‘PBS Newshour’ Expands Arts Coverage, Launches Digital Platform

PBS NewsHour has expanded CANVAS, its broadcast and digital arts reporting initiative, with $1.7 million in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The expansion aims to improve public access to and engagement with high-quality art and elevate the work of recognized and up-and-coming artists.

“Art has the power to transform people and communities, to connect us through shared experiences and to challenge us to view the world differently. The creation of transformative art isn’t confined to just large metropolitan areas — it’s happening everywhere, often unseen and with its stories untold,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts. “This initiative raises the visibility of artists working across the U.S., north to south and east to west, in cities large and small. Through its iconic national programming and expanded digital presence, PBS NewsHour’s CANVAS elevates art as national news, bringing arts directly to millions of people on their screens big and small.”

NewsHour has launched a dedicated CANVAS website with channels for audiences to interact with and share ideas for arts and cultural content. The website, relaunched Twitter account, and new CANVAS Facebook Group create a virtual canvas for viewers to discover and discuss how art defines us and the communities in which we live.

These social channels will also provide the opportunity for NewsHour to experiment with augmented reality and other innovative ways to model artwork for online audiences. Earlier this year, NewsHour expanded its broadcast coverage of the arts to three segments per week.

PBS NewsHour has long covered the arts because we believe that through the arts we learn so much about who we are, what challenges we face and the dreams and experiences that define us,” said Sara Just, PBS NewsHour executive producer and WETA Washington SVP. “We are so excited to be expanding that coverage across broadcast, online and social media with CANVAS. In a time of intense news coverage, we all benefit from seeing and hearing from a wide variety of artists.”

Online, Arts Editor Joshua Barajas and Digital Managing Editor Erica R. Hendry will produce original arts content as well as curate segments from PBS member stations and programs.


Senior coordinating producer of CANVAS Anne Azzi Davenport, who, in addition to producing longform arts pieces for NewsHour and curating content from stations and partners, will work with special projects senior producer James Blueto oversee CANVAS coverage for NewsHour’s nightly broadcast. Reporting teams from across the newsroom will support the production of CANVAS content and focus on cultivating this growing community of art lovers and consumers on social media.

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