us navigate the challenges and opportunities of 2020.
Later this summer, we plan to have new international dramas, and even more international content, all to be found on our primary channel, 12.1! This inclusion of more international programming is the result of feedback we received from you, our viewers, so please continue to let us know how to best serve your programming interests.
What will not change:
Deeply rooted in independence, diversity and inclusion, you can still count on us to provide a broad offering of perspectives on the election season and other matters of consequence to critical thinkers and the open-minded.
We will still bring PBS’ trusted children’s programming into your homes every weekday morning, just as we have for the past 40 years. You’ll still find our weekly public affairs program, Colorado Inside Out (CIO), celebrating over 25 years of solid, local journalism and analysis. For viewers that turn to us for the best in independent music that is homegrown right here in Colorado, Sounds on 29th will mark its 9th year of production this year!
We look to the 2020 election year as an opportunity to help set a better approach to respectful political debate and conversation. PBS12 will never use our social media for negative rhetoric or unproductive, divisive tactics. And even though public television has been granted permission to accept political ads, PBS12 continues to refuse to accept campaign ads – and the revenue they provide to broadcasters. Why? Because we remain committed to providing debate content, both on air and online, free of any commercial influence or political interest.
If these are media values that you’d like to support, please contact us to learn more about how you can join the PBS12 family and help us continue to provide public media that matters and moves you!
President & General Manager
Global citizens. Welcome here.
Welcome, February – the month we celebrate the people that we love and eat more chocolate than we should. Here at Colorado Public Television, along with chocolate, we love hearing from you, our viewers, and based on what you’re telling us, you really love our international programming. We have some great news for you!
We have proudly devoted two of our four channels to international content – MHz World, and NHK World from Japan (now available high-definition). Both channels offer some of the best in international news, documentaries and dramas. Although MHz will be discontinuing their service to broadcasters effective February 29th, we have found another international program stream that we can bring to you, 24/7: DW (Deutsche Welle). As Germany’s international broadcaster, DW conveys a comprehensive image of Germany, reports events, and incorporates German and other international perspectives in a journalistically-independent manner.
And starting in March, we will be bringing more international news to our viewers watching our primary channel, 12.1. Be sure to check our schedule page for new additions. In 2020, we believe that it is more important than ever to listen to viewpoints that differ from our own. With the complexities of navigating global matters, we need all voices at the table to chart the best course for all.
CPT12 has a long history of welcoming diversity of thought and life experiences into our programming; we will always incorporate those commitments in what we produce locally, and we will stay vigilant to ensure that the programs we acquire from around the globe also align with those values.
As we pull more international programming into our program schedules, please let us know what programs are most relevant to you. Your opinion is always welcome here, and we love hearing from you!
Thanks for watching and ahem, please pass the chocolate!
President & General Manager
Going Big. Welcome here.
Welcome, January and welcome new decade! We greet 2020 with hope, optimism and renewed spirits as we navigate a new chapter here at home and abroad.
Just as 2020 defines great vision, it can also define one of our best years yet if we can get our act together. The “together” part is key, especially coming out of a rather divisive decade. Instead of the standard (and tired) New Years’ resolutions, let’s go bigger. Way bigger.
Rather than committing to a “healthier me” let’s resolve to create a “healthier us.” Turning our cell phone cameras away from the selfie frame to the outward frame, we can get a better view of what we need to do that will help all boats rise, not just our own. In 2020, we have a lot of opportunity to get it right, or at least, make things better, by leveraging the collective intelligence that results from bringing different life experiences and perspectives to the table. Whether it is scientific exploration, medical advancements or the creation of legislation, we’ve yet to learn anything from someone who thinks and believes exactly as we do, and evolution of thought cannot occur without outside influence of some sort.
Fortunately, this year’s election season provides all of us with a months-long opportunity to behave and react to others differently, especially if we listen more and shout less. Colorado is home to great thinkers, innovators and philanthropists; they live and thrive in every neighborhood and there is no common DNA or political denominator. And, a growing number of Coloradans are voting in a manner that places priority on common good over proposed legislation or candidates solely for the purpose of securing advantage over our neighbors. These influencers of positive change give me hope.
The media has a responsibility to support better conversation around issues of importance by keeping an open seat at the table for opposing perspectives while providing responsible stewardship over the tone of communications. You, our members and viewers, have supported Colorado Public Television for 40 years now. You’ve given financial resources and equally important, your opinion about our programming – what you like, don’t like, can’t find or to inquire about future content plans. You do this service knowing that public television is critically important to all young children, regardless of a parent’s ability to support us financially.
You help continue the facilitation of respectful and inclusive conversation through thoughtful and trusted programming and have helped us to expand our programming to sources well beyond our own borders. You are in this together with us, and you make me optimistic about a better future, starting with 2020.
It’s a new year, a new decade, and working together, we have good reason to greet 2020 with great hope and optimism! Let’s get started.
President & General Manager
Shedding light. Welcome here.
The holiday season always brings a sense of nostalgia for the memories we hold most dear and for the connections we’ve built with each other through our traditions and celebrations. It is the time of year when we try to be our best selves and hold good will toward our fellow man. And as this complicated year comes to a close, we embrace this season of light, generosity and hope as antidotes to the divisiveness that can sometimes prevail.
Colorado Public Television is looking back at our programming choices during this year to see if we measured up to our own standards of providing a public media service that is grounded in authenticity, integrity, inclusion and relevance. We have heard from you about what is most important to your families; you help shape our content and our business ideals through the connection we’ve built with you, and, we want to be the kind of extended family that is always invited back to your living rooms (or on the go for you mobile users)!
Always, but particularly for this month, we aspire to be a calm respite from the commercial madness that comes with the month of December, and through our open-minded and thoughtful content, we aspire to shed light – not heat – on the complex issues we face today. By now, we hope you’ve discovered our CPT12 Passport service on our website, as every member now has online access to your favorite PBS programs as well as the local content you’ve helped to make possible.
And we’d like to remind you that you are always welcome in our “home” here at Colorado Public Television by contacting us with your opinions and feedback; we respect your input and we count on it, every year. We want to continue our work together in making a positive impact through public media, content that respects your intelligence and respects your life perspectives.
If this year has been good to you, we hope that you will consider making a gift to Colorado Public Television on Tuesday, December 10th, Colorado Gives Day. Your contributions open windows to the world for all Coloradans, regardless of their financial circumstances. You create a lifeline for parents who seek a safe haven for their kids, you build a stage for those who have been marginalized, and you build greater tolerance through programming that seeks to inform rather than inflame.
