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PBS AND LATINO PUBLIC BROADCASTING PRESENT VOCES ON PBS, NEW FOUR-PART LATINO ARTS AND CULTURE SHOWCASE, PREMIERING OCTOBER 2 ON NJTV

September 17 – Los Angeles, CA Latino Public Broadcasting and PBS announced that season three of VOCES, the signature Latino arts and culture documentary showcase series, will premiere in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month.  VOCES airs on four consecutive Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. starting October 2, 2012 on New Jersey’s public television network, NJTV (check local listings). VOCES ON PBS is the only national television series devoted to exploring and celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino cultural experience.

The 2012 season showcases Latino artists, athletes and performers who reflect their culture while defying all expectations. From the housing projects of Brooklyn to a Mexican wrestling ring, from the ranches of California to the crumbling beauty of Castro’s Cuba, VOCES ON PBS shines a light on the unexpected. The lineup includes “Tales of Masked Men, a fascinating insider’s look at the world of Mexican “lucha libre,” famous for its masked wrestlers; “Escaramuza: Riding From the Heart, about a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico;Unfinished Spaces, which tells the story of the Cuban Revolution through its most significant work of architecture, Cuba’s National Schools of Art, and the three visionary men who designed it; and “Lemon, which follows Puerto Rican poet/performer Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon and one-time Tony Award winner, as he struggles to bring his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons.

“It is very rewarding that PBS is presenting VOCES as part of the national primetime schedule,” said LPB Executive Director Sandie Viquez Pedlow. “It’s a clear sign that, in its renewed commitment to arts and culture programming, PBS recognizes the enormous impact that Latino artists, writers, musicians and others have made in shaping not only Latino culture but the vast mosaic of our collective American culture.”

“PBS is delighted to join forces with LPB to bring these remarkable documentaries to our national audience,” said Donald Thoms, PBS Vice President of Programming. “Latino culture is an integral part of the American experience and each of these films opens a window onto a fascinating world that we know our audiences will love learning about.”

Funding for VOCES ON PBS was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  In addition to its national broadcast, VOCES will also be available for free viewing online at pbs.org/voces.

The entire schedule for VOCES on NJTV follows:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

“Tales of Masked Men”

Producer/Director: Carlos Avila; Co-Producer/Editor: Thomas Calderon

From the director of the acclaimed Foto-Novelas, “Tales of Masked Men” explores the fascinating, mysterious world of lucha libre and its role in Latino communities in the United States, Mexico and Latin America. Famous for its masked wrestlers and called by one aficionado “a sport in the key of melodrama,” lucha libre is part circus, part athletic contest, part theater. The sport inspires passionate loyalty while contributing a lasting cultural idiom to America’s pop culture landscape.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

“Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart”

Producers/Directors: Robin Rosenthal and Bill Yahraus

Las Azaleas are a gutsy team of women rodeo riders vying to represent the U.S. at the National Charro Championships in Mexico, where “to be Charro is to be Mexican.” Escaramuza, or skirmish, describes both their daredevil horseback ballets, ridden sidesaddle at top speed, and the intensity of their competition season. Neither life-altering challenges at home nor cartel violence across the border can keep Las Azaleas from their goal.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

“Unfinished Spaces”
Producers/Directors: Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray
In 1961, in the heady first days of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro asked three visionary architects to build the Cuban National Arts Schools on what had been the golf course of a country club. Before the construction was completed, the Revolution became Sovietized, and suddenly the project was denounced as bourgeois and counter-revolutionary. These radical, magnificent buildings become a prism through which we see the turbulent, ever-shifting history of Castro’s Cuba and follow the fates of the three architects, now in their 80s, who may get a second chance to revitalize their utopian project.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings)

“Lemon”

Producers/Directors: Laura Brownson and Beth Levison

When Lemon Andersen held a Tony Award in his hands for his work in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, it was close to a miracle. This poet/performer was a three-time felon who’d achieved more than anyone could have ever imagined. But when the show closed, he lost everything and moved his wife and two small daughters back to the projects. In desperation, he turned to the only thing he had left — his pen and his past. “Lemon” follows one man’s journey to bring his life story to the New York stage while battling his darkest demons.

About Latino Public Broadcasting

Latino Public Broadcasting is the leader in the development, production, acquisition and distribution of non-commercial educational and cultural media that is representative of Latino people, or addresses issues of particular interest to Latino Americans. These programs are produced for dissemination to public broadcasting stations and other public telecommunication entities. Latino Public Broadcasting provides a voice to the diverse Latino community throughout the United States and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More information about VOCES is available at VOCES on Facebook or Twitter.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 123 million people through television and more than 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

About NJTV

NJTV brings quality public television programs and resources to communities throughout New Jersey and its Tri-state neighbors. NJTV’s broadcast schedule combines acclaimed national PBS series like American Masters, Nature , Charlie Rose, and BBC World News America with an array of state-focused news,arts and public affairs shows, including Reporters Roundtable with Michael Aron, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Perspectives, Caucus New Jersey, Due Process and State of the Arts. The station’s week-nightly news broadcast, NJToday, features stories from across the Garden State. NJTV complements its growing news staff by partnering with state-wide media and higher education institutions. The network actively solicits viewer news tips, story ideas and feedback, along with locally-produced film shorts and long-form documentaries, making New Jerseyans part of the network’s editorial team. The network’s website, www.njtvonline.org posts the latest local news, information and program schedules, and its Education section offers local educators free, classroom-ready, digital resources through VITAL NJ.

NJTV is comprised of WNJN, WNJS, WNJB, and WNJT, which collectively broadcast throughout NJ. Formerly New Jersey Network (NJN), NJTV is operated under an agreement with the state of New Jersey by Public Media NJ, Inc. (PMNJ), a non-profit affiliate of WNET, parent company of award-winning New York public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21. Network sponsorships and partnerships are available.