Arizona PBS Receives High Honors at 37th Annual Telly Awards 

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PHOENIX – (May 2, 2016)

Arizona PBS won four awards at the 37th annual Telly Awards, including a Silver Telly Award, the contest’s highest recognition.

“ArtBeat Nation” on Arizona PBS took home the Silver Telly Award for a March 2015 segment on a local artist who carves life-like creations out of stone. “Alabaster Stone Carver” won for an outstanding portrayal of culture.

The Silver Telly Council also presented Arizona PBS with Bronze Telly Awards for several locally produced programs. An “Arizona Horizon” special featuring an exclusive half-hour interview with former President Jimmy Carter received a Bronze Telly Award for excellent news feature.

A second “ArtBeat Nation” segment “Tin Can Art” also was awarded a Bronze Telly for an exceptional showcasing of social responsibility. In addition, a commemorative feature on celebrated journalist Charlie Rose was honored as exemplary history and biography programming.

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring the finest video and film productions, including outstanding local, regional and cable TV programs and commercials, as well as web commercials, videos and films. The Telly Awards annually showcases the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments in the world. The Telly Awards is a widely known and highly respected national and international competition that receives over 12,000 entries annually from all 50 states and many foreign countries. Fewer than 10 percent of entries are chosen as winners of a Silver Telly, and historically, only 18 to 25 percent of entries receive Bronze Telly awards.

“Alabaster Stone Carver” tells the story of Susan Zalkind, an Arizona woman who worked with her husband to discover innovative ways to create artwork out of raw alabaster stone. Zalkind mines the alabaster from areas throughout the Southwest, and uses homemade tools to carve one-of-a-kind sculptures at her home studio.

Produced by Arizona PBS’ Jen Burke, the segment, which also won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award in October, highlights a unique component of Arizona’s thriving arts community.

“There is a diverse collection of artists scattered across Arizona who pour their hearts and souls into their work, and that shows in the finished product,” said Burke. “With ‘ArtBeat Nation,’ we have the unique opportunity to highlight these artists’ achievements and celebrate their work. This award reinforces how important it is to tell these stories and give these artists a voice.”

The Silver Telly Council also honored a special edition of Arizona PBS’ nightly public affairs program, “Arizona Horizon,” with a Bronze Telly for a sit-down interview between award-winning host Ted Simons and former President Jimmy Carter. During the interview, Carter recounted pivotal and challenging moments of his life, from his humble beginnings in a small town in rural Georgia, to his whirlwind presidential campaign and subsequent turn as the 39th U.S. president, to his current role as an impassioned activist for human rights around the world.

“President Carter was sharp, articulate and engaged throughout the interview,” said Simons. “His memory and candor regarding personal and political events made for great conversation.”

In the interview, Carter candidly recalled how his upbringing and experience in the U.S. Navy helped shape his political beliefs and drove him to strive for the White House in the mid-seventies. He said that his four years in office were the most stressful, yet consequential years of his life.

The Silver Telly Council also took notice of an “ArtBeat Nation” segment featuring the story of Alexi Devilliers, a local man who creates sculptures out of tin cans. However, these aren’t just any tin cans. Devilliers prepares meals each week for elderly homeless veterans in Phoenix and uses the leftover cans as the foundation for his sculptures. He then sells his sculptures, using the proceeds to buy more food for the homeless. This segment, also produced by Jen Burke, was honored with a Bronze Telly award for an outstanding portrayal of social responsibility.

Another Bronze Telly award was presented to Arizona PBS for a commemorative special honoring the extraordinary career of acclaimed journalist Charlie Rose, who recently received the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. The segment, produced by Cronkite professors Jim Jacoby and Melanie Alvarez, highlights the many triumphs of Rose’s exceptional career and celebrates his status as a legendary fixture in American journalism.

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