WNET & New York-Area Libraries Host Screenings of “American Masters Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”


The new partnership provides free community access to the film and to educational resources to further the understanding of Dr. Angelou’s life, influences and contributions to American literature and arts

In partnership with the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Nassau Library systems, WNET has announced that up to 20 area libraries throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and Nassau, will host screenings of the film American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.

As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) made a lasting contribution to American culture.  In Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, the first feature documentary about her life, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s creative and personal journey, shedding light on her life through never-before-seen footage and interviews, rare archival photographs and videos.  The film aired on PBS stations, including THIRTEEN in February.

Efforts to further share the film with the community launched last month with a screening and panel discussion at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which featured and appearance by President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The additional free library events will include a screening of the entire documentary film. The events are expected to include community conversations, Q&A sessions, educational resources or other activities to engage participants. For a full list of participating libraries visit: thirteen.org/community-relations/2017/02/24/community-american-masters-maya-angelou-still-rise/.

“While we’ve partnered with individual libraries in the past, this larger-scale effort will help bring this important content closer to our communities,” said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET. “The combination of high-quality, THIRTEEN-produced PBS content and the enthusiasm of our local libraries is sure to add up to memorable, thought provoking events.”

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise premiered to critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Audience Award at AFI Docs and was featured at notable film festivals worldwide, including Full Frame, Sheffield, IDFA and Seattle, winning 17 awards on