WQPT airs documentary creation of local play

MOLINE, IL - WQPT cameras followed the creative process in the QC Theatre Workshop production of "A Green River" during the summer of 2013. The play tells the story about one soldier's struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The documentary, "The Making of a Green River," produced by WQPT Director of Marketing and Local Content Lora Adams, features interviews with the playwright, actors, director, soldier and a counselor, intermingled with performance video. The documentary will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5 on WQPT.

"We are very excited to highlight the work that brings a new play to the stage," said Adams.

WQPT will also be holding a screening and panel discussion Thursday, Aug. 7., beginning at 6 p.m. at the QC Theatre Workshop, where the play was originally produced. The theatre is located at 1730 Wilkes Ave., Davenport (IA). The public is invited to view the documentary and ask questions of the principles about the process of dramatizing the return of a soldier with PTSD to civilian life.

Since the play was originally produced at the QC Theatre Workshop, it was remounted at Augustana College under the direction of Broadway director and Augustana Alumni Philip Wm. McKinley.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.


WTVP to Host WQPT Master Control Operations

Peoria, IL, July 31, 2014 -- Public Television broadcasting in the Quad Cities has come home to Illinois. On June 30 at 7:01 p.m., WQPT-Quad Cities PBS officially moved control of its technical broadcast operations to WTVP-Public Television for Central Illinois in Peoria.

According to WTVP President and CEO Chet Tomczyk, this new arrangement represents months of behind-the-scenes work on infrastructure, equipment and technology by both stations.

"This transition has gone smoothly, and viewers in the Quad Cities won't know anything has changed," noted WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess. "This new broadcasting arrangement is a positive step forward for both stations and provides WQPT with stellar signal quality. Each station's programming, governance and community services continue as before."

Pruess added that master control operations for WQPT, a media service of Western Illinois University, have long been out-sourced; however, instead of coming from Texas, WQPT's signal will originate in Peoria and be sent via fiber to the WQPT transmitter in Orion.

"This change provides financial savings for WQPT, a new source of revenue for WTVP, valuable technological advances for both stations and an invaluable chance for the sister stations to work together," Tomczyk added.

"Western Illinois University has a long standing tradition of serving residents and students in our region. As the public broadcasting service of the University, WQPT in partnership with WTVP have established the beginnings of a win-win relationship with even more future opportunities for collaboration that will benefit our viewing audiences from Peoria, Macomb, Moline, and beyond," said Joe Rives, vice president for the Quad Cities and planning at WIU. "Both Mary Pruess and Chet Tomczyk deserve our thanks for their outstanding leadership in this important project."

The project was led by WTVP Chief Engineer Bill Porter and his team, including engineers James Jordan and Brett Ring, Operations Manager Jackie Luebcke, IT Director Mark Lasswell with Traffic Manager Jed Klabunde and operators Paul Coussens and Will Crotz, along with WQPT Traffic Coordinator Richard Diamond and Program Manager Jerry Myers.

"This collaboration between stations represents another way of being responsible stewards of the public trust placed in us by our members and contributors," Tomczyk said.

There will be a press conference on August 8 at 10 am at WTVP in Peoria to formally announce this new partnership. Please RSVP to Stacey Tomczyk at WTVP Ph 309.495.0594/Fx 309.677.4730




ARLINGTON, VA/MOLINE, IL - Twelve children in grades K-3 were selected as winners by an acclaimed panel of judges in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest this year. The winning entries in the Contest were chosen from thousands of submissions from 62 participating PBS stations across the country. Paul Schwartz, a third grader from Bettendorf, IA, who partnered with WQPT- Quad Cities PBS, won third place in this grade category.

"This is the third time that one of our local winners has gone on to win on the national level," said WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess. "We are very proud Paul Schwartz of Bettendorf and his story 'If I Were An Engineer' and of all of the 450 entries we received. A special thanks to all of the parents, caregivers and teachers who encouraged the creativity of our young writers."

