The Cities, WQPT's public affairs program, goes on location with host Jim Mertens interviewing Vice President Joe Biden during his visit to Davenport on Wednesday and Bishop Gene Robinson, who is in town to discuss religion and sexual identity at Augustana. It's all tonight on The Cities with Jim Mertens at 6:30 pm., with an encore presentation on Sunday at 5:30 pm.

WQPT Assists Efforts to Increase the Quad Cities Graduation Rate 

New Public Media Programming and Public Engagement Initiatives to Help Students and Teachers

WQPT Quad Cities PBS has initiated a series of broadcast, online and community activities as part of "American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen," a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to help the Quad Cities and other communities across America to address the high school dropout crisis.

 

Every year 1 million kids drop out of high school nationwide. In the Quad Cities, over 700 students fail to graduate each year, according to Achieve Quad Cities. The estimated economic impact on the Quad Cities is a loss of $2.3 million per student over a lifetime in revenues and earnings, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education.

 

WQPT Quad Cities PBS is one of more than 60 public media and television stations around the country that are working directly with their communities to address the dropout crisis. WQPT Quad Cities PBS and "American Graduate" project partners, Achieve Quad Cities, area public schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Putnam Museum and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce have developed a blend of media across several platforms - TV, radio, online - and community engagement efforts designed to raise public awareness and offer solutions to increase Quad City high school graduation rates.

 

"Education has always been at the center of public broadcasting," said Rick Best, WQPT General Manager. "That's why we are proud to be a part of this important national initiative and are honored to work with the local community to make sure Quad City students stay in school and graduate.  We cannot allow a generation of our young people to fall through the cracks."

 

"Every year, one million of our nation's young people make the life altering decision to drop out of school resulting in severe consequences for their future and our country," said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB.  "Through the 'American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen' initiative, America's public radio and television stations - locally owned and operated - are engaging local  non-profit partners, business leaders, parents and teachers to help young people stay on the path to a high school diploma."

 

WQPT's "American Graduate" initiative began in July with awareness PSA's to encourage community members to volunteer as career mentors to area youth.  These are still airing today on WQPT and other area broadcast channels. In addition to increasing the number of adult mentors in the community, WQPT created local programming that educated viewers about the drop out crisis in the Quad Cities and how they could be a part of the community-wide effort to increase the high school graduation rate.

 

Roundtable "The Drop Out Crisis"

In December and January, WQPT aired a one-hour special featuring experts from the area who talked about the drop-out rate, the steps being taken to identify mentors, to inspire and encourage students to stay in school and to drive awareness about the economic impact to our community.

 

"I was deeply moved and truly surprised by what I learned in WQPT's Achieve Quad Cities special The Drop-Out Crisis. I've always known how much a personal tragedy it is when a student fails to complete high school. I had no idea of the scope of the impact on our community. Thank you WQPT, for shining light on this very challenging problem facing the QC and for motivating others, as it did me, to be a part of the solution," Deanna Jensen, WQPT viewer.

Visit youtube.com/wqptpbs to see episodes of WQPT's "The Cities with Jim Mertens" featuring Achieve Quad Cities partners in action. You'll also find the special roundtable "Tackling the Drop Out Crisis" featuring area education leaders.

 

About WQPT

WQPT is a public media service of Western Illinois University.

 

About American Graduate 

The public media initiative, American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, is helping communities across America identify and implement solutions to address the high school dropout crisis. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the multi-year campaign is designed to raise awareness and dialogue through national and local multiplatform programming.  Targeting communities with highest dropout rates, the initiative also increases local engagement and action through collaborations and partnerships, and increases student engagement through teacher professional development and classroom curricula. Public radio and television stations - locally owned and operated - reach 99% of the country over the air, have built models for successful intervention in early learning, and have deep connections in the communities they serve. Nearly 300 partnerships have been formed locally through American Graduate and CPB is partnering with America's Promise Alliance and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Visit American Graduate on Facebook, Twitter or AmericanGraduate.org.

 

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 1,300 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, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS is pleased to offer a $500 Broadcast Scholarship to students pursuing a career in broadcasting.

Last year's recipient Paul Strater said "As a nontraditional student, the financial realities of later life such as mortgages and car payments and the challenges of funding a college education without parental help or the loans available to parents are quite a challenge.  This scholarship will be a great help as I finish my degree at Western."

Interested students may log on to http://wqpt.org/scholarship for an application or by calling (309) 764-2400.  The criteria for the scholarship is:

v  Overall 2.5 GPA

v  Broadcast Classes 3.0 GPA (not applicable to incoming college freshmen)

v  Preference given to full-time students although part-time students may apply.                        

Applications will be accepted through May 18, 2012for this scholarship.  New and continuing students in any broadcast curriculum may apply.  WQPT will select the recipient prior to the fall semester.

WQPT General Manager, Rick Best said "The scholarship is just one of the ways that WQPT endeavors to be a community partner."