Regardless of your ability to provide us with support at this time, we hope you remember that you are still an important member of our family and we welcome you into our content discussions all year. You inspire us with your stories and your insights, and in doing so, the entire community benefits.
On behalf of my colleagues and our board of directors, we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
President & General Manager
Dishing up extra servings of kindness. Welcome here.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s time to count our blessings and to confirm our feast day festivities and menu plans. This year, I hope we can also serve up an extra helping of kindness in honor of a special movie being released in theaters this month – A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. The film stars Tom Hanks and spotlights the impact that Fred Rogers and his program had on children and adults alike.
Grounded in kindness and acceptance, MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD welcomed children with various physical abilities, family structures, religious and socioeconomic circumstances and set a course for gentle conversations that encouraged understanding and empathy for the common good of all. As we experience one of the most troubling convergences of disrespect and divisiveness, this to be a perfect time to release the film and to re-examine how we relate to one another.
Mental health challenges are at an all-time high, fueled by a competitive economy, a dissolving sense of community, holiday anxiety and an onslaught of global crisis that media can deliver in real time as every trauma and drama unfolds. Living in this ecosystem requires us to absorb and make sense of things that are complex and frightening. Public media has a responsibility to deliver trusted information and open dialog that constructively unpacks news and events that influence how we feel and talk about them.
In addressing the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communication in 1969, Fred Rogers stated, “I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.”
At Colorado Public Television, we believe that Fred Rogers’ words still resonate, and we stand by them in our programming and our community engagement work. We believe that how we communicate with one another sets the path for how we treat each other. Every one of us, regardless of our DNA, life experiences or individual circumstances is welcome to write to let us know what you feel is important to you, your family and your neighbors.
Together with you, our viewers, we are committed to the common good of Colorado and we hope you’ll join us in serving up an extra helping of kindness this holiday, particularly for those who can use it the most. Let’s all channel our inner Fred.
President & General Manager
Bounty. Bingeing. Fall. Welcome here.
Wow! Did the first of October catch anyone else by surprise? In the blink of an eye, we are back in the season of football games, changing colors, fall harvesting of gardens, and the annual Halloween candy aisle in our grocery stores. Our kids are back in school, and any travel or leisure activities seem to take place closer to home.
Cooler weather invites us to enjoy our parks and gardens, and in the evening, settle into our evenings nestled into our favorite chair while we take a mental journey with a great book or a great program on Colorado Public Television.
Do you love to fall into great music? We’ve got you covered with the new Ken Burns’ special series, COUNTRY MUSIC, as well as AUSTIN CITY LIMITS, and our own local series, SOUNDS ON 29TH. And don’t forget, being a CPT12 Passport member provides you with an incredible library of music programming, both on the national stage and on our local scene.
Enjoy trying different perspectives with the change in seasons? Check out our own local series, STREET LEVEL: COMMUNITY to see how five influential Coloradans spend their work and play time. Where do you relax and refuel?
We do our best to create a virtual cornucopia for every stage of life and a banquet of offerings because YOU are the reason that 30 dedicated people come to work every day at CPT12. We cultivate a bountiful, programming garden comprised of great variety because we do not believe that one size fits all. We are home-grown public television, built by Colorado and supported by the people who live and thrive here.
We are locally programmed, with a broadcast schedule and digital streaming site that is responsive to feedback from local audiences. Welcome home.
President & General Manager
Respect. Welcome here.
This September marks the 125th anniversary of the Labor Day holiday, and long before it became synonymous with retail sales events and barbecues, it held great significance for the work force and unions who fought for income equality and better working conditions. The 12-hour workdays – often seven days a week – were a hallmark of the Industrial Revolution, which yielded just enough pay to get by and work conditions could be treacherous. The Workers’ Compensation Act wasn’t enacted until 1915, so those injured on the job before 1915 were responsible for their own medical bills and lost wages, setting in motion greater economic disparity between the haves and have nots.
Some people did grow wealth during the late 1800s such as owners and those who had already amassed wealth, but not true for the majority of the workforce and certainly not true for recent immigrants. My family immigrated to the United States from Western Europe and made their living as miners, highway construction workers and ranch hands. Not particularly safe, and certainly not well paying; economic security didn’t arrive until my generation on one side, and a parent’s generation on the other.
Whether good fortune, better opportunity, DNA pedigree or exceptional investing acumen, greed has gotten a stronghold in some circles and it has put us in an income equality pickle. Increasing that divide won’t paint a pretty picture of who we aspire to be as a nation and how we value one another.
Those with deeper pockets have a responsibility to provide greater contributions to the community at large, whether the pocket belongs to an individual or a corporation because that philosophy builds stronger communities and a stronger nation for all. Those in ownership and executive positions cannot presume that they are singularly, the most important (i.e. valuable) contributor to the company’s success. I’m very proud of the fact that at Colorado Public Television, while only a portion of us manage projects and staff, we are all part of the worker bee labor force. None of the programming, technical capacities, community events or strategic business plans can happen with one person alone.
Likewise, we cannot make content decisions on just what we hear from the loudest voices or from our better-heeled donors. Every single viewer is important to us, and when you contact us, your feedback is read and considered – sometimes by many. We respect every one of our viewers and members equally, and we recognize the value that each of you bring toward helping us to be better and stronger, together.
President & General Manager
Trust. Welcome here.
I love those little moments in life that restore our trust in our fellow man! They put a fresh spin on our day and increase our tolerance for the construction detours that now define the state.
This week I was enjoying lunch with a family member at Panzano downtown, a favorite of ours for awesome pasta and just a great vibe. It wasn’t until the end of my workday that I realized I’d left my wallet “somewhere.” In a panic, I was calculating the cash and credit cards that I had in my wallet that day – including my Starbucks gold card. Yikes, this loss was going to be painful.
My first call was to the restaurant; I was told that one of the staff had seen the wallet and brought it to their locked box for safe keeping. After dashing to the restaurant (and passing no fewer than three construction areas), I picked up the wallet and headed back to my car. It wasn’t until then that I discovered that every dollar – and there was a lot that day – was left inside.
I didn’t realize that this happened anymore. I’ve evidently become so jaded that I assume that personal items left behind will no longer be there when I return. Thank you, staff at Panzano, for setting me straight. We should be able to assume that trust, honesty and good will are still values embraced by most people. Isn’t this the personal footprint we strive to leave behind?
Trust can only be earned; it cannot be bought, traded, sold or “won” through intimidation. That’s why it is so valuable to us at Colorado Public Television and to all working within the PBS system. Through surveys and data analysis, we’ve learned that year over year, what you value most from PBS is trust. And we believe that it is our job to earn your trust every single day.
