Five Things We Love About Rhode Island PBS

The venerable station turns fifty this year.


1. The community conversations.

Humble brag, coming at you. Rhode Island Monthly partnered with Rhode Island PBS for two engrossing conversations in 2016: the first, on the rise of pediatric mental illness, and the second, on bridging the skills gap in the state. Both brought together experts with national renown, allowing a timely conversation to unfold in front of a live audience and, later, for viewers at home.

But RIM didn't start the trend. Rhode Island PBS also helped produce hard-hitting conversations on prescription drug abuse, heroine addiction and palliative care.

And although it didn't produce it, I love that Rhode Island PBS is airing  "Story in the Public Square," an interesting series that explores the power of storytelling. The episodes are produced by Salve Regina's Pell Center and the Providence Journal. The series launches on January 14.


2. "A Lively Experiment."

Veteran TV journalist Jim Hummel returned to the airwaves last September to take over as host of Rhode Island PBS's "A Lively Experiment," a political roundtable with four rotating panelists. The half-hour show awards plenty of breathing room for local journalists, politicians and pundits to debate significant issues in Rhode Island. Last week's show, which aired on Friday and Sunday and can be viewed on YouTube, covered the state's projected $112 million deficit, car tax reform and the prospects of legalizing marijuana in Rhode Island in 2017.


3. "Our Town."

This series provides in-depth looks at Rhode Island's small, quirky towns in the best possible way: Through a local's lens. Resident filmmakers unveil the idiosyncrasies of their hometowns, and Rhode Island PBS stitches together the stories into a one-hour film. Past towns included Glocester, North Kingstown, Portsmouth, West Warwick and, most recently, Westerly. Rhode Island PBS is hosting a call for entries now through January 31. Nominate your town here.


4. An Evening Uncorked.

Rhode Island PBS knows how to throw a party. The annual fundraiser, typically held in the spring, is of the wine-and-food-sampling breed. But what sets it apart is the celebrity chef meet and greet. Last year's guest was Sara Moulton, host of "Sara's Weeknight Meals."


5. The educational kids' programming.

I lived off of "Sesame Street" and "Arthur" for most of my childhood. (And "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." And "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross. Man, I watched a lot of PBS as a kid.) "Sesame Street" and "Arthur" are both going strong, so it's only a matter of time before my little one continues the Rhode Island PBS-binging legacy.

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