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

 

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS calls on all children in kindergarten through 3rd grade to enter the PBS Kids Go Writing Contest. Every entrant will receive a Certificate of Achievement.  Stories must be the original work of the child. They may write fact or fiction, prose or poetry. All entries must be postmarked by Friday, April 10, 2012 and mailed or dropped off at WQPT at the Western Illinois University 60th Street Campus as 3561 60th Street Moline, Illinois 61265 Sixteen winners (four selected from each grade) will receive local recognition on WQPT and win special prizes.  Winning stories will be displayed at the Butterworth Center in Moline, Illinois, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, the Family Museum in Bettendorf, Iowa, the Midwest Writing Center in Davenport, Iowa and on the WQPT website. Winners will be notified in late April and a reception will be held to honor the winning stories at the Butterworth Center in Moline.

Sponsors of the writing contest are also hosting workshops to help Kindergarten through 3rd grade students with their writing and illustrating skills. Participants are not required to enter the contest. Parents are also invited to learn how to assist children with writing and editing stories.  These workshops will be held:

Saturday, February 25     Moline Public Library
10:00am-11:00am The workshop is for young writers focused on kids in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade. For more information, contact the Moline Public Library Children's Department at 309/524-2440. FREE

Saturday, March 3     Davenport Public Library (Fairmount)
10:00am-11:15am For young writers in Kindergarten through 3rd grade (but older children may attend). Parents are also invited. For more information, contact Ana Kehoe at at-kehoe@wiu.edu or 309/764-2400. FREE

Tuesday, March 6     Family Museum (Bettendorf)
3:30pm-5:00pm. For young writers (and their parents/guardians) who would like to begin a book. For more information, contact Julie Klein at 563/344-4170. Workshop is free with museum membership or paid admission.

Friday, March 9, Bucktown Center for the Arts (Davenport)
4:00 pm Midwest Writing Center at Bucktown Center for the Arts, 225 E. Second St., Suite 303, Davenport, IA. A workshop on how to write and publish a book before age 10. Young author Anna Shammas will talk to kids about how she published her first book. FREE  For more information, email mwc@midwestwritingcenter.org.

To find out more about entering the contest log on to www.wqpt.org.

Funding and support for the project has been provided in part by the Butterworth Center & Deere-Wiman House, Figge Art Museum, Family Museum and Midwest Writing Center.

Please note that WQPT has moved their offices since the last contest. WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University.

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will air Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's State of the State Address on February 1st at 12:00 noon, live from the State Capital in Springfield, Illinois. The address will include a proposal for tax relief for Illinois families.

The program will be hosted by Jak Tichenor. This program is part of "Illinois Lawmakers," a series that provides coverage of the Illinois legislature. "Illinois Lawmakers" is a joint production of all Illinois public television stations.

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

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MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT's Community Advisory Board meets periodically to discuss station activities. These meeting are open to the public.  The upcoming Community Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 6, 2012 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in the John Deere Room at the Western Illinois University 60th Street Campus in Moline, Illinois. The address is 3561 - 60th Street  Moline, IL.

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS will air a holiday special Monday, December 5th at 7:00 pm featuring local gospel singers The Westbrook Singers.  The concert is the first in a series of programs supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council that will highlight Illinois artists.  The program will also air on December 8 at 9 pm and Christmas Day at 2:30 pm.

 

"Earlier this year the Illinois Arts Council called to offer WQPT the opportunity to create a television series that focused on artists who work out of the State of Illinois. We had been hoping to create a series like this for some time, but this grant made the dream possible," said WQPT General Manager, Rick Best.

 

The series titled "Artists in Profile" is set to begin airing in early 2012 and will include three specials. The first one "A Westbrook Singers Christmas" and a second Westbrook gospel concert scheduled for March along with a concert by the Bucktown Revue. In addition there will be 10 half hour programs. "So far we have interviewed 10 artists of every kind and taped the three specials" said WQPT producer, Lora Adams.  "Our idea was to talk about how artists are inspired and educated," Adams said adding "WQPT had been trying for several years to find the funding to capture the remarkable voices of the Westbrook Singers and now we have." The Westbrook Singers website calls them "An extraordinary group - brother & sisters - dedicated to the spread of Gospel music in a style that is both contemporary and traditional."

 

All of the concerts were taped over a three day period at Fusion Communications.  "We were so fortunate to have had Capri College come in and provide hair and make-up services to the casts and to Foster Family Music who lent us a really gorgeous piano," said Adams.  Lighting for the concerts was designed by Butch Bos and Jeff Lyle and audio recording was done by Lars Rehnberg. Camera operators were Adam Less, Cody Lambert, Todd Steffens, Chris Ryder and Mike Lambert.  "We hope people will tune in and enjoy the concert" said Best.

 

WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University located in Moline, Illinois.

 

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ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS - The old adage "the show must go on" has proven all too true after an accident left actor Lora Adams with a torn ankle ligament. "We seriously looked at doing another show where I could sit, but in the end we decided to push back the opening a few days so I could heal enough to do the show," said Adams.