"We were thrilled to see another impressive batch of submissions for the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest," said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children's Programming, PBS. "PBS KIDS and our local stations always enjoy encouraging children to use their imaginations to create memorable stories. We look forward to supporting the next generation of creative thinkers as they develop important writing skills that will lay the foundation of success in both school and life."

PBS stations throughout the country collaborated with schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the PBS KIDS Writers Contest in local communities. Local winners were entered into the national contest, where a panel of esteemed judges ranked the top 12 entries. The national winners and their winning stories are featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest.

The national winners will receive prizes courtesy of national prizing sponsor, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. Winners will receive a prize package that will include LeapFrog's award-winning LeapReader Reading and Writing System along with educator-developed LeapReader books, maps and more to help children on every step of their reading and writing journey.

The 2014 national winners include :  



1st place: "Grandpa Pig's Pizza" by Nikolai Nawrocki, Wayne, PA - WQED

2nd place: "Bill's Hat is Very Stuck" by Karsten Eckhoff, Stover, MO - KMOS

3rd place: "The Secret Alligator Key" by Inaaya Sethi, Binghamton, NY - WSKG

First Grade

1st place: "Once Upon a Pencil" by Ethan Mattocks, Guys Mills, PA - WQLN

2nd place: "A Survival Guide to South Dakota" by Samuel Ellenbecker, Cascade, WI - MPTV

3rd place: "The Colors I Feel" by Joshua Kafumbe, Middlebury, VT - Vermont Public Television

Second Grade

1st place: "Eric's Job" by Oniana Boulware, Las Vegas, NV - Vegas PBS

2nd place: "Rosy Helps Kathy Catch Her Bus" by Michelle Kang, Annandale, VA - Community Idea Stations

3rd place: "Seeds from Space" by Connor Smith, Pittsburgh, PA - WQED

Third Grade

1st place: "A Humble Book of Poems" by Jishnu Dey, Dover, NH - New Hampshire Public Television

2nd place: "My Special Granddaddy" by Mollie Hensley, Mebane, NC - UNC-TV

3rd place: "If I Were An Engineer..." by Paul Schwartz, Bettendorf, IA - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS


PBS KIDS Writers Contest Honorary Judges

A panel of America's leading children's writers, producers, and media creators served as honorary judges for the PBS KIDS Writers Contest this year. The 2014 honorary judges include :


  • Billy Aronson, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Jeff Kinney, author (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series), online game developer and designer
  • Martin Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Chris Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Joseph Mazzarino, head writer, director and puppeteer, SESAME STREET
  • Jennifer Oxley, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Bob Staake, author (THE DONUT CHEF, HELLO ROBOTS)
  • Vince Vawter, author (PAPERBOY)


The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is made possible through national promotional support from Highlights for Children. The Contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, a concept developed by WNED-TV, Buffalo.


WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.



MOLINE, IL - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS, has been awarded $30,000 from the Illinois Arts Council for the creation of a new documentary "Letters Home to Hero Street." The film will deal with correspondence from Hero Street soldiers to their families as they fought and died in World War II and the Korean conflict.

"We are so pleased to receive the grant because it allows us to create a documentary on a topic that is near and dear to our community," said WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess.

The project is being conducted in cooperation with Fourth Wall Films, headed by Kelly and Tammy Rundle.

"I am excited to be working with the Rundles. We have aired all of their documentaries and they always create compelling films that are beautiful and well researched," said Director of Local Content Lora Adams.

The documentary will be completed by the end of the year and will air on WQPT in early 2015.