When you tune into Colorado Public Television or watch us at CPT12.org, you’re watching content that has been carefully curated for you; we listen to what is important to you and we work hard to produce and to schedule programming that reinforces your trust in us.
As we look to a new school year ahead, the perspectives on local and global events of consequence, and, within a few months, a presidential election season that promises to be stimulating, we thank you for the trust you place in us to provide open and balanced programs. Sometimes this programming will be contrary to perspectives that you hold; we trust in you to weigh new concepts and determine which ideas resonate best for you.
At Colorado Public Television, we value the trust we have in each other more than any other asset; we have a synergistic relationship that requires both station and viewer to be honest with each other. So please, never hesitate to contact us to let us know what you think and what you need to learn about your neighborhood, your state and your world. You can trust us on that.
President & General Manager
Ideals. Welcome Here.
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela
This is one of my favorite quotes about freedom because it provides the best answer to an age-old dilemma here at Colorado Public Television. As a PBS station with a long history of including independent productions in our program schedule, we celebrate free speech by embracing diverse perspectives. We believe in a free press and are strong advocates for free speech, and we want our programming content to represent those values. Until we don’t.
Rarely, but on occasion, we are asked to broadcast programs from hate groups demanding access to our audiences as an extension of their right to free speech. We don’t give any consideration to content that promotes hate or intolerance. Ever. So we’ve struggled over the years with how to align our commitment to free speech with the fact that we actually do close the door to certain viewpoints. So thank you, Nelson Mandela, for giving us the right words with which to weigh our programming decisions at Colorado Public Television.
Our programming choices for our broadcast and online content reflect our values and our commitment to having a positive impact on Colorado. As stewards of the confidence and financial support given to us from our viewers, and we understand that your support – advocacy or financial – is given in the spirit of building a better Colorado, together.
This month, our country celebrates 243 years of freedom, owing to those who lived their lives boldly so that future generations could benefit from the common good that freedom brings. It is our turn to take the baton and follow Mandela’s charge to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Respecting the rights of others does not diminish the rights of anyone else, and failure to live by this value hurts every single one of us.
We do our best to live up to the highest ideals at Colorado Public Television by seeking stories that elevate our thinking and inspire us to be the better people we aspire to be. We hope you find that our programming reflects our values, programs such as Isaac Pope: The Spirit of an American Century, which airs on July 10th at 9pm. From the virtual slavery of sharecropping to the segregated battlefields of World War II, through the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras to today, Isaac Pope stood at the front of the line and did his part to improve conditions for everyone. Now he is the subject of this award-winning documentary by filmmaker Paula J. Caplan.
Let us know what inspires you, and what you think we can do together to for the common good in Colorado!
President & General Manager
Summer. Struggles. Standing Up. Welcome Here.
Although it’s been decades since my own school days, the month of June still sparks the excitement of summer weather and the official end of the school year. When I graduated, I was bumped from the learning phase of life into the earning phase of life. Would June ever be the same?
Thankfully, it has not. It turns out that June owns some interesting history and has marked some significant cultural changes. Here are a few June highlights that I find interesting:
June 1956: The city officials in Santa Cruz, California banned rock & roll at any public gathering, stating that the music is detrimental to the health and the morals of the youth and community at large. Yet-
In June of 1964, the Rolling Stones began their first concert tour, gathering massive crowds that were not comprised of moral degenerates. And June of 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the US; it remains the top selling album in the UK. So far, we’ve not suffered societal destruction through moral decay. Times changed, and minds changed.
June 1963: Alabama Governor, George Wallace blocked black students from entering the University of Alabama. Yet-
June 1967 saw the first black justice to sit on the US Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall. He served for twenty-five years, resolving some of the most complex legal issues in the country. Women and young girls were not encouraged to pursue work in the technical field. But when Sally Ride made history in June of 1983 as the first woman in space, we changed our thinking about female potential in science. Justice changed, and again, minds changed.
So how do we create more positive social and cultural change and limit the events that put blemishes on our history? For one thing, we need to listen more and talk less. Vera Nazarian once said, “Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song.”
If we let just a small number of loud voices drown out other voices, we’ll end up with a pretty boring, monotonous dirge. We learn nothing in an echo chamber, so let’s listen more, and open the door to other perspectives. Here are a couple life experiences to lean into on CPT12 this June:
A NEW LEASH ON LIFE: THE K9S FOR WARRIORS STORY Sunday, June 23 at 7:00 pm on 12.1
The story of three United States veterans struggling to adapt to life back home. All three suffered from PTSD, and with greater awareness of mental health challenges and resources, each has found hope and new ways to handle their stress and emotional challenges through the aid of a companion dog.
In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians to be a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service. Over the next four decades, tens of thousands of government workers lost their jobs for no reason other than their sexual orientation. But the actions of the government had an unintended effect – they inadvertently helped ignite the gay rights movement.
We tip our hat to the renegades and the change makers who open our minds to a more diverse chorus and to new verses. Each one of us has the capacity for creating a more just and a more tolerant world. Own it, and use it wisely.
President & General Manager
P.S. We’re very excited about our new series, STREET LEVEL: STARTUPS, which tells the stories of Colorado’s vibrant startup scene. Check it out at CPT12.org/startups.
April showers bring May flowers. Or so say the garden shops that beckon us to come dig into the flowers, plants and vegetables in order to put that special, foliage thumb print around our own dwellings. Regardless of our gardening skills, it’s impossible not to get enthusiastic about the idea of nurturing living things that will wrap our homes in glorious color and intrigue.
The variety and diversity of what constitutes beauty and reminds me of a story that articulates our perspective on programming.
We have next door neighbors who needed to cut down a large, overgrown cottonwood tree in their front yard. Left with a huge, wide, stump about five feet wide, they carved out a gnome home, made a roof and a waterfall, then placed a variety of gnomes enjoying a variety of seasonal activities that change with the season and the whim of our neighbors. Although initially a point of concern for my husband, I have always loved the gnome home. It is the delight of the grandchildren that visit them often, an expression of their humor, and it created a very unique feature from a mostly dead tree. Walking by, you know that there is personality, creativity and joy living behind their front door.
I think about my neighbors when we plant our broadcast and digital gardens at CPT12. One of the unique aspects about how we program is that unlike 99% of broadcasters, we do not have A programmer – we have a team of 27 dedicated creatives that provide feedback as well as guidance to every new programming direction we take. We collaborate to provide that shock of color where it is least expected, we want to celebrate all the diversity that comes together to make a fascinating story. Sometimes, we get calls wanting to know why on earth we’d put a “gnome” in our program garden – sometimes, people just don’t get the allure. Some don’t like the dandelions while others tell us the dandelions inspired them to make special teas and salads – both literally and figuratively – and want more.
