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Duration:03:08
Uploaded:2017-04-10
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(PBS Digital Studios intro)

You know that little intro you just saw?  Just in case you missed it, we'll play it again.

(PBS Digital Studios intro)

It tells you that this series is funded by PBS, and without that funding, The Art Assignment would not exist.  With PBS' support and expertise, we've been able to provide free educational content over the past three years, making over 150 videos, gathering assignments from over 60 artists in cities all over the country and beyond, who have in turn inspired a community that has created thousands of artworks in response.  

PBS also funds many of your other favorite YouTube channels like Crash Course, Braincraft, Idea Channel, and Deep Look, and their resource for teachers and students in the classroom, PBS Learning Media, offers access to free, high-quality educational content to anyone in the US.  You may have heard that some dramatic budget cuts have been proposed to a number of US government agencies and initiatives, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

While these cuts could certainly have an impact on our show, I'm here to talk to you today about why public television stations and PBS are important to me for other, less selfish reasons.  Like a lot of you, I grew up on the enriching, enlightening programming from PBS.  Starting with the revelation of watching crayons get made at the crayon factory on an episode of Sesame Street and learning kindness and generosity from the incomparable Mr. Rogers.  Public media also gave me my first exposure to art, when Sister Wendy took me on tours of museums I couldn't travel to, and Art 21 is an amazing series that offers a window into the lives of working artists and which helped spark my own interest in art as a career.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides critical financial support to local public television and radio stations, currently receives 445 million dollars from the federal government annually.  That is definitely a lot of money, but to put it in context, this costs just $1.35 per person, per year.  That $1.35 per year gives you and the people you share your world with an enormous amount of nonprofit educational content.  You can really think of public television as America's largest classroom.

68% of all kids ages 2-8 watched their local public television station last year.  If you, like me, don't want this invaluable public service to go away, there are a number of things you can do.  You can contact your local congressperson and tell them why you love your local station and PBS or visit them at a town hall or make a YouTube video and share it with them.  See the description for a link to help find your representative.  

You can also share the message with your friends.  Post on social media about what PBS and your local station mean to you, with the hashtag #ILovePBS, and if you wanna learn more about why PBS is essential, go to pbs.org/value to find out.  Thank you for your support and thank you to PBS for making The Art Assignment and so much educational content possible.