At a moment when news organizations across the country are cutting arts coverage as the result of a tough financial landscape, one prominent outlet is going in the opposite direction.
Supported by a $1.7 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, PBS NewsHour said it will expand its broadcast and digital arts reporting initiative, Canvas. Today, the television program launched a Canvas website where audiences can engage with content from its channels.
In addition, Canvas has relaunched its Twitter account and created a new Facebook group, allowing viewers to interact with one another and discuss programming. These platforms, along with the new website, will provide opportunities for NewsHour to use augmented reality and other technologies in its presentations of artworks.
Arts editor Joshua Barajas and digital managing editor Erica R. Hendry will produce original arts content online and curate segments from PBS member stations and programs. Anne Azzi Davenport, the senior coordinating producer of Canvas, will work with special projects senior producer James Blue to oversee Canvas coverage for NewsHour’s nightly broadcast; she will also continue to produce long-form arts pieces for NewsHour and curate content from stations and partners.
Upcoming offerings on Canvas include a tour of singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach’s recording studio in Nashville and a look at a blues music festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Victoria Rogers, the Knight Foundation’s vice president for arts, said in a statement, “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.”