A montage of KCET's three studio locations throughout our 50-year history.
A montage of KCET's three studio locations throughout our 50-year history. | Photos: KCET archives

Welcome to Our Celebration, Welcome to Our Journey

For people, events, and institutions alike, golden anniversaries are a just cause for celebration. The half-century chronology that has been achieved allows the celebrant to reflect on not only how time has shaped them, but how they have shaped the times.

KCET is certainly no exception. We're launching this site to share with you our story of how we evolved from a community-supported educational television station based in Hollywood, to an independent, transmedia presence in not only Southern California, but nationally and internationally.

We're unveiling our history, decade by decade, highlighting a decade every two weeks, which will be capped off with an interactive timeline presenting both KCET milestones and local history events, to present how much both KCET and Southern California have changed in the past half century. We will also present perspectives from our online columnists and guest contributors, who will share their personal experiences, observations, and opinions on each decade and our 50-year history as a whole.

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Each decade will be presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the current 2010s, because everyone who is a part of the KCET experience commonly shares the current era, and because we've already amassed quite a storied history in this decade alone. Our 50-year online flashback journey continues through this summer, and will culminate with the decade of the 1960s in our anniversary month of September. And to emphasize the nostalgia, the KCET logo on our homepage will temporarily be replaced by our various retro logos over the years.

We will be airing a televised one-hour special on our 50th Anniversary at 8 p.m. on September 28, and this site will not only be a companion to that, but an addendum as well, using the online medium to share archived multimedia footage, and more in-depth details and analysis on our history.

As KCET has been a part of the community over the years, we want to hear from the members of the community. We encourage all to interact with us through our Participate section, and share with us your memories of KCET and what our programming and content has meant to you.

As part of our celebration, we have also planned a number of events, contests, and surprises over the coming months, so get connected with us via social media and e-mail, so you'll be part of the party.

Speaking of the community, KCET would have never existed if it weren't for its support. From the initial contributions by community leaders, Hollywood celebrities, and fellow television stations, to grants to gifts to auctions to pledge drives to today's online giving, the support from community members like you have made every minute of the past 50 years possible, through the good times, through the tough times, through thick and thin.

Our upcoming 50th Anniversary fundraising campaign plans to engage the public for its continued support, so we hope you will take a moment to join us, not only to celebrate our past, but to build and ensure the next 50 years of KCET's high-quality programming.

Welcome to our journey, this trip through KCET's 50 years of history. But while we look back on the past, our journey, like every journey, will have us moving forward toward the future.

About the Author

Elson Trinidad is the Managing Editor of KCET's 50th Anniversary website and writes the "Transpacific Routes" and "Concrete and Chaparral" columns on KCET's blogs.
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