OREGON ART BEAT, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Emmy-award winning weekly television series profiling local artists, is one of eight recipients of the this year’s Oregon Arts Commission Governor’s Arts Awards.

Jessica Martin, executive producer and KC Cowan, host, accepted the award on behalf of OPB at last night’s ceremony in Salem.

“It is a tremendous honor to be among this year’s esteemed recipients for this prestigious recognition,” said Martin, executive producer of OREGON ART BEAT. Since Spring 2000, ART BEAT has produced over 600 segments profiling hundreds of artists, musicians and artisans from Oregon and southern Washington.

“The purpose of our show is to introduce people to the arts and cultural events happening in the community,” said Martin. “We know we’ve accomplished our mission if, after watching the show, viewers get involved.”

The summer re-broadcast of audience favorites, determined by vote, show how enthusiastically involved ART BEAT viewers are. Top vote getters include Leroy Setziol, Lillian Pitt, Pat Courtney Gold and Henk Pander (previous Governor Arts Award recipients); as well as Polly’s Cake’s, the Carousel Museum in Hood River, Stolen Sweets and Lucinda Parker.

In addition to the weekly television series, OREGON ART BEAT developed, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, ART BEAT AT SCHOOL, an online collection of over 100 lesson plans with video clips and related resources designed for K-12 classroom use. “We believe that the arts are an important part of learning and expressing what you think,” said Martin. “Being a part of OREGON ART BEAT is its own reward if it leads to more people getting involved in the cultural life of their community.”

“This award, along with Governor Kulongoski’s advocacy for greater financial support for Oregon’s cultural community, further illustrate the state’s affirmation of the important role the arts play in the vibrancy of our state,” said OPB President Steve Bass. “We have profound gratitude for this recognition and support.”

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.