Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Outstanding Locally Produced TV Show" Award

An award for the display case...

The New York State Broadcasters Association Gala honored broadcaster Wendy Williams as New Yorker of the Year.  It also honored the Mountain Lake PBS special I produced, FOCUSED:  Creative Youth in the Empire State. It received a NYSBA award in the "Outstanding Locally Produced TV Show" Category.

The 30-minute special highlights the New York State Summer School of the Arts.  NYSSSA offers opportunities for teens desiring future careers in the arts. The show explores the creative force that motivates New York kids to give up their summer vacations for four weeks of intensive study and training. FOCUSED premiered in October 2014.  I produced, wrote and edited the program.  

The talent and drive of the kids at the summer school are what inspired me during the making of this show. I actually didn't have awards in mind at all while producing it.  I'm really happy for the students, instructors and administrators of the summer school that their program has received such an honor.

Sesame Street's Maria is retiring

The end of an era for viewers, a new beginning for her...

Actress Sonia Manzano, who has appeared on Sesame Street in the role of Maria for 44 years, will retire at the end of the current season.  

It was announced during the American Library Association annual conference via a tweet that Sonia Manzano will be leaving the show.  During her long career on Sesame Street, the Puerto Rican actress won two Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series." She was also involved in writing for the series since 1981, and has been awarded 15 Emmy awards for her work. 

Manzano's autobiography, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South of Bronx,  is set to be released later this summer.

Sonia Manzano has always been one of my very favorite performers on the show.  A few years ago,it was great fun for me to visit the set of Sesame Street, and I interviewed her between takes. Enjoy this segment from Art Express.