As we plan each month’s program schedule, we see it a bit like gardening. Our goal is to delight your hunger for learning and exploration. We seek to provide our unique take on the best of PBS programming, independent shows and our locally cultivated productions.
In the end, it’s you, our viewers, who are the special feature in our programming garden – you help us to design the pathways, the color and the variety. It’s planting season. Tell us what you want to help grow!
Social Justice. Compassion. Storytelling. Welcome Here.
Hello, April! CPT12 welcomes the month of April and is looking forward to our upcoming broadcast and digital premiere of Les Miserables – the timeless story of love, compassion and the struggle amongst the haves and the have nots. With a plot as relevant today as it was in the socially tumultuous 19th century, you really must tune in to watch this new 6-part adaption (or go online to binge it all at once).
Elements of love, loss, and honor are woven in to the tapestry of Les Miserables. But its focus on social injustice seems especially timely. The recent discovery that many wealthy parents have bought their kids a spot at coveted universities has us thinking more about that age-old navigation between the haves and have nots, unjust justice, and a different set of rules for each socio-economic class.
So, nearly 160 years after Les Miserables was written, where do we think we are on that issue?
Elitism, aided by those willing to be complicit in perpetuating elite privilege, still exists (at least covertly); worse, the long-term impact of being a “have not” can burden generations. It’s not just gaming the system to buy your kid into a coveted university, it’s butting in the line of opportunity ahead of others who’ve earned their spot in line with merit. It’s not just the disparity in judicial sentencing, it’s the misperception of lesser worth cast upon those from different ethnic groups, those living with mental health challenges, and those with different financial means.
With all the strides in social engagement, communications and the technology that drives them, we do not know each other as individuals any better than we did in the 1800s. Storytelling isn’t the answer, but it’s a good start. By sharing the stories of our own journeys, we can see the commonalities that bind us together, and we learn new concepts from those on journeys different from our own. Intellectually, we accept that the size of a bank account isn’t a good measure of an individual’s value, but we need to imprint that fact deeper within our belief systems.
As we settle in to Spring – the season of hope and renewal – CPT12 will rededicate itself to providing a wide range of diverse life stories through our content for kids, seniors, and everyone in between. Together, let’s set the bar higher than it was centuries ago, and expect from ourselves greater respect, honor and compassion toward our fellow man – particularly toward those on more challenging journeys. And we need you, our viewers and members, to hold us accountable. Your opinions, regardless of your financial support status with us, will always be welcome at CPT12.
President & General Manager
We invite you to March into a world of travel, drama, cooking, news and more – available now to you, our valued members, through our recently-launched CPT12 Passport!
Beginning this month, we now provide an extended library of PBS and CPT12 content with a whole new way of watching the best of what PBS and CPT12 has to offer… marching to the new rhythm of how we all as individuals have been watching our favorite programs more recently – by bingeing on documentaries and program episodes in places and at times that are most convenient to us.
CPT12 Passport heralds a new era for us and for you! Our viewers are the center point for our content service; you define the scope of our content, guide the broadcast schedule for kids, young adults and seasoned adults, and you hold us to our mission of delivering quality content, produced with creativity and integrity. We are proud to be close to celebrating 40 years of providing inspiring, thought-provoking content to Colorado viewers, and we are humbled by your continued support of our mission.
It is your support that drives us to continue to reach higher and deeper to ensure that you can continue to count on us to be your go-to station, whether you prefer watching programs on your television set or on your digital and mobile devices. And thanks to your support, we bring you something so much bigger – all of the PBS programs that you love to watch, regardless of where the current program episode falls in our broadcast schedule.
Are you embarrassed at the office water cooler because you missed season 3 of Downton Abbey and just couldn’t catch up? Here’s your chance to binge the entire series, start to finish! Do you need to find that special episode of NOVA on our changing coral reefs for a school project? Look no further than CPT12 Passport!
If you are a qualifying member of CPT12, you have an activation code waiting for you. Just follow the link that was emailed to you (or look it up here), and in just a couple of minutes, you and your favorite program device or screen will have the world at your fingertips. And remember, CPT12 and the PBS teams are here to help you access your CPT12 Passport if you hit any snags. You can call use our web form or call 303-296-1212 to check on your membership status; or you can visit PBS Support or call 1-844-585-00234 for any technical questions.
And don’t forget, if you have a friend, family member or neighbor that relies on PBS to bring them the best and widest scope of programming about our world, please let them know about CPT12 Passport! Together, we’ll continue to grow.
President & General Manager
P.S. In March we spend time reaching out to people who might be interested in our special programming. Be sure to check it out!
Opinions. Diversity. Chocolate. Welcome Here.
February is a special month. It’s the only month with fewer than 30 days. It’s the only month in which there can be no full moon and no new moon. And it’s the only month whose length varies every four years.
It’s also a month in which our thoughts turn to love as we note the Hallmark card aisles filling with Valentines for those in our lives with whom we share our history and our life journeys. February also brings Black History Month, and for broadcasters, that means we will be provided with programming on the contributions, discoveries and civil rights challenges of African Americans. But at CPT12, we’ve always seen Black History Month as a double-edged sword.
And while we recognize one very important community throughout February with Black History Month with special programming, it’s also a frustration of ours that this attention is often limited to only one month in each year. Some stores will promote special sales or discounts in “honor” of Black History Month, or at least will tie a branding message to February. While I enjoy reading about and watching new stories on Black History or any other demographic group’s history, I am actually interested in this subject year-round, not just in February.
Sometimes my life’s journeys take the same path as those who are different from my DNA, and sometimes they diverge. Regardless, these connections are important to me personally and they are also important to all of us at CPT12.
Not only do we welcome people from all walks of life, but ages, ethnicities, viewpoints, and persuasions. We believe that when a community has a place to share our stories through different lenses, we all benefit. Our histories then become intertwined, and we can more easily see the common threads that hold us together.
So in addition to the special content we have lined up for February, you can find an equal amount of ethnic diversity in our program schedule every month of the year.
We accomplish this by connecting with you, our viewers from all age groups, ethnicities, religious and political affiliations, gender, socio-economic status and any other identifier that we create.
You do not need a driver’s license, DNA test, or member card of any kind to drop us a line to tell us what you want to see more of on CPT12, what you think about our community, and how we can better serve you.
Here at CPT12, we make a point to celebrate diverse peoples and ideas throughout the year. You are welcome here. Every month of the year!
