September 19, 2001 1 min read

Introduction to Art: Teachers and students can get a closer look at the lives and works of 21 artists from around the country in a four-part series to be broadcast by PBS this month.

The series, “Art: 21--Art in the 21st Century” is scheduled for premiere Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 on public-television stations. It will profile both established and emerging painters, sculptors, printmakers, and other visual artists who are influencing trends in the field.

Themes to be explored include the influences of place, spirituality, identity, and consumption on artists’ work.

According to its producers, the program can be used as an introduction to contemporary art, and as a way of fostering critical thinking and creative exploration in the classroom. The accompanying teachers’ guide includes suggestions for incorporating the series into art, history and social studies, and English/language arts classes.

More information is available at

Emmy for Reform Videos: A series of short public-service announcements underscoring school improvement themes snagged a national Emmy Award last month for best “Local PSA.”

The videos were created by Calvin R. Wolk, the director of public engagement at Big Picture Co. Inc., a nonprofit organization in Providence, R.I., that aims to encourage school change.

Mr. Wolk’s father, Ronald A. Wolk, the chairman of Big Picture Co., was the founding editor and publisher of Education Week and chairs the board of its nonprofit parent corporation, Editorial Projects in Education.

Big Picture Co. operates two public high schools and one public charter high school in the Providence area and plans to open six more by September 2002 and another six by September 2003.

The three video segments, “Know Us,” “My Mentor,” and “All the Same Within,” emphasize that children are not only students, but also consumers of education.

The award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was one of three given in the Community Service and PSA category, which is distinctive because the finalists are chosen by “blue-ribbon” panels of community leaders and not by television professionals.

Their criteria include what the sponsoring organizations have done to educate, inspire, and improve the community or to correct wrongs and civic inadequacies.

—Kathleen Kennedy Manzo and Andrew Trotter