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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release
October 9, 2007

WTTW11 PRESENTS ARTS ACROSS ILLINOIS Featuring artists and arts programs from around the state, supported by the Illinois Arts Council

The arts magazine series debuts its 8th season on WTTW11 with a new episode showcasing the art and craft of blacksmithing

Friday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. repeating Sunday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Chicago – October 9, 2007 -- WTTW11, Chicago's premier public television station, is pleased to announce an all-new season of its arts magazine series Arts Across Illinois. The 8th season premiere will focus on Southern Illinois' thriving blacksmithing community, providing an in-depth look at the rich history of this art and craft. From the public art of John Medwedeff to L. Brent Kington, who made Southern Illinois University's blacksmithing program the best in the nation, it's heavy metal from the heartland.

Arts Across Illinois is a series of programs made possible by the Illinois Arts Council through the support of Governor Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois General Assembly. Featured work comes from Illinois Arts Council supported artists, arts organizations, and community groups. The Illinois Arts Council, chaired by Shirley R. Madigan, is an Illinois state agency dedicated to providing financial and technical assistance to Illinois artists, arts organizations, educational institutions, and other community organizations that present arts programming. Two more 30-minute magazine programs will air on WTTW11 this season, followed by a live entertainment special, CenterStage, to be broadcast in June 2008 (exact date TBD).

The program's segments include:

- Classical Craftsman -- Meet L. Brent Kington, the godfather of smiths. Trained as a silversmith and self-taught as a blacksmith, he founded the nation's only graduate program in blacksmithing at Southern Illinois University.

- Backyard Blacksmiths -- Gary Jameson and Peoria's Sun Foundation are committed to making sure the time honored craft of blacksmithing lives on. We join him teaching beginning blacksmithing to the next generation of artists.

- Heavy Metal -- John Medwedeff's public art is monumental and meticulous. His work blurs the boundary between the world of traditional metalworker and modern sculptor.

- Some Like It Hot -- Carbondale is a metal metropolis, and blacksmiths from throughout the country will converge here as the Illinois State Museum kicks off a traveling exhibit on the art and legacy of L. Brent Kington.

In addition to being broadcast in Chicago, this program will be carried throughout Illinois on public television stations in Champaign/Urbana, Carbondale, Peoria, Springfield, and other communities. Arts Across Illinois will also be offered to city cable systems, to encourage Illinois residents to explore and enjoy the wide array of visual and performing arts opportunities made available with the help of the Illinois Arts Council.

Arts Across Illinois is a production of WTTW11. This series is produced by Andrea Guthmann. Executive Producer is Daniel Andries. More information on Arts Across Illinois is available at

The Arts Across Illinois series is made possible through the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency committed to building a strong, creative, and connected Illinois through the engagement of all Illinoisans in the pursuit of, participation in, and enjoyment of the arts.

Joanie Bayhack
(773) 509-5431

WTTW11 Contact
Julia Maish
(773) 509-5551

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