So while you can check out special Black History Month programming on Sundays from 1 – 3pm on Channel 12.2, you’ll also find the same kind of high quality, thoughtful and engaging programming throughout this year and beyond.
President & General Manager
P.S. Later this month we will have a very bingeable treat coming your way. Stay tuned for a special February surprise!
Wise words. Welcome Here.
Welcome, January – you bring us a new year, complete with its clean slate and its new beginnings!
As we think about our resolutions for 2019, we need to stretch beyond the typical commitments to getting more sleep, eating better and starting new hobbies. I want to believe that each of us is capable of so much more, and it’s time to set the bar much higher. What might we accomplish, together, by relearning some of the lessons provided to us by one of this country’s greatest leaders and teachers – Martin Luther King, Jr.?
As we enter the month that officially acknowledges the birthday and the contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s consider the aspirations that he set for himself and for us a nation. He started with the premise that as individuals, we must do our part to build and maintain a country in which every individual is assumed to have equal rights and equal value; from that foundation, we will all be much better as a whole. His inspirational leadership and his ideals were instrumental in the civil rights movement and in changing the hearts and minds of so many across the nation. How I wish he were still here with us today as I think we need his wisdom now just as much as we did in the 60s. But he left us a lasting legacy and a treasure chest of wisdom, hope and guidance through his words, and those words still serve as a strong genesis for resolutions that I hope we can all make as we enter 2019.
Who among us hasn’t lingered by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memorial in DC? I never miss that memorial because his words – etched in stone behind his statue – never fail to inspire me and to invoke the conviction that we can, as individuals, unite together in the aspiration and resolution to build a better society through our commitment to social justice and equality for all. The return on that investment is unmatched, yielding tolerance, respect, and full value of what each individual has to offer our community when their talents are unbridled.
Colorado Public Television has long stood for social justice, the power of diverse voices in any chorus and the grace of tolerance as we work through social and cultural change. We do our best to find great programming that promotes these values. But programming only goes so far, as it is the person behind each story, each speech, each tweet or each book that influences popular thought and resulting action. And friends, we’re falling short. And we are in desperate need of effective and inspirational leadership that can propel us to a higher level of community and humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”
Whether you lead a family, a classroom, a company, a congregation or a nation, I hope we all take this charge to heart, and resolve to listen again to the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a new year, and we have some important work to do.
President & General Manager
Welcome, December! This is a special month of celebrating family traditions – spending time with family we consider to be friends, and friends that we consider family. December brings out the best in all of us – we try to be a little kinder, a little more patient, and a bit more empathetic toward each other.
December 4th is Colorado Gives Day, and provides us with a great opportunity to fulfill on those ideals. Many nonprofit organizations will be reminding us of the work they do right here in Colorado. I love that we pull together to help make our communities even stronger by supporting local efforts and by sharing local stories. I give a bit more to the organizations that I support on this day because I know that my support matters.
At CPT12 we are Colorado’s storyteller, and we’ve been bringing local stories to our viewers for almost forty years. Through our collaborations and production work, we helped raise awareness for:
Colorado high schoolers, through our Both Sides of the Story series
Colorado veterans, through our work with Freedom Service Dogs and Come Back Yoga
Women Living below the poverty line, through our work with the Women’s Bean Project
Colorado kids in foster care programs through our support of Adoption Options
Civically engaged, Colorado citizens who tuned in for our Colorado Decides and Votey McVoteface 2018, bi-partisan midterm election debates and coverage.
We do this work because we believe that there is room for all boats to rise. We believe that there is still interest in the good news that comes from inspiring stories, and within this local content, we choose to illustrate how positive impact can change people’s lives. We believe that when we share stories of hope, the entire community benefits.
As my friends and colleagues will tell you, I am uncomfortable asking for financial support. I was raised in a family that didn’t discuss finances and we sure didn’t ask for financial support from anyone. But my dedication to CPT12 and to the work we do for Colorado pushes me outside of my comfort zone and makes it a bit easier to ask you to consider supporting CPT12 (Colorado Public Television) during this year’s Colorado Gives Day campaign. When you think about the stories that really touch your heart and inspire you, there is often a video production that brought you closer to the people in the story. That’s what we do and we believe that our work makes a tremendous impact on bringing our challenges and our successes into view.
We hope that you will consider making a gift to Colorado Public Television on Colorado Gives Day; you can support our work at ColoradoGives.org/CPT12. Your voice and your engagement matter to us, it lets us know that you think we’re on the right track for Colorado. If you’ve already scheduled your gift, thank you for your support. If you are about to click on the link above, thank you! You make all the difference.
President & General Manager
P.S. Let me also take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very healthy and joyous holiday season! We have lots of great family-friendly programming planned.
In troubled times, we need you. And we’re grateful for you.
Welcome, November, the month in which we dedicate a few moments to be thankful and mindful of the bounty and many blessings in our lives! Most of us will place our families and dear friends at the top of our list. If you have the good fortunate to have your health and a roof over your head, those bonuses come in as close seconds. For citizens of this country, despite our polarizing issues and natural disasters, the list of good fortune can go on for miles. Even so, I’d like to underscore something on my gratitude list.
I am grateful for our freedoms and for all who fight to preserve them. If you are civically active, if you vote, if you stand up for any group that is being marginalized or threatened, you are playing a critical role in preserving our rights and freedoms, because they must be extended to every one of us, or they mean nothing. It is our right and our responsibility to ensure that our government reflects these values within the context of who we are today. So if you did not mail your ballot by October 30th, you must get to the polls by November 6th to vote your conscience.
November also marks a day especially reserved for those who protect the ideals we stand for and protect our way of life. Veteran’s Day is November 11th, and we are given a dedicated opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices they have and will continue to make, all for the common good of our country. Every single night as we fall to sleep with the luxury of having non-life threatening worries about our jobs, school work or home affairs, we can thank our veterans for standing in harm’s way in order to preserve our safety from all threats, including threats that we will never be aware of.
Freedom of speech and a free press are two of several key tenets of the First Amendment to our Bill of Rights. And to further the connection between citizens and a free press, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act just over 50 years ago (1967), a significant contribution to communication policy legislation. As such, Colorado Public Television is one of your public media organizations serving Colorado, and our mission is to integrate your input and your perspectives into our content service.
For nearly 40 years, we’ve welcomed diverse voices not commonly represented in commercially-forward media. Our commercial broadcasters provide exemplary service to all of us; public television just simply has a different task- we exist to invite in and to reflect the interests and viewpoints of our viewing public.
