History

Tune in: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970

What is it about Joni Mitchell that connects so deeply with audiences? Perhaps it’s because her songs can express things within ourselves that we sometimes struggle to put into words. We listen to her music and we understand. Whatever quality it is that grants a sense of clarity on both reality and the imaginary, Joni’s got it.

The daughter of a Canadian school teacher and flight instructor, her journey from the prairies of Saskatchewan to the hills of Laurel Canyon produced some of the 20th century’s greatest music.

Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 premieres tonight at 9:30 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Read on to learn more about this upcoming special!

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Celebrate Women’s History Month 2019!

Birgit Nilsson performs the title role in Turandot, wearing a dramatic Chinese-themed trainFighters, feminists and “firsts” take the screen this month, showcasing the contributions of women in the modern world.

Wisconsin Public Television offers a full lineups of broadcast programs and online extras to enjoy, from American Masters to pledge specials featuring favorite musicians.

Read on to see what’s in store!

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Brother Wolf: Q&A with Jeremy St. Arnold

Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf premieres 7 p.m. Monday, March 4. In this new documentary, Jeremy St. Arnold, a wildlife biologist for the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, shares how his work unites both tribal and scientific perspectives.

Jeremy St. Arnold holds two wolf pupsWith insight from Ojibwe elders, biologists and artist Rabbett Before Horses Strickland, this new film captures enduring spiritual connections with ma’iingan (Brother Wolf), the lasting bonds and responsibilities shared between native people and the wolf species, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the protection of the animals across reservation lands.

“This was a very memorable experience for me,” says St. Arnold. “I have always enjoyed documentaries, and I felt fortunate to be able to represent the Red Cliff Band, sharing the work I love to do.”

Read on to learn more about how tribal traditions and scientific research unite in service of Brother Wolf.

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WPT Education Helps Students Explore the Life of Joe Bee Xiong

A new student-focused resource created to expand the Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Eau Claire program explores the life of Joe Bee Xiong, the first Hmong American elected to public office in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) Education has just announced the release of a new Wisconsin Biographies story: Joe Bee Xiong: War to Peace. 

Created as an additional, student-focused chapter to the Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Eau Claire program, which premiered on WPT in the summer of 2018,  this new Wisconsin Biographies story explores the life of Joe Bee Xiong, the first Hmong American to be elected to public office in Wisconsin. Joe Bee Xiong: War to Peace is now available online at WPTeducation.org. Continue reading WPT Education Helps Students Explore the Life of Joe Bee Xiong

American Experience: Sealab Premieres Feb. 12

Explore the depths of the ocean in an all new American Experience: Sealab premiering 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Sealab tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s program that sought to answer the question of whether human life could survive on the ocean floor. The program, spearheaded by George Bond, a former doctor from Appalachia turned naval pioneer, as well as his team of “aquanauts,” tested the limits of human endurance and changed ocean exploration forever.

Read on to find out more about this incredible story!

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Celebrate African-American History Month 2019 with WPT

Any day is a great day to recognize the many contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and culture. But February offers special opportunities to celebrate and recognize African-Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, who have made a difference.

Read on for a selection of upcoming programs airing on WPT – and don’t forget our many offerings available anytime online!

Continue reading Celebrate African-American History Month 2019 with WPT

Hmong Food in Wisconsin

As we continue to celebrate the many food traditions that have developed throughout our state, we recognize the stories of Hmong families and extended clans who have made Wisconsin their home.

Lucy Lor’s story in Wisconsin Life‘s Food Traditions series is an inspiring example of how food can link different times and places in our lives – honoring both the new and the old.

We are excited to share another story from Wisconsin’s Hmong community. Tune in 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 for Lidia Celebrates America: A Heartland Holiday Feast.

Read about the segment, filmed with Wausau’s Latricia Thao and her family, in this Wausau Daily Herald article – then, keep reading for more spotlights on Hmong food and agriculture, and how people of all cultural backgrounds can enjoy them together.

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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!

Continue reading WPT Education’s Capitol Game Gets Top Score

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.

Continue reading American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Director’s Cut: Jim Theres, “The Hello Girls”

This week on Director’s Cut, it’s our pleasure to welcome the final guest of our 11th season: director Jim Theres, discussing his documentary The Hello Girls.

In a year which has seen some of the best guests and films we’ve ever had on our show, Theres is under serious pressure! But he rises to the challenge, bringing his A game in both his interview and his film.

They were known as the “Hello Girls” – American women fluent in French and English who answered the urgent call for telephone operators needed in France during World War I.

They took oaths to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, underwent training by AT&T before boarding ships to Europe, heading to war before most of the American doughboys arrived in France, connected 26 million calls and ultimately proved to be a significant factor in winning the war.

And then they were forgotten.

Read on for more about this film, and about my interview with filmmaker Jim Theres.

Continue reading Director’s Cut: Jim Theres, “The Hello Girls”