WQPT, Quad Cities PBS, is a media service of Western Illinois University in Moline, Illinois.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - Looking for something to do with the kids, that is free? This month, WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is hosting Buddy the little dinosaur from the acclaimed children's program "Dinosaur Train." Buddy will be greeting children at the following libraries:

Tuesday, June 17

10:00-11:30 a.m.
Scott County Public Library
Eldridge, Iowa

Wednesday, June 18

10:00-11:30 a.m.
Moline Public Library
Moline, Illinois

Thursday, June 19

10:00-11:30 a.m.
Geneseo Public Library
Geneseo, Illinois

"Dinosaur Train" celebrates the fascination preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains, encouraging basic scientific thinking skills as the youngsters learns about life science, natural history and paleontology. At each of Buddy's appearances children will be able to take part in games and activities such as digging for bones and making dinosaur feet. Admission to each venue is free.

For more information call 309-764-2400 or log on to wqpt.org. WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is pleased to introduce the 2014 WQPT/PBS Ambassadors.

The program, which is entering its 10th year, provides college students the opportunity to represent their local public television station at a variety of events throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

"WQPT Ambassadors are an extension of the staff, and the leadership skills they acquire in the program have helped many move on to jobs as a direct result of their time as an Ambassador" said WQPT Special Projects Coordinator Bea Brasel.

The 2014 WQPT/PBS Ambassadors are:

Grace Brasel (Augustana College)

Celia Brasel (St. Ambrose University)

Kasandra DeFrieze (Western Illinois University-QC)

Erin Willhite (Monmouth College)

Alexandra Lenger (Iowa State University)

Nicolas Riojas (Augustana College)

Wendy Orman (Western Illinois University-QC)

Richard Yerington (Western Illinois University-QC)

Maggie Feeney (University of Northern Iowa)

Vincent Jones (Western Illinois University-QC)

Rebeka Farias (Western Illinois University-QC)

Koko Nicoue (St. Francis College of Nursing)

Remona Lang (Black Hawk College)

Katie Rosato (St. Ambrose University).

The 2014 WQPT/PBS Ambassadors are supported in part by a grant from the Davenport Rotary.

WQPT is the public media service of Western Illinois University - Quad Cities located in Moline, Illinois

MOLINE, IL  -- PBS, CPB and WQPT recently announced the launch of a new veterans' initiative, which will roll out over the next several years, that features national content, along with local community engagement efforts to increase dialogue and solutions as our nation's veterans transition to civilian life. The initiative includes national, multi-platform content on PBS under the banner of "Stories of Service," and the community engagement campaign funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), "Veterans Coming Home."


"The programs featured as part of 'Stories of Service' tell the compelling stories of those who have served and provide a deeper understanding of our nation's military history," said Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO. "As America's storyteller, we hope to spark conversations in communities and give the public an opportunity to share their personal or family story of service through local events and programs. Across the public television community, stations will be creating their own content and providing resources to returning veterans and their families."

"Americans will connect to these powerful stories of courage, commitment and sacrifice. They will see the veterans as people who have so much to contribute as they return to civilian life. And once they hear and see these stories, they will be compelled to respond through their local public media stations to work with local business and veterans organizations, faith based and community groups," said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO. "We know CPB's partnership with PBS, America's public media stations, local veterans and business organizations, working with the men and women who are sharing their personal stories, will create opportunities for our troops and their families in the communities in which they live and continue to serve."

"WQPT is very happy to be working once again with WVIK to create our own 'Stories of Service,'" said WQPT General Manager Mary Pruess.  "Our two year Embracing Our Military initiative has already featured national programming, local programming and community events to better inform our Quad Cities and surrounding communities about the role the military and their families play in our area."

PBS and WQPT's 'Stories of Service' programming kicks off with the May 21 premiere of "Coming Back with Wes Moore," which is funded by CPB. The series explores Moore's search for answers to important questions about veterans returning from war. Longer range, the programming line-up includes the highly anticipated 2016 documentary on the Vietnam War from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Currently, the PBS and WQPT programing under "Stories of Service' includes our veterans interstitials created in partnership with WVIK, "Moments in History" interstitials created in partnership with the Rock Island Arsenal, "Inside the Gates," produced by CBS4 and  upcoming  programming like: "Death and the Civil War," American Experience (7 p.m., June 24); "Day of Days - June 6, 1944 ( 7 p.m. June 10); "Unsung Heroes - The Story of America's Female Patriots (7 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 17); and Nova's "Escape from Nazi Alcatraz" (8 p.m. June 12). More about information about WQPT's programming can be found at wqpt.org.


