"WHYY. Your arts and culture station." This familiar phrase isn't a claim.
It's a commitment. WHYY is the Delaware Valley's
premiere arts and culture channel choice, delivering
audiences the highest quality cultural arts programming
through a unique mix of original productions and
national favorites, broadcast over WHYY's expanding
WHYY is home to the locally produced, award-winning radio programs Fresh
Air with Terry Gross, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane,
Voices in the Family, A Chef's Table, You Bet Your
Garden, and Showcase as well as programs
from National Public Radio and Public Radio International.
On television, WHYY is the place to find Masterpiece
Theatre, Antiques Roadshow, American Masters
and its own original documentaries and series, including
Experience, WHYY's series of mini-documentaries.
In addition, this past year WHYY grew its Arts & Culture Service based on advances in new technology, audience wants and needs and a marked growth in cultural content in the Greater Philadelphia region.
WHYY explores new avenues for the arts
On January 3, 2006, WHYY launched Experience:
The WHYY Arts & Information Service, the
region's first HD Radio channel devoted to arts
and information programming. Experience
carries classical music programs like Performance
Today, Sacred Classics and WHYY's own Showcase,
as well as Fresh Air First, the first local
broadcast of WHYY's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
Y Arts (Comcast Channel 241), is one of two WHYY digital cable channels launched
this fiscal year, expanding WHYY's digital service
to three channels. Y Arts provides 24/7 cultural
arts programming, TV12-original productions such
as Hometown Legends, Fresh Air with Terry Gross,
and Experience segments, along with favorite
PBS programs like Great Performances, Masterpiece
Theatre and Mystery!.
On whyy.org, visitors can access Web-exclusive programs and features, including the series Ed Cunningham's Philadelphia; podcasts of programming; and the WHYY Arts Calendar for highlights of cultural happenings around the Delaware Valley.
Inventive programming for innovative platforms
WHYY's innovative distribution platforms were met with equally creative programming initiatives this fiscal year. In celebration of the 300th birthday of Philadelphia icon Benjamin Franklin, WHYY-TV produced About Benjamin, a documentary that explores the man behind countless achievements in the worlds of science, art, medicine, education and politics.
WHYY continued its Experience series, a collection of short segments
that go behind the scenes of the region's diverse
arts and culture community. Experience
segments air on TV12, Y Arts and in the terminals
of Philadelphia International Airport; can be viewed
at whyy.org and PhillyFunGuide.com;
and are available through Comcast's ON DEMAND service.
In a unique pairing of audio and video content, WHYY took Terry Gross' conversations
with artists, actors, musicians and singers from
public radio to a viewer-controlled television experience
with Fresh Air ON DEMAND. Subscribers of
Comcast Digital Cable can watch the program on Y
Arts, and access it at their convenience ON DEMAND.
WHYY also partnered with NPR to bring The Philadelphia Orchestra back to national
airwaves on a regular basis for the first time since
1997. The Orchestra's performances air on SymphonyCast
and Performance Today, and are a co-production
of WHYY and NPR.
On 91FM, Joel Rose adeptly reported on the news from Philadelphia's vibrant
arts community, including Philadelphia's Live 8
concert in July 2005; City Council's debate over
whether to offer public access TV in Philadelphia;
the Philadelphia Folklore Project's dance festival;
and the controversial move of the Barnes Foundation
to the Ben Franklin Parkway. Many of Rose's reports
for 91FM also aired nationally on NPR.
WHYY connects the community to culture.
In fiscal year 2006, WHYY introduced Uncover
the Arts: Find It, and Know WHYY, a signature
arts and culture event for members. This interactive,
high-energy treasure hunt sent dozens in search
of some of the best arts and culture treasures in
Old City Philadelphia. Uncover the Arts
invitees included WHYY Arts & Culture Members,
a new membership level first offered in June 2006
and numbering more than 1,100 members.
WHYY's Civic Space also played host to a number of engaging cultural events
this year. In collaboration with the Johnson House
Historic Site and the Opera Company of Philadelphia,
members participated in a conversation with authors
Lorene Carey and David Bradley in "Triumph Through
Adversity: Creating Great Art"; screened Martin
Scorsese's documentary Bob Dylan: No Direction
Home; explored paths to greater understanding
among diverse groups with "Middle Eastern Cultures
in Perfect Harmony"; and got wacky for a celebration
of Monty Python's Personal Best.
WHYY Arts & Culture, on the horizon
In fiscal year 2007, WHYY will expand the breadth of its Arts & Culture Service even further through several key initiatives, while continuing to provide audiences with the ongoing programs and services they treasure.
The Experience series will explore more of the region's arts community,
aided by a generous three-year grant from the William
Penn Foundation. WHYY-FM's Showcase will
also expand its playlist by adding more regional
performing arts groups to its schedule. And, in
an innovative production model, WHYY is using robotic
cameras to record performances in local arts venues,
including the Curtis Institute of Music, for broadcast
on WHYY-TV and Y Arts.