Los Angeles, CA (July 25, 2011)--The Autry National Center has partnered with KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station serving Southern and Central California, to create an original television series entitled I Am the West. The series of one-minute stories begins airing in August of 2011 and will take a glimpse into the lives of people that reflect the rich culture and innovations of the American West. A web portal will also launch simultaneously at kcet.org/iamthewest with extended features that will mine the vast collection of the Autry National Center.
"The Autry's partnership with KCET is a fitting extension of the Autry galleries, where stories of people and places are told," said Daniel Finley, Autry President and CEO. "This series will add another dimension to the way we explore history and culture in the West and I am excited to see the finished product on air and online."
I Am the West was conceived by the Autry's Director of Exhibition Media, Paula Kessler, and her in-house production team, which is in the process of creating 18 one-minute segments focused on the extraordinary and unexpected stories of individuals. The subjects, locations, and points of view will be as broad and diverse as the West itself. Subjects explored by Kessler and her team for Autry exhibitions comprise the initial offerings and set the tone for the following installments, which feature rock climbers, community activists, artists, entrepreneurs, and culture bearers.
"I Am the West seeks to show how the West makes us who we are and influences what we do specifically because we make the West our home," said Kessler. "In each episode, we see how the culture and unique experiences of life in the West inspires and challenges these fascinating people."
Among the featured stories will be those of Ruby Chimerica, who makes traditional piki bread in her piki house on the Hopi Reservation; Japanese American artist Aki Sogabe, who explores her art using traditional paper-cut techniques; artist Buff Elting, who explores the landscape of Colorado through her painting using aerial photography; and photographer Luis Garza, who has led the effort to bring the story of muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros's time and impact on Los Angeles to light.
"The Autry National Center is the perfect partner for KCET as they focus on the story behind each object and artifact displayed in their galleries," said Juan Devis, KCET's Director of Production and Program Development. "The Autry's dedication to telling the diverse stories of the American West opens up a wide array of narratives about people and places that are not only are fascinating but also reach out to viewers in an intimate and enlightening way."
On-air, online, and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. Throughout its more than forty-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services, and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules, and community events, please visit kcet.org.
About the Autry National Center
The Autry National Center, formed in 2003 by the merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian and the Women of the West Museum, is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry's collection of over 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts, which includes the collection of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, is one of the largest and most significant in the United States. The Autry Institute includes two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K-12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine the contemporary human condition through the lens of the historical Western experience and explore critical issues in society.
Weekday hours of operation for the Autry National Center's museum at its Griffith Park location are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Autry Store's weekday hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the Autry Cafe is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours for the museum and the store are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum, the store, and the cafe are closed on Mondays. The libraries are open to researchers by appointment.
Museum admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors 60+, $4 for children ages 3-12, and free for Autry members, veterans, and children age 2 and under. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.