As a locally and independently programmed public television station, CPT12 provides content that can introduce new ideas that can challenge us. We all need to be challenged and to employ our own critical thinking skills in order to adapt to our changing demographics, to learn new ideas and to consider new approaches brought to us by those with life experiences different from our own.
At Colorado Public Television, we dedicate ourselves every day to being good stewards of your trust and support; to fully deliver on our mission, we need your engagement and feedback. Please tell us what you think, and what we are getting right and what we are getting wrong. We are thankful for the opportunity to be occasionally uncomfortable; we never learned anything from an echo chamber.
President & General Manager
October is here already, and many of us are preparing for cooler weather, making holiday plans, and worrying about the frightful sugar coma that will hit our households on Halloween. However, this month’s letter will not be about Halloween, as the real-life goblins and demons overshadow other important aspects about October.
World Mental Health Day is October 16th, and this subject deserves more attention than it has been getting. With all of the information and statistics available to us, we cannot afford to marginalize the scope and impact of mental illness. Recent data tells us that in the United States, almost 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental illness in a given year, 18% of adults deal with an anxiety disorder, and most alarmingly, 13% of all deaths among our teens are due to suicide. These figures are unacceptable, and we can do better.
A good place to start is to address the stigma associated with mental illness. We’ve made great strides in bringing once-taboo physical ailments out of the closet, and we no longer vilify those taking steps to address addictions. So why does the stigma around mental illness remain? What are we so afraid of, and why is seeking help considered a failure on someone’s part rather than taking proactive steps toward better mental – and overall – health?
Colorado Public Television, along with other media outlets, distributes information and resources available to those who need help – but stopping there is too passive and it’s not moving the needle. The best asset of any organization is the staff; and as such, I pledge to be more vocal about mental health resources in our office. Our colleagues need to hear that we value their mental health as much as their physical health.
As a community, let’s stop the wise-cracks about mental illness, keep up to date on troublesome signs that something is not right, and take two minutes to check in with someone who might be overwhelmed by life circumstances. At one time or another, we all need a bit of help or a little grace. And let’s keep talking about mental health and the resources available to us until the stigma loses its power. Coming up this month, Colorado Public Television will be broadcasting two programs that might be of interest to you: IT’S JUST ANXIETY and THE BRAIN’S WAY OF HEALING. Both programs are also available online for those who prefer on-demand viewing.
For those in crisis, or if someone you care about is struggling, please contact one of the free crisis lines available, such as Metro Crisis Services, a statewide, free service, available 24/7.
President & General Manager
I have, and always will, love the month of September. Rather than considering January to be the month of fresh starts, for me, it will always be September, likely because I always looked forward to the new school year – what will I learn, what new project will capture my interests, and will we have a new fun kid in class? My school days are decades behind me, but I do have an inquisitive, fascinating 14-year-old son, so I now relive that anticipation through his eyes.
Great new school – check. Fascinating classes and new teachers – check. Sports team – check. Cell phone – checckkk…… not so happy about what he is exposed to on that device…
On my side of the age fence, we are all teachers to some degree for younger generations, and I’d like to think that we take that role seriously. It’s no secret that our kids pick up on our values and our ethics by watching our behavior, and quite frankly, I think we need a bit of a reboot when it comes to how we illustrate and communicate those values.
In this instant, tweet-a-thought era, social media has become a platform for hate, intolerance and disrespect. Let me jump right in to clarify that I do not fault social media platforms. Some sites have been more progressive than others in removing offensive remarks but that puts us in the endless debate of who draws the line and where. This is simply about us. The adults, and how we still struggle to express difference of opinion without vilifying another person and their point of view.
Much has already been written about the polarization of this country along political lines and we’re just not going to get anywhere if we all keep this up. The justifiable passion we feel about our core values and what they represent in our civic lives has too long been twisted in communications and allegations about which group is more evil than the other. This venomous approach to communicating is done in full public mode now with the prevalence of social media. And yes, our kids are watching. Can we take back this agnostic technical platform and leverage it for productive discourse for the common good?
If we cannot teach our children how to work together to address our biggest concerns, then who are we? This fundamental responsibility we share to the communities in which we live demands that we stop the hate speech, the vilification, and the rampant judgements about the intent of our neighbors.
We do our best to illustrate open and constructive dialog at CPT12; we have long stood for inclusivity of diverse perspectives and respectful debate. How do you think we’re doing? How do you perceive our communications in our social media? And as individuals who comprise the staff of this station, we remain committed to doing a better job of listening to other ideas on how to solve our local concerns. This is one of the most important lessons we can teach our kids, and they deserve our best effort.
President & General Manager
Colorado. A Love Story.
We are still a young state – not even 150 years old – yet so much has happened before 1876 and after. Coloradans live in a state with great geographic diversity, pointing with pride to the magnificent continental divide as well as the beautiful ranch- and farmlands with the homegrown produce for which we are equally famous. Statehood is just a small part of our story, though, because we’ve always been an interesting lot who’ve been fortunate enough to call Colorado home.
Some of our first inhabitants left their footprints just west of Denver – the dinosaur tracks at Dinosaur Ridge are fascinating every time I see them. Evidence of the hopes, the challenges and the lifestyles of people throughout Colorado’s recorded history provide a fascinating glimpse back in time – the Anasazi and the cliff dwellings leave visitors awestruck year after year, and the mountaineers and frontiersmen who sought land and gold, left behind abandoned mines, ghost towns and old train tracks as their footprint. Scientists, anthropologists and historians tell us a great deal about those who came hundreds and even thousands of years before us, which makes me wonder what future anthropologists will say about us when they dig up our structures.
They might wonder just why we loved our cars so much that we went out to watch movies while seated in them (has anyone tried to explain the speaker boxes to today’s teenagers?), and went out to eat at restaurants that only had car service, resting the food trays on hand crank windows.
But on the other hand, I hope they will also discover the intentional revitalization and repurposing of structures and neighborhoods that have meant a great deal to us. I love the fact that Eastern Colorado is still largely comprised of smaller, family farms; I lived in Lamar as a small child and still remember – and love – the wide-open sky. I love that the Western Slope is still home to some of the best skiing in the world (although when I first learned to ski up at Winter Park the lift pass was $7.50) yet still retains its simple, natural areas for those who just want to sit and breathe that Rocky Mountain fresh air. My family moved to the Denver area before I-70 existed west of the “valley highway,” so I’m making peace with the increased traffic because the new industries and start ups happening all around are contributing to the vibrancy and dynamic culture of Colorado.
Fewer and fewer of us are native to Colorado, but we understand what compelled you to make Colorado your new home. So those of you who are newcomers to Colorado – welcome. We’re glad you’re here. We hope you will soon take pride in this state’s history and we hope you’ll join us in the caretaking of this land and its natural resources. You are an important part of our ongoing evolution and we’re excited to see where your influence takes us.
