Arizona PBS took home two awards in the Overall Excellence category of the 53rd Annual Public Media Awards (PMAs) on January 25, 2022. The PMAs, presented by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), honor public media stations’ finest work in community engagement, content, education, and marketing/communications.
The winning entry that snagged the Excellence in Education award was Arizona PBS: Education Across Generations, Cultures, which highlights the innovative educational content and technologies Arizona PBS provides to enrich the lives of children, students, educators, caregivers and parents – many of whom live on tribal lands or in underserved communities.
The Arizona Childhood Career and Professional Development Registry, a free, online service that encourages lifelong learning and continual improvement of early childhood education, is a prime example of the station’s statewide support. In 2021, the registry awarded more than 800 college scholarships to individuals pursuing degrees, certification, and other credentials in early childhood education.
“Without this scholarship, I would have never realized my dream to become a teacher,” said a participant about the service.
Arizona PBS also received an Overall Excellence award in the COVID-19 Response category. The station, which tied with South Carolina ETV in this category, was recognized for finding new ways to serve and connect with its audience and increasing its presence across the state during unprecedented circumstances.
When the pandemic hit, Arizona PBS moved to virtual production and expanded daily news coverage. And when schools went to virtual learning, the station expanded its online professional development system, PBS LearningMedia, to include more standards-based programming so that teachers, students, and parents would have access to more educational resources.
“I could not be any prouder than I am of the outstanding, crucial support the Arizona PBS team has provided both in the classroom and in the home,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “Their work dovetails seamlessly with our overall mission to serve society through media and education.”
Arizona PBS also secured a top award in the Content – Arts & Entertainment category for its Saving Art – One Artist at a Time entry. The station’s “Art in the 48” episode, which shines a light on the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the local arts community, featured a diverse array of artists including chef Silvana Salcido Esparza; fine artist and painter Antoinette Cauley; Laura Best, exhibitions manager at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; and Dwayne Hartford, artistic director for Childsplay Theatre.
Adrienne Fairwell, general manager of Arizona PBS, said the episode puts an emphasis on artists who have a deep connection to the community, especially artists of color. “It was important to connect with underserved communities with the goal of making art more accessible to a larger audience. We wanted every community to see themselves represented in this episode, as well as during the course of every show.”
Fairwell says winning three PMAs speaks to Arizona PBS’ unparalleled dedication to its audience. “During a discouraging time for many, this amazing team rose to the challenge and served as a benefit and resource to our communities.”
About Arizona PBS
Arizona PBS is one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, with four broadcast channels and a growing array of digital platforms. A trusted community resource for 60 years, Arizona PBS fosters lifelong learning through quality programming, in-depth news coverage and critical educational outreach services. It is one of the country’s largest public television stations, reaching 80 percent of Arizona homes and 1.9 million households each week. Arizona PBS has been part of ASU since the station launched in 1961. Learn more at https://azpbs.org.
The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) is a professional association representing 279 member stations in 47 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. NETA provides leadership, general audience content, educational services, professional development and trusted financial management services, including human resources and benefits administration, to individual public media licensees, their affinity groups and public media as a whole, visit netaonline.org