The play, which features Adams and Steve Lasiter will open on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm, with additional performances on the 17th, 18th and 19th at 7:30 pm and Sunday the 20th at 2:30 pm.  "Ideally, we would have liked to do all 8 performances, but "A Tuna Christmas" is scheduled to open right after on November 25th so we hope that we can fill the seats for these performances," said associate producer Tristan Tapscott.

"The Turn of the Screw" is being directed by Patti Flahrety, stage managed by Joe Maubach with lighting design by Tristan Tapscott and costumes by Candace Eastman.

The performance on Thursday, November 17th is a fundraising event for the Bettendorf Rotary.

The Turn of the Screw runs November 15, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm and November 20 at 2:30 pm. Admission is $20 general admission, $18 Seniors (60+) and $15 students. The District Theatre is located at 1611 2nd Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201. Reservations can be made by calling 309-235-1654.  More information can be found at www.districttheatre.com

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS - Lora Adams and Steve Lasister star in Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, the classic ghost story by Henry James, running November 11 - 20.  The Turn of the Screw will be directed by Patti Flaherty.   The production is a limited run at The District Theatre in Rock Island and is being produced by Adams and Tristan Tapscott.

The play premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in January 1996 and James' story has been described as "the quintessential ghost story." The story is told from the perspective of the Governess, which leaves the audience to wonder how accurate her story is. She claims she sees visions of the former governess and her lover and she is determined to save the children in her care from these ghostly visitors whom she perceives want to possess the children. It is interesting to note, that more than a century later there is a debate whether the ghosts are real or imagined and if the governess is mad.

"I have been wanting to produce this piece for a while but I was unable to secure a venue and one night while Tristan and I were working at Circa on 'Nana's Naughty Knickers' he told me that I could put it up at The District Theatre in November, and here we are," said Adams. "Lora and I have worked on productions together in the past and this was a perfect opportunity to add another production to the calendar at the District Theatre," said Tapscott.  Tapscott was instrumental in securing Steve Lasiter for the production since Mr. Lasiter will be performing in "Chicago" and "Rocky Horror" at the District Theatre.

"What makes this adaptation so interesting is that Lora plays the Governess while Steve Lasiter portrays all of the other characters," said director Flaherty.

Flaherty directed Adams in the one-woman play "Bad Dates" several years ago at New Ground Theatre. "After 'Bad Dates' I knew Patti would have the right temperament to take a piece like this and make it work," said Adams.

The Turn of the Screw with play November 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm and November 13 and 20 at 2:30 pm. Admission is $20 general admission, $18 Seniors (60+) and $15 students. The District Theatre is located at 1611 2nd Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201. Reservations can be made by calling 309-235-1654.  More information can be found at www.districttheatre.com

What: The Turn of the Screw by Jeffrey Hatcher

Where: The District Theatre, 1611 - 2nd Avenue, Rock Island 16201

When: November 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm and November 13 and 20 at 2:30 pm

Admission: $20 general admission, $18 Seniors (60+) and $15 students

Reservations: 309-235-1654 or www.districttheatre.com

MOLINE, ILLINOIS - WQPT, Quad Cities PBS invites the public to a special screening of the documentary "Freedom Riders" and to hear Diane Nash, one of the leaders of the Freedom Rides Civil Rights movement, at the Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island Illinois on October 15, 2011 at 10:00 am. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. The event is free to the public.

In April WQPT held a similar event at the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre for junior high and high school students with special guests Dion Diamond and Joan Trumpaur-Mulholland, both Freedom Riders. "The event was so successful that the community committee we had formed felt we should do it once again," said WQPT Chief Development Officer, Jamie Lange. Diane Nash will speak at the morning event at the Martin Luther King Center and again at the Statewide Illinois NAACP banquet at the i wireless Center in the evening on October 15th.

Ms. Nash was featured on Oprah in May 2011 when the program celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides. Diane Nash emerged as one of the most respected student leaders of the sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee. Nash attended Howard University before transferring to Nashville's Fisk University in the fall of 1959. Shocked by the extent of segregation she encountered in Tennessee, she was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. In February 1961 she served jail time in solidarity with the "Rock Hill Nine"?nine students imprisoned after a lunch counter sit-in. When the students learned of the bus burnings in Alabama, Nash argued that it was their duty to continue. "It was clear to me that if we allowed the Freedom Ride to stop at that point, just after so much violence had been inflicted, the message would have been sent that all you have to do to stop a nonviolent campaign is inflict massive violence," says Nash in Freedom Riders.

For more information on the Freedom Riders, log on to wqpt.org. WQPT will re-air the documentary on Tuesday October 18th at 7:00 p.m.

The event at the Martin Luther King Center has been made possible by the Rock Island Community Foundation, Illinois Humanities Council, Hotel Blackhawk, Act II Transportation and the Rock Island NAACP.

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

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