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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

 

LATINO AMERICANS
A Landmark Three-Part Series

 

“Latino Americans” premieres on three consecutive Tuesdays, Sept. 17th - Oct. 1st at 7:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.

Robert F. Kennedy and Herman Badillo

- Companion Book by PBS NEWSHOUR Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez to Be Released to Coincide with Documentary Series. Broadcast is Accompanied by Nationwide Public Engagement Initiative and Bilingual Digital Engagement and Public Education Campaigns -

Latino Americans, a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt, premieres on WTVP-Public Media on three consecutive Tuesdays, September 17th, September 24th and October 1st, 7:00-9:00pm. The series will also be broadcast nationally in Spanish on Vme, the Spanish-language channel on public television, over six consecutive Fridays, beginning on September 20th.

Latino Americans is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S.

A companion book by Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent for PBS NEWSHOUR, will be released to coincide with the series. The television broadcast will also be accompanied by a nationwide public engagement initiative, and bilingual digital engagement and public education campaigns. A preview of the series is available at pbs.org/latino-americans.

Latino Americans is led by Emmy Award-winning series producer Adriana Bosch and documents the evolution of a new “Latino American” identity from the 1500s to the present day, featuring interviews with nearly 100 Latinos from the worlds of politics, business and pop culture - including Herman Badillo, Dolores Huerta, Gloria Estefan and Rita Moreno, among many others - as well as deeply personal portraits of lesser-known Latinos who lived through key chapters in American history.

Latino Americans tells the story of early settlement, conquest and immigration; of tradition and reinvention; of anguish and celebration; and of the gradual construction of a new American identity from diverse sources that connects and empowers millions of people today. The series is broken into the following six chronological episodes that cover the 1500s to the present day:

Premiering Tuesday, September 17th from 7:00-9:00pm on WTVP-HD

  • Episode 1. “Foreigners in Their Own Land” spans the period from 1565-1880, as the first Spanish explorers enter North America, the U.S. expands into territories in the Southwest that had been home to Native Americans and English and Spanish colonies, and as the Mexican-American War strips Mexico of half its territories by 1848.
     
  • Episode 2. “Empire of Dreams” documents how the American population begins to be reshaped by the influx that began in 1880 and continues into the 1940s, as Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans begin arriving in the U.S. and start to build strong Latino-American communities in South Florida, Los Angeles and New York.

Premiering Tuesday, September 24 from 7:00-9:00p.m. on WTVP-HD

  • Episode 3. “War and Peace” moves into the World War II years and those that follow, as Latino Americans serve their new country by the hundreds of thousands — but still face discrimination and a fight for civil rights back in the United States.
     
  • Episode 4. “The New Latinos” highlights the swelling immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic that stretches from the post-World War II years into the early 1960s as the new arrivals seek economic opportunities.

Premiering Tuesday, October 1st from 7:00-9:00pm on WTVP-HD

  • Episode 5. “Prejudice and Pride” details the creation of the proud “Chicano” identity, as labor leaders organize farm workers in California, and as activists push for better education opportunities for Latinos, the inclusion of Latino studies and empowerment in the political process.
     
  • Episode 6. “Peril and Promise” takes viewers through the past 30 years, with a second wave of Cubans arriving in Miami during the Mariel exodus and with hundreds of thousands Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Guatemalans fleeing civil wars, death squads and unrest to go north into a new land - transforming the United States along the way. The debate over undocumented immigrants flares up, with a backlash that eventually includes calls for tightened borders, English-only laws and efforts to brand undocumented immigrants as a drain on public resources. Simultaneously, the Latino influence is booming in business, sports, media, politics and entertainment. The largest and youngest growing sector of the American population, Latino Americans will influence the success of the United States in the 21st century.

