WQED mini docs: Musical Mentors
Two award-winning mini documentaries from the WQED archives are compiled into this half-hour program. Madame Dawson’s Opera Company tells the story of Mary Cardwell Dawson who formed the National Negro Opera Company in 1941, opening doors and launching careers for African-Americans who had little access to classical music training. The feature also highlights efforts to restore the grand Victorian-style house in Pittsburgh where the opera company was founded. Prattis & The Piano recounts the career of Pittsburgh Symphony principal keyboardist Patricia Prattis Jennings, who in 1966 became the first African American woman to be awarded a full contract by a major American symphony orchestra, breaking decades of discrimination in the world of classical music.
WQED mini docs: Musical Mentors aired on Feb 18, 2016.
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It started with a shipwreck in 1850. Two Irish sweethearts are headed to the New World when calamity strikes. The chaos of the shipwreck separated the couple. But many years later, WQED picks up the story in Pittsburgh where their implausible reunion is a love story for the ages. It’s just one of a collection of poignant, romantic and life-affirming stories set in Western Pennsylvania – all with an engaging musical thread.
Original airdate: Feb 08, 2018
From education to employment, health care to housing, transgender Americans fight daily for their right to exist. How is Pittsburgh responding? This documentary spotlights some of the concerned organizations working on behalf of the region’s transgender population – and also profiles transgender men and women as they define their own authentic lives while navigating an evolving city.
Original airdate: Jan 25, 2018
For many Western Pennsylvanians, a day of cookie baking is as celebratory as the holidays. Families gather in kitchens throughout the region to mix dough, whip frostings and scatter sprinkles. It’s a time to embrace ethnic traditions and remember loved ones who handed down now creased and crumbling recipes. This holiday documentary features a pizzelle-making church group, gingerbread house artists, one of the area’s busiest cookie bakeries, a woman who donates her cookies as a goodwill gesture, and Pittsburgh’s popular cookie tour.
Original airdate: Dec 21, 2017
Poverty is a multifaceted social problem that affects billions of people worldwide. Our focus is on the Pittsburgh region in this third Think! initiative. Working with the Art of Democracy and a diverse group of regional community partners directly involved in combating various elements of poverty, we have determined that our discussion of poverty must ask the following questions:
Original airdate: Dec 07, 2017
Opioid addiction is destructive across all demographics. But compared to men, women’s addiction can have more devastating implications. Some children are born addicted, while others face uncertain futures because of addicted mothers. Many children are placed in foster care, but an increasing number are being raised by extended family – further disrupting lives. WQED continues its Emmy© Award winning “Hope after Heroin” project with a compelling new documentary exploring how opioid addiction among women is breaking the family bond and changing the fabric of society.
Original airdate: Nov 29, 2017
WQED has long reported on the Vietnam War – with a significant focus on veterans. But the perspective of the Vietnamese people is equally compelling - and all too often, unheard. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, many Vietnamese people made desperate scrambles to flee the country. Their exoduses were fraught with danger – some escaping in tiny boats or by airlift. Others fled under U.S. policies allowing the emigration of children fathered by American troops as well as people who fought against the Communists. And some of them found new lives in Western Pennsylvania.
Original airdate: Nov 09, 2017