President & General Manager
Let’s take this month to celebrate independence!
As we prepare to celebrate this nation’s independence, we at CPT12 are reflecting on what independence means to us, a station that proudly identifies as an independent public television station. Our mission is predicated on local service; hence, it is critical that we remain independent from any conglomerate seeking to influence our content decisions. We determine which programs we want to take from PBS, from independent producers, and from our international content sources. Our biggest influencers? You. Our viewers and members are our stakeholders, not an entity or corporation headquartered out of state.
Colorado is home to multiple public radio and television stations and independent newspapers. The tricky part for all of us is the constant rebalancing to stay aligned with Colorado’s changing demographics and interests, while staying distinct from each other. We believe the best solution is to maintain a wide, local marketplace for multiple independent – and accurate – content sources.
Consolidation in the name of efficiency results in homogenization, which results in fewer content choices and far fewer voices in the decision-making process. Limiting the number of voices in any discussion can lead to an echo chamber of perspective, which in the end, rarely does any good.
Many of us are members of aggregated content sources such as Netflix – they offer a decent variety of content at an affordable rate. But it can never be local or independent. We check in with CNN several times a day, but it does not replace the valuable, local news we get from our local commercial stations. Many of us hold subscriptions to prominent national papers, but where do we get the news and information about our own election primaries, local news, City Hall, and community events? Our local, independent newspapers. We don’t need less choice, we need more choice, and we believe that having multiple, independent, locally programmed and reported stories are a must-have for everyone.
We are all doing our best to be responsive and relevant to Colorado. We hope, that in turn, you’ll consider supporting our work so that we can all continue to provide a robust collective – yet individually independent – of choice in Colorado news, storytelling and community engagement. Coloradans are not of one mind or of one life experience, and a healthy variety of content and perspective is a critical resource for the diverse population of this state.
I like what Larry Ryckman, editor of the Colorado Sun (launching this August) had to say in a recent article in 5280: “I think the old days of viewing things as ‘if we win, you lose,’ I hope those days are over. I hope we all can win. Competition is a good thing for us… We think there are plenty of stories to go around for all of us to cover.”
We agree. There is not only room for all of us, there is a need for all of us. And at the heart of every independent media organization here in Colorado, there is room for your voice. Please let us hear from you!
President & General Manager
Staying Private in a Very Public Era
With online privacy concerns remaining in the forefront of news stories, we at CPT12 have been taking a second look at how we can maintain your privacy with us in every aspect of our interactions with CPT12.
Every one of us at Colorado Public Television values our privacy; after all, we’re private citizens as well and want our information protected just as you do. As any breach would be the last thing we would want to endure ourselves, we’ve taken steps to review our privacy rules and have rededicated our commitment to following the most stringent privacy policies.
On May 25, 2018, new regulations from the European Union, known as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), went into effect. While these regulations are not required in the United States, we believe that stricter privacy standards make sense for everyone. Hence, we will be keeping a close eye on the efficacy of the GDPR so that we can learn more about how we can protect you, our members.
It’s a privilege to serve our Colorado community and we really do work under the notion that we’re all neighbors. Good neighbors help each other whenever possible, and, they respect privacy fences always. With that as a baseline, we are doing everything we can to look out for the members of our CPT12 community.
As always, we want to hear from you on ways we can continue to improve our service to Colorado, and your experience with CPT12. We welcome your feedback at any time.
President & General Manager
We believe in gardening, both the dirt and digital varieties!
May is finally here, and many of us Coloradans are jumping at the bit to cut away the winter bramble and to plant our gardens and fill our flowerpots. We are eager for the yield of our vegetable gardens and for the beauty that our flower beds bring to us all season. But it’s also the process of tending a garden – participating in the process of guiding living plants to their full potential – that draws most of us in.
We reap what we sow, and the relationships that we develop and foster with our families, our neighbors and our community organizations work much the same way as gardening and farming. It takes time to build a great friendship, it takes even longer to raise a child, and it can seem like an eternity to wait for the measure of our long range to build for the common good. But the harvest is always worth the time we put in to it.
At Colorado Public Television, we plant for you a digital garden that every viewer can cultivate and harvest for him- or herself. We curate content that explores and celebrates a wide variety of life experiences and perspectives in order to attract a variety of tastes. Personally, I do not like tomatoes, but I would expect that most farmer’s markets feature them along with the beets and peppers that I prefer. We like to approach our programming the same way. To deliver the most attractive harvest, we need your input. And, we hope that the variety will continue to bring you most of what you want to consume, even though there may be the stray tomato on the serving platter.
We need to know what you like so that we can plant more of it. And, we need to know what we forgot to plant. You play an extremely important role in the synergistic relationship we have with one another and we look to you to help define how we can best serve Colorado communities. In line with the adage to buy – and eat – local, we hope you will want to watch local. We thrive because you care enough to educate us about what is important to you and to your families; cultivating a successful harvest is up to both of us.
Every day, we put you at the center of our focus and it is you that we think about when we select new program series, decide to rest a series, or when we venture into new territories comprised of controversial subject matter. YOU are part of our digital garden, and we’d love to hear about how you deal with life’s droughts and how you celebrate the bounty in your life. Please let us know what type of programming feeds your mind, and how we can give you the best return on the trust you’ve placed in us.
In the words of Jenny Uglow, “We might think that we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.”
Together We Are Stronger
Everything we do at Colorado Public Television (CPT12) is driven by some pretty rock-solid core values. One of them is that the community is stronger when we stand together. That’s why we shifted our thinking on local partnerships toward a focus on the common good, not just what might be good for CPT12.
The decades that brought us the “winning through intimidation” and “crush the competition” mantras encouraged a winner-take-all environment of greed and selfish-centeredness that permeates our lives and our airways. Working together simply for the common good or for those who need us the most, is considered a weak business position. To that, we say no way!
We stand in opposition to this kind of thinking and we believe that every one of us can be a part of the solution by raising each other up so that together, we all benefit.
One way we try to walk the talk is through our community partnerships. We seek out ways to enhance the impact and reach for organizations that are trying to make the world – and specifically Colorado – a better place. You’ll find one such partnership, with the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF), in action this month.
In honor of the April 22 Earth Day celebration, we’re co-hosting an Earth Day mini film festival with the Alamo Drafthouse-Denver and the CEFF. Together we are showcasing the work of independent filmmakers along with a panel of experts to talk about the challenges facing our planet and what all of us can do to make a positive difference.
