A Message from the President and CEO of WVIA Public Media
Though in the midst summer’s “dog days,” the pace of work is no less for WVIA this season. We closed our Fiscal Year 2018 on June 30 with increased support for our public service mission from the corporate community, and with the backing of some 15,000 individuals and families as contributing members.
As we redouble our efforts to localize PBS and NPR content, and accelerate our outreach in concert with community partners, we are attracting more sustaining contributors and sponsors than ever before. The foundational support they provide enables WVIA to use media tools to improve the quality of life in our region.
WVIA is leading a collaborative project with all of Pennsylvania's public media outlets called Battling Opioids: A Project of Pennsylvania Public Media, a state-wide multi-platform collective, which highlights our sense of caring in a community crisis. A heroin and opioids epidemic has been building for years, stemming from the over-prescription of opioid drugs used to treat pain.
The initiative coincides with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's issuance of a disaster declaration for Pennsylvania’s “heroin and opioid epidemic.” Our Pennsylvania public media stations will share resources and content, and will increase TV and radio airtime, community engagement, as well as web and social media presence - all focusing on the opioids crisis.
Meanwhile, our Via Studios Global team is working on a giant screen feature film “Exhibition Chesapeake,” the first film developed for the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, and set to premier in in theaters March 2019. By so doing, we continue our unwavering effort to bring regional stories from the Susquehanna River Water Shed to the world.
PBS’ “The Great American Read” is more than an eight-part TV series. Using America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey), the show investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.
This project illustrates WVIA’s role as community catalyst and convener. Recently at Wilkes-Barre’s Fine Arts Fiesta, WVIA's FM personalities and other team members promoted the ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach of “The Great American Read,” which is designed to get us reading and passionately talking about books.
Speaking of books, WVIA gave thousands of individual young learners their very own free book during this past school year. WVIA's PBS Kids in The Classroom visited well over 100 classrooms in 11 of our counties, presenting fun activities and curriculum while students had a blast with the PBS Kids characters they know and love!
Looking ahead, work is underway in three Pennsylvania communities for the next three installments of the Our Town documentary series. Local production units are also busily preparing new seasons of PA Polka, Scholastic Scrimmage, and Call the Doctor.
With a growing base of support from Sustaining Members and the Corporate Community, WVIA is becoming even more of a megaphone for positive change in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley!
Thomas M. Currá
WVIA President/CEO & Executive Producer
WVIA Public Media is a catalyst, convener and educator, using media, partnerships, powerful ideas and programs to improve lives and advance the best attributes of an enlightened society.
“WVIA touches lives, influences opinion, and noticeably impacts on matters of public interest and concern, through measurably significant, differentiated local and national television and radio broadcast products and wvia.org, as well as outreach projects and educational services. Grounded in the concepts of lifelong learning, the arts, culture and quality of life, the WVIA staff relentlessly pursues excellence and relevance. We will develop future programs and services in collaboration with strategically chosen organizations successfully serving Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley. WVIA will grow in revenue, independence, recognition and coverage, achieving significant public service by continuously improving relationships with members, underwriters, partners and our communities.”
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