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October 21, 2009

First TV Special About The Arts To Premiere On East Tennessee Public Television
Magazine-style program tells stories of Tennesseans involved in the arts

NASHVILLE - -  The opening scene features a young African-American man, from a tough inner city neighborhood in Memphis, speaking enthusiastically about his decision to study ballet.  Another story focuses on an artist who paints with a computer even though she is paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease. These inspiring stories and others are part of Creative License, a new television special that illustrates how the arts are changing lives in Tennessee.

The first edition of Creative License will be broadcast on East Tennessee Public Television (ETPTV) on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. (EST) and on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. (EST). According to Robert Hutchison, program director at ETPTV, the show will likely air additional times after the premiere, and will also be used on the station’s digital channel. The one-hour show, which features five individual stories, will also be broadcast in high definition. Barry Scott, a well-known playwright and actor, serves as host for the show.

A collaboration between the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Renaissance Center in Dickson, the TV special is a magazine-style program that will tell the stories of the people involved in the arts. The concept involves a series of stories that will entertain and inspire, and invites viewers to meet the Tennesseans touched by the arts.  The show will reveal how the arts have impacted the artist’s lives and the lives of others.

Hutchison is pleased with format of the show, and is excited about making it available to East Tennessee viewers. “The show fits nicely into our primary mission, and I just wanted to get it on the air as soon as possible,” he said. “I firmly believe that music and art can make a difference in people’s lives. They have made a difference in my own life. Everything I’ve learned from the arts has moved me toward my own career.”  Hutchison is especially pleased with the content and quality of the show. “The show is extremely well-done. Everything we have received from the Renaissance Center is exceptional, and we look forward to more Creative License specials.”

The arts community is an essential part of East Tennessee, and the program fits perfectly into the station’s overall programming. “We believe in providing our viewers with programs that educate, entertain and challenge, and Creative License does just that,” says Katherine Seaton, public outreach manager at ETPTV. “As always, we hope our viewers will be inspired by this program. Providing information about something as crucial as the arts is a wonderful way to further fulfill our mission and to serve our viewers.”

ETPTV reaches approximately 925,000 households in East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Western Virginia, and Southeastern Kentucky.

The show comes at a time when the Tennessee Arts Commission is seeking to promote the value of the arts to communities and individuals across the state. “These incredible stories focus on the human element, and how the arts have made a difference in the lives of the individuals featured in the stories,” says Rich Boyd, executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. “In some cases, the arts move lives forward in a more positive direction, and in every case the arts bring value to their lives.” 

Steve Hall, senior multimedia director at the Renaissance Center, is grateful for the opportunity to produce Creative License. “Most of us come from television news backgrounds. Over the years, we’ve developed a hybrid style of production that combines documentary storytelling with entertainment production values. The result is educational television that is both illuminating and inspiring.”  According to Hall, all the stories revolve around extraordinary people and their unique relationship to the arts.
“We’ve tried to make this a project that honors the people we profile while providing television worth watching,” says Hall

Creative License will eventually be made available to public television stations across the state, starting with four one-hour specials.

  ETPTV is available in Knoxville on Charter and Comcast Cable Channel 2. For more information on East Tennessee Public Television, visit their Web site: www.ETPtv.org.

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