As a small, independent PBS station, CPT12 really looks to grassroots programming, partners and collaborations as a way to expand our own understanding of what’s happening in Colorado communities. Our partnership with Adoption Options enables us to connect with and promote the well-being of children; our support of Freedom Service Dogs brought us closer to the work they are doing to provide (at no cost) rescue dogs to veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and we continue to be inspired by our partnership with the Jewish Film Festival as we gain greater understanding of those who are singled out for hate, no matter their differences.
And together with you, our viewers and members, we can all raise our voices against greed, intolerance, and blind-sidedness toward those with different life experiences and perspectives. Those are the very people we stand to learn the most from and want to thrive in our communities.
What are your core values and how do you think they can best support a great community for all? We really want to know. Your feedback and opinions are always welcome here.
President & General Manager
Welcome to March, a month who’s name is being taken literally as people participate in marches and demonstrations, voicing their opinions of support or protest. It is interesting that our First Amendment continues to this day to cause so much angst as well as pride. The right to free speech and public assembly is critical to every American, but exercising these rights can be questioned when the opinions expressed don’t mirror our own.
Recent tragic events have ignited our young people on a scale and in coordination that I’ve not previously seen, and regardless of where any one of us stands on the issues, we need to embrace the fact that we are raising a generation that cares enough to take a stand and engage in the process of civil discourse. Let’s support that passion in our young people. In standing up for the Second Amendment, we must protect against denying First Amendments rights. Let’s also hold back accusations and vilification of those who support legal and responsible firearm ownership.
I hope that we can embrace the responsibilities that come with the right to peaceful assembly, free speech and a free press, the responsibility for truthfulness and respect for our fellow citizens. It is not a terrible thing to take a stand, it keeps us from becoming “sheeple”; we just need to disagree constructively.
Here at CPT12, when we walk through our front door, we understand that we are here to do a job for you. It is our responsibility to uphold the trust and value that you’ve placed in PBS and in this community asset. You count on us to encourage open dialogue and to present many scientific, political, and philosophical opinions and ideas so that you can make informed decisions yourselves.
For over 38 years, CPT12 has taken a stand that still holds today – we will unabashedly present to you thoughtful, relevant and diverse information that may invite controversy. Some of our content will challenge you, some may open your mind to a new approach, and some will confirm your long-held opinions and beliefs. We won’t tell you what to think. It’s our highest priority to give you something to think about.
At CPT12, we take our responsibility to provide new information and different perspectives very seriously. We believe that it’s of paramount importance that we share stories that differ from our own. We take this stand because we, as a community, need opinions other than our own to make the most informed decisions we can.
Together, we can all continue to celebrate and treasure the freedoms and rights that make Colorado and this country so great. Let’s march on.
President & General Manager
P.S. During our special programming in March, we will be asking for your support. We hope that you will consider the value that engagement with many perspectives and viewpoints bring to our discussions, particularly the difficult ones.
Welcome to February, the designated month in which we proclaim our love for family and friends! And this month at Colorado Public Television, we are going to shine some love on the PBS Nerd.
No longer relegated to being social outcasts, Nerds are now changing the world, and we owe them our love and gratitude.
Just like the 80’s movie, Revenge of the Nerds, those who are confident enough to chart their own path rather than travel the easier, well-worn generic highway endorsed by the masses, Nerds have long imagined something better. Then they build it. And they manage to accomplish something greater without diminishing others or causing harm and mayhem. Mr. Rogers would have loved all Nerds, but l think he’d have a special place in his heart for today’s Nerd.
Today’s Nerd is thinking as much about what can benefit the common good as much as what can benefit his or her own bank account. Music Nerds are creating the soundtrack of our time, construction Nerds build our homes, nature Nerds care-take our wildlife and environment, and science Nerds study, explore and invent incredible advancements that save lives and build better communities.
In my best moments, I am a Nerd. And at Colorado Public Television, we hope you are too! Let’s be our best selves and never stop learning, discovering, creating and caring.
Yesterday we launched our PBS Nerd campaign with a special offer that helps you show off your inner Nerd love. With a sustaining membership of just $5/month, you’ll get an awesome PBS Nerd t-shirt to wear with pride. Go to CPT12.org/Nerd to learn more.
President & General Manager
P.S. By way of introduction, I’m Kim Johnson, President and General Manager of Colorado Public Television. Each month I’ll be sharing news, information and thoughts right here. I’d love to hear what you think.
World View, Community Voice.
Those words are more to us than just our tag line – they guide our content choices, inspire our partnerships, and remind us that everyday – we have the privilege of welcoming your voice into our public media service to Colorado.
Since 1979, viewers like you have helped us to broaden our programming service by sharing your life experiences, your views on local and global events and your commitment to nurture the hearts and minds of our young people. Together, we’ve addressed our community’s toughest challenges through local content that welcomes diverse perspectives with sensitivity and integrity. Together, we champion our triumphs and our trials. This is the relationship we have built with you and it reflects the respect we have for your viewpoints and your values.
Let me share with you a few highlights of what we were able to accomplish in 2016 with your influence and your support:
We launched a new programming service to Colorado called FNX (First Nations Experience), bringing our viewers a rich array of documentaries, dramas, dialog and artistry from Native American and Pacific Islander experiences. In 2016, we created local content in partnership with members of our Native American community that augments this programming service on channel 12.2.
Wednesday nights are curated around alternative ideas and critical thinking. Every Wednesday night, tune in to our channel 12.1 for newly acquired, independent documentaries that will enlighten, challenge, entertain and inspire. We have a robust history of acquiring and producing programs that confront the status quo and we’re adding even more.
Kids matter more than ever. We’ve continued our work as a national partner in the American Graduate initiative, seeking to improve graduation rates among our young people, particularly those living in poverty. We produced an American Graduate documentary, “Power of Story” that helped to elevate student voices. Plus, we’re celebrating student achievement through our Both Sides of the Story series and in our award-winning line up of children’s programming every day.
Promoting a stronger Colorado. We believe that when Colorado’s non-profit community is well supported, we all benefit. For the seventh consecutive year, CPT12 has served as a media partner for Colorado Gives Day, producing promotional spots to encourage statewide giving and promoting small nonprofits with our Media Prize.
Working together we can move the needle in so many positive directions, and we look forward to another year of sharing experiences and building even greater connections to those whose life experiences and perspectives are different from our own. Please stay tuned, stay engaged and let us know how you think we’re doing. Your voice matters and we’re listening.
President & General Manager
P.S. We have a very exciting programming announcement coming in January and five – yes 5! – Red Rocks concerts planned for 2017. Stay tuned as we say…