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New Original Mural To Be Unveiled in Downtown Los Angeles As Part of Multiplatform Initiative for PBS Documentary Series AMERICAN PORTRAIT

Classroom Engagement Exercises, Web Miniseries and Local Arts Partnerships

Lead Up to Series Finale on Jan. 26 Celebrating Resilience of Local Communities
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PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT “Generation Nation” and rendering of downtown Los Angeles Mural. Download.

PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT “Generation Nation” and rendering of downtown Los Angeles Mural. Courtesy of PBS/Radical Media.


Select programming will also be available to stream on PBS.org and the free PBS App.

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Burbank, Calif. – Jan. 21, 2021 – PBS SoCal, Southern California's home for new PBS program premieres, announced today details on some local efforts around the new four-part docuseries PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT, a crowdsourced storytelling project aimed to capture the most remarkable stories of last year as told by Americans from every U.S. state and territory. To accompany the series, a new national public street art series commissioned by PBS will roll out an original mural in Los Angeles in the following weeks. PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT, produced by PBS and RadicalMedia, premiered earlier this month with the series finale airing on Tues., Jan. 26, at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal.

In addition to LA’s original mural, community activations include classroom engagement resources and a web miniseries to leverage the initiative’s local reach. PBS SoCal has initiated a partnership with Los Angeles nonprofit Venice Arts that includes a media arts-focused curriculum called ‘Creative Lesson Plans for Personal Storytelling’ and a corresponding educator training. The lesson plans accompany standards-aligned, distance learning resources for educators on the free PBS platform PBS LearningMedia.

The Los Angeles mural was designed by Portland-based artist duo Richard Perez and Jennifer Derosa of Skinny Ships. The work features a quote from American Portrait submitter Anna S., reading “My Brother and I Are My Parents’ American Dream” in response to one of over two dozen prompts that users respond to in their American Portrait submissions. PBS will also make images and videos of the mural available for media use, once complete. RadicalMediahas overseen the creative direction of all seven murals across the country, with each installed and executed on the ground by No Kings Collective. Target is a major funder and national promotional partner for PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT and this public street art series.PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT presents a mosaic of America’s diverse experiences through a collection of more than 11,000 user-submitted stories and contributions to thought-provoking prompts about what it means to be an American today. These stories told in real-time to the events of 2020 share experiences of resilient Los Angeles residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these accounts include the challenges of educator Arielle F.’s home-based teaching and Michelle M.’s advocacy for student and teacher safety. Other testimonials include Brian G.’s aspirations for starting a small business and Yuri. W.’s inspirational way of helping others. These personal stories shaped the themes reflected in the four-part docuseries about varied pursuits of the American Dream, struggles and satisfaction in careers, traditions and values that are most important to Americans as well as how to create an antiracist America. Streaming of the entire series is available online at pbssocal.org/AmericanPortrait, as well as on pbs.org and on the free PBS Video App.The final episode of PBS AMERICAN PORTRAIT goes inside the lives of people working to create an antiracist American future. They film themselves doing the hard work, confronting the obstacles and achieving the small victories that could add up to real change in the movement for racial justice. The main stories featured are Christine H. from Austin, Texas; Anisa O. from Mankato, Minnesota; and Lex S. from Sandy, Utah.

Join the conversation on social media using #AmericanPortraitPBS

About PBS SoCal
PBS SoCal is a donor-supported community institution that is a part of Public Media Group of Southern California, the flagship PBS station formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. PBS SoCal delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. We offer the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns; and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. PBS programming is available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV.

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