Latino Americans will also air on WTVP-WORLD 47.2 starting Monday, September 30th. Check the WTVP Program Guide for more information. [Learn More]

 

 

Leading up to the broadcast premiere, Latino Americans will be presented in different prominent Hispanic markets throughout the country as a part of a nationwide public engagement initiative that kicked off in Phoenix, Arizona, last May. These public media events aim to significantly expand the reach and impact of the series beyond the broadcast. Events will also take place in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; San Antonio, Texas; and Washington, DC, among others.

Latino Americans also includes a bilingual digital engagement campaign to provide an interactive way to approach and understand Latino-American history, its contribution, and its role in American society. The project has created an integrated digital media experience designed to motivate viewers, listeners and digital media users to engage in discussions, explore their communities and share their stories, bringing texture and immediacy to the Latino Americans series. Individuals and communities can share their experiences and thoughts on cultural traditions and identity at pbs.org/latino-americans and be a part of the conversation by using the project hashtag #LatinosPBS on Twitter. The public can submit video submissions now at pbs.org/latino-americans/en/send-videos/.

The companion book to the series is Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation by Ray Suarez. It will be published by Celebra, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), and available in both English and Spanish. The companion book may be pre-ordered now, and will go on-sale September 3rd. Additionally, the Latino Americans project is accompanied by a major bilingual public education campaign, including the development of a school-based curriculum that will be available in late summer 2013.

The diversity of the Latino-American experience is reflected in both the on-camera interview subjects and the filmmaking staff. The production team, most of who are Latino Americans, includes individuals who are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran and Dominicans heritage, among others. In addition to Bratt as the narrator, the musical score for Latino Americans is by award-winning composers Joseph Julián González, a native of California’s Central Valley of Mexican descent, and Claudio Ragazzi, a native of Argentina; and the acclaimed singer-songwriter Lila Downs, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, serves as the featured artist for the series, performing the closing song in Latino Americans.

Latino Americans is a production of WETA Washington, DC; Bosch and Co., Inc.; and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS). The series executive producers are Jeff Bieber and Dalton Delan for WETA, Sandie Viquez Pedlow for LPB and Sally Jo Fifer for ITVS. The series producer is Adriana Bosch. The supervising producer is Salme López. The producers are Nina Alvarez, Dan McCabe, Ray Telles and John J. Valadez. The associate producers are Sabrina Avilés, Yvan Iturraga and Monika Navarro. For the re-enactment sequences, the producer is Cathleen O’Connell and the directors are David Belton and Sonia Fritz. The production manager is Mary Sullivan.

Major funding for Latino Americans is provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, The Annenberg Foundation and The Summerlee Foundation. Funding for outreach is supported by a grant from The New York Community Trust.

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About WETA
WETA Washington, DC, is the third-largest producing station for public television and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital. WETA productions and co-productions include the news and public affairs series PBS NEWSHOUR and WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL and documentary series such as THE JEWISH AMERICANS, AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS and the films of Ken Burns. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is President and CEO of WETA. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

About Bosch and Company, Inc.
A production company based in Miami and Boston, Bosch and Company, Inc., established in 2005, has specialized in documentaries with a strong commitment to making films by Latinos about Latinos for Latino and non-Latino viewers. Its first production, THE GREAT FEVER for the PBS series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, featured Cuban scientist Carlos Finlay and his contribution to the eradication of yellow fever. Other credits include producing, for WGBH, the fourth hour of the PBS series LATIN MUSIC U.S.A. and the film VOICES FROM MARIEL with NFocus in Tampa. Bosch and Company, Inc. was founded by Adriana Bosch, an award-winning producer, writer and director with more than 20 years of experience.

About Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)
Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) is a non-profit organization funded by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. LPB’s mission is to support the development, production, post-production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural television that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to the public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. LPB provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States. More information on LPB and its programs and services is available at www.lpbp.org.

About ITVS
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series INDEPENDENT LENS on Monday nights at 10 PM on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought more than 1,000 independently produced programs to American audiences to date. For more information about ITVS, visit www.itvs.org.

About PBS
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, non-profit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

 

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For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org

 


 

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