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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Series: Specials

The population of Catholic nuns in Western PA and across the United States is a quarter of what it was in the late 1960s. But even with their numbers dwindling and local convents shuttered, the revered Sisters aren't complaining or giving up, they're actually reinventing themselves. In this Emmy winning documentary, WQED’s Michael Bartley takes you to several local orders of religious women to show you where they're working and how they see the future of Sisters.

Original airdate: Jan 09, 2014


“Memories from the Table” celebrates our deep connections to food through family, friends and traditions. Featured segments include a yearly gathering to make pierogi for Christmas, a student's tribute to the culinary delights of her Italian and Hispanic grandmothers, a group of fraternity brothers who conduct an annual sausage making event, and more.

Original airdate: Dec 19, 2013


Children and teens are using social media to define and share their personal narratives. When there is no delete button on Facebook or other social platforms, what story does your child's online identity tell, now and into the future? What does it mean to be a good digital citizen? Join us for an eye-opening discussion on how parents and children can have safe and positive experiences online.

Original airdate: Dec 12, 2013


WQED takes you into the kitchens of some of Pittsburgh's most popular restaurants. You'll meet the chefs and find out what goes on "behind the line" - a restaurant industry term for the section that customers don't usually see.

Original airdate: Nov 28, 2013


November's all-American feast gets the Sendall treatment with a turkey that's anything but traditional. Bob Sendall shows us how to "deconstruct" a turkey from wings to wishbone, creating a delicious main dish that's easier than it looks. But there's more to the holiday than talking turkey, so Bob gives us tips on delicious sides, special decorations and yummy desserts to make your gathering extra special.

Original airdate: Nov 21, 2013


The eighth installment in WQEDs Portrayal & Perception documentary series focuses on efforts to attract more African American men into the teaching community, including non-traditional teachers who use methods outside the classroom to produce better social behavior among African American males.

Original airdate: Nov 14, 2013


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