WPT Passport offers more exciting viewing options

Looking to expand your public television viewing opportunities? Wish you could re-watch episodes from past seasons of Downton Abbey or American Masters? Or maybe you want more of your favorite local programming. WPT Passport might be the answer.

Read on to learn about the variety of programs available through this amazing archive – and the many ways you can access them!

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WPT Education’s Capitol Game Gets Top Score

This October, WPT Education was excited to introduce Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case, a free online video game set in and around the Wisconsin State Capitol, that assists educators in teaching social studies, while giving students the chance to be “history detectives.”

Nikki Lutzke, a teacher partner in the Parkview School District, said, “[Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case] brought learning to us concretely… and forever changed how this teacher views learning about and teaching history!”

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case from WCER on Vimeo.

Read more about how this exciting project came to life – including the essential collaboration of students and teachers from around Wisconsin!

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Around the Farm Table returns!

A Note From Inga…Inga Witscher, host of Around the Farm Table

Has it really been six years since we started this quirky little show we call Around the Farm Table? My father Rick (producer, director, and the guy that irons my shirt) and I are absolutely humbled to help tell the stories of the hard working and inspiring farmers here in the great state of Wisconsin.

Read more to find out where we’re headed this season on Around the Farm Table – and join us for our new episodes airing Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television!

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American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Aerialist La NormaStep right up! American Experience: The Circus is a four-hour, two-part documentary airing 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9 on WPT. Exploring the colorful history of this distinctly American entertainment, this fascinating film includes extensive historical material from and about Wisconsin, the home of the famed Ringling Bros. and other major acts.

In our exclusive Q&A, writer/producer/director Sharon Grimberg shares her thoughts on the film’s production, as well as the circus itself.

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The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read is back, with weekly explorations each Tuesday night of why America’s best-loved books and characters make such lasting impressions in our lives.

Kathleen Ernst headshot, by Geri GerroldWe’ve enjoyed hearing about Wisconsin authors’ own picks, both on and off TGAR‘s list. Next in our series is Kathleen Ernst, a multitalented author who describes her work as “writing at the intersection of people, places and the past.”

If you enjoy history, mystery or any combination thereof, read on for some of Ernst’s inspiring picks!

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The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

It’s here! Tune in 7 p.m. tonight for the fall kickoff episode of The Great American ReadThere’s plenty of action to come, both on TV and in our continuing series of Wisconsin authors.

Author Michael Perry smiles and wears a plaid shirt.Today we present WPT/WPR favorite and The New York Times bestselling essayist Michael Perry, of New Auburn. The paperback of his latest book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, will be released by HarperPerennial in November while he is on tour with his band the Long Beds.

Read more to find out which books have encouraged Perry to question his assumptions about writing and life.

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Week 9 Patisserie Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Ça va, mes amis? Here we are in the semifinal week, and as much as Mel, Sue and your humble recapper might like to lighten the mood with French that is, how you say, pas mal, the mood is tense. So let’s get right to it, non?

Our four remaining bakers delved into the precision of French-style patisserie this week. Brendan, Danny, James and John faced their last elimination week before the final with just as much finesse as they have displayed all season.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Patisserie challenges.

So let’s follow the neither-French-nor-British Chairman Kaga, and allez cuisine!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

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Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Snap, Crack(le). . . Bake! 
English Digestive Crackers by Jean from Madison

The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,”  is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!

Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review! 

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Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 14th annual Quilt Expo, held at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall in Madison. (Get your discount advance tickets here – or consider volunteering!)

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman pose together at Quilt ExpoThis year, as every year, attendees will enjoy several special exhibits beyond the 10-category Quilt Contest. One of these exhibits honors the legacy of two women who have been central to quilting in Wisconsin and beyond: Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. 

Read on for more examples of their beautiful landscape quilt collaborations!

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What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
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