KCET to launch new weekly arts-themed series ‘Open Call’


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KCET is planning to launch a new arts series in March that will offer portraits of cultural institutions and other organizations around Southern California. The series, titled ‘Open Call,’ will debut March 1.

The weekly series is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. every Thursday on KCET, a station spokeswoman said. The first episode is dedicated to the Colburn School and will feature concert footage taped at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The Colburn School will be featured in subsequent episodes as well.


Other installments will spotlight the Los Angeles Ballet; the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ annual First Look program, a student film festival; and UCLA Live’s tribute to jazz musician Kenny Burrell. The series also will feature the documentary ‘100 Voices: A Journey Home,’ about Jewish culture in Poland.

KCET said the individual organizations spotlighted in ‘Open Call’ are producing the episodes themselves, with some contribution from the station.The show will be hosted by mezzo-soprano opera singer and Los Angeles native Suzanna Guzmàn.

The station said its existing program ‘Live @ the Ford’ will be folded into the new series. ‘Open Call’ will be separate from another KCET arts initiative Artbound, which was announced last year under the title of ARC. That initiative will draw on the contributions of bloggers who will write and produce content about various cultural issues and organizations in Southern California. Some of those contributions will be turned into televised segments.

For many years, KCET was an affiliate station of the Public Broadcasting System. But the public station officially broke away from PBS in 2011 in a conflict over yearly fees.


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-- David Ng