Upcoming programming includes:

"Coming Back with Wes Moore"

7-9 p.m., May 21, 28 and June 4

A three-episode series, executive produced by best-selling author and veteran Wes Moore and Joel Olicker of Powderhouse Productions, tells the story of Moore's search for answers to some of the most difficult questions facing vets returning from war. Each episode focuses on a different stage of coming home: "Coming Back," "Fitting In" and "Moving Forward." (Produced by Powderhouse Productions; funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] Diversity and Innovation and Bank of America.)

"Death and the Civil War" (encore)

7-9 p.m., May 24

Based on Drew Gilpin Faust's "This Republic of Suffering," this acclaimed program by Ric Burns explores a critical aspect of the Civil War experience: the implications of the war's staggering and unprecedented death toll. "Death and the Civil War" is written and directed by Ric Burns, edited by Li-Shin Yu, and produced by Robin Espinola, Bonnie LaFave, and Ric Burns. Oliver Platt is the narrator. The original concept was developed by Paul Taylor, and the cinematography is by Buddy Squires, Stephen McCarthy and Allen Moore. Music is by Brian Keane. Executive producer is Mark Samels; exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for "Death and the Civil War" provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Dedicated to Strengthening America's Future Through Education; the Nordblom Family Foundation and the Gretchen Stone Cook Charitable Foundation, members of the Documentary Investment Group; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers.) 


NOVA's "D-Day's Sunken Secrets"

7-9 p.m., May 15

NOVA joins an exclusive team as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary D-Day beachheads of Normandy, revealing the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses and ultimately liberate Europe from the Nazis. (Produced by WGBH Science Unit; major funding for NOVA provided by Boeing, The David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], and PBS and public television viewers. Additional funding for "D-Day's Sunken Secrets" provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.)

About WQPT-Quad Cities PBS

WQPT-Quad Cities PBS is a media service of Western Illinois University. Founded in November 1983 the station has received local and national awards for their production work and educational outreach.


About PBS
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS PressRoom on Twitter.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.


MOLINE, IL - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will host a sneak preview of "Coming Back with Wes Moore" from noon-1:30 p.m. May 29 at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. The program is a signature event in the WQPT "Embracing Our Military" initiative.

The event, which is open free to the public, will engage the community in a discussion on some of the most difficult questions related to returning from war. Light refreshments will be served and reservations are encouraged by contacting BE-Brasel@wiu.edu

"Coming Back with Wes Moore" is a three-part documentary tells personal stories of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans as they struggle to reintegrate into society.

In the series, which will air on WQPT at 7 p.m. in three parts on Wednesdays, May 21, 28 and June 4, Moore takes viewers with him into the personal lives of different soldiers as they attempt to reintegrate into society, establish new identities and?for many?find a new mission.

"We want to better humanize re-integration by taking the audience into the lives of these men and women as they return from war," said Moore, who is an Army combat veteran. "I want to make sure people understand these stories and who these people are who are coming back from combat."

Over the course of three episodes, "Coming Back"  follows Moore into the lives of Army Sgt. Andy Clark of Denver, CO; Army Sgt. Bobby Henline of San Antonio, TX; Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Letrice Titus of Syracuse, NY; Army National Guard Sgt. Brad Farnsley of Fort Knox, KY; Earl Johnson of Baltimore, MD; Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall of Charleston, SC; Army National Guard Lt. Col. and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Schaumburg, IL; Army Sgt. Brian "Taylor" Urruela of Tampa, FL; and husband and wife Marine Sgt. Christopher Phelan and Air Force Capt. Star Lopez of Los Angeles, CA.

Local funding for WQPT's "Embracing Our Military" initiative comes from UnityPoint Health - Trinity and RIA Federal Credit Union, and from CBS4, Dispatch/Argus, WOC, WLLR, WVIK and Western Illinois University-QC

To learn more about the WQPT "Embracing Our Military" initiative visit wqpt.org/embracing.  WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.


MOLINE, IL - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is holding an OVEE screening at 7 p.m. May 13 of the first episode of the new PBS series "Coming Back with Wes Moore."  Viewers are invited to chat live with WQPT throughout the screening with questions and reactions to the show.

"Coming Back with Wes Moore" tells the story of best-selling author and U.S. army veteran Wes Moore's search for answers to some of the most difficult questions facing veterans returning from war. Moore's journey, spurred by the suicide of one of his oldest friends and a fellow officer, takes him into the personal lives of different soldiers as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

Scheduled panelists include Michael Weinrich, a retired Air Force veteran and Western Illinois University Sociology and Anthropology Professor David Rohall, who is a Marine Corps veteran of the Persian Gulf War and has studied the military for more than 15 years. Rohall has published and presented dozens of articles about military service.

The full documentary can be seen on WQPT at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21.  Parts two and three will air May 28 and June 4.

For more information on all of WQPT's "Embracing Our Military" events and programs, visit wqpt.org/embracing.

WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is a media service of Western Illinois University.


Military Family Fun Night at Modern Woodman Park on May 9

ROCK ISLAND, IL - On Friday May 9  the USO of Illinois and WQPT - Quad Cities PBS welcome the children of Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, and Military Retirees to a free fun filled night with a special appearance from Sesame Street's Elmo. Military families will enjoy a special evening of learning, crafts, pizza and fun. All children will receive special gift bags filled with surprises containing a plush Sesame Street toy, the book "The Little Champs," and Sesame Street kits that address the challenges military kids face when family members deploy and return from combat with visible and invisible wounds of war. Children will get to meet and take photos with Sesame Street's Elmo. Everyone in attendance will also receive tickets to the Quad Cities River Bandits baseball game immediately following the event, tickets generously donated by Association of United States Army (AUSA) Rock Island Arsenal

WHEN:           Friday, May 9, 2013 from 5 pm - 6:30pm

WHERE:        Modern Woodman Park's Sky Deck

SPECIAL NOTE: Media wanting to cover this event are required to RSVP with Marco LaNave at marco@riverbandits.com by Thursday May 8. Media interviews and photo opportunities will be available with both USO of Illinois and WQPT - Quad Cities PBS.

The USO lifts the spirits of America's troops and their families. The mission of the USO is to enhance the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families and to create a cooperative relationship between U.S. military communities and involved or supporting civilian communities. The USO of Illinois is a civilian 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, not a government agency. We are supported solely by the generosity of the American people. For more information about the USO of Illinois, visit: usoofillinois.org.  USO of Illinois Discovery Kids program provides free recreational and educational opportunites to military kids and families and is supported by the Chicago Blackhawks. This USO Discovery Kids Program is supported by WQPT - Quad Cities PBS and USO, Inc.

Embracing our Military is a two-year initiative led by WQPT Quad Cities PBS in support of the Quad City military community. The initiative brings together partner organizations who serve military families, veterans and activie duty soldiers focusing on : Families, Resourcess and Workforce.

WQPT's "Embracing our Military" is supported by Unity Point - Trinity and R.I.A. Federal Credit Union.  Dozens of area partners are assisting in this effor including Association of the United States Army, CBS4, The Dispatch, Jason's Box, Moline Public Library, USO of Illinois, Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, WILL Interactive, WLLR, WOC, and WVIK Quad Cities NPR. For more information about Embracing Our Military visit wqpt.org/embracing.