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2017's Top Videos

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This year streamed thousands of videos, from popular British programs like "Vera" to "Fine Cut," our international short film festival. We premiered new programs like "City Rising" and new seasons of originals like "The Migrant Kitchen" while presenting important news stories. Below are the year's most-watched videos on

City Rising: Legacy

In September we premiered "City Rising" as a six-part series focusing on gentrification across four California communities: Oak Park, Boyle Heights, Oakland and Santa Ana. The first chapter reviews the historical context in which race, law and real estate played a part in shaping today's dramatic disparities.

Lost L.A.: Descanso Gardens

Before launching the second season of our L.A. history program Lost L.A. we released this hour-long special on the fascinating history of Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, accompanied by a series of articles and short videos exploring the histories and cultures that made this destination.

Democracy Now: Last Gasp of a Dying White Male Supremacy

"Democracy Now!" reported live on the presidential inauguration in January, and we presented online several highlights from the roundtable coverage. In this popular excerpt Angela Davis suggests that these trying times may mark a moment of passing.

SoCal Connected: Inmates Hospitalized After 2008 Cell Extraction at L.A. Jail (warning: disturbing images)

"SoCal Connected" recently obtained footage from a 2008 cell extraction at Men's Central Jail. The disturbing footage was circulated on social media and gave rise to a conversation about L.A. County jail conditions, including recognition of what has improved and what hasn't. Read more about this story.

Tending the Wild

In partnership with the Autry Museum of the American West, KCET created the documentary and multimedia project "Tending the Wild" on California's native peoples and the traditional ecological knowledge that can inform how we understand and live with the natural environment.

Artbound: Fotoperiodista: Documenting Tijuana's Refugee Crisis

"Fotoperiodista: Documenting Tijuana's Refugee Crisis" follows photojournalist Omar Martinez as he captures the Haitian refugee crisis in Tijuana, Mexico. Many of the plays on this video came from viewers in Mexico. Learn more here.

Earth Focus: Drones and Parkour at Joshua Tree

A parkour exhibition team representing a U.K.-based clothing line visited Joshua Tree in mid-May and used the opportunity to shoot promotional videos for their team and their clothing line. In the process they built a large bonfire outside of a formal campground and flew a Go-Pro-equipped drone in violation of strict Park rules. KCET's "Earth Focus" brought attention to these problematic activities, and the team eventually apologized.

Lost L.A.: Borderlands

"Lost L.A." returned this October with this episode exploring the interconnected lives of three people who lived through California's transition from native land to Spanish colony and from Mexican province to American state.

The Migrant Kitchen: Alta California

"The Migrant Kitchen" also premiered this fall, and the first episode showcased contemporary Mexican food in Los Angeles, focusing on the chefs behind Taco Maria, Broken Spanish and Guerilla Tacos.

California Coastal Trail: Half Moon Bay: A Peaceful Passage by the Pacific

California Coastal Trail continued up the coast, and this video of Half Moon Bay was the most popular.

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A view of Robert Smithson's land art called "Spiral Jetty" made primarily of black basalt rocks and salt crystals.

From Land Art to NFTs: How Artistic Mediums Affect Artist Demographics

Environmental art came out of the movement to reject commercialization, yet its capital-intensive approach also shut out certain artist demographics. Learn how artistic mediums can affect artist participation and how new digital possibilities are paving the way for more artistic diversity.
Participants stand on a platform placed on top of the sand at Santa Monica Beach. The participants are waving around different colored scarves in the air. The sky above them is overcast.

Climate Change-Focused Artist Residency Maps Out a New Future in the Pandemic

In the pandemic, Air, an arts residency focused on climate change, transforms into a nomadic institution.
 Children pose for a picture during a 2018 field trip to the Craft Contemporary, organized by Greetings From South-Central.

Bridging the Gap: Greetings from South-Central Connects Youth to the Arts

Karina Yánez started Greetings from South-Central to connect her community to arts education resources they may not know about. Now, it is looking to further level the field when it comes to arts access inequities by working more closely with students, connecting them to arts programs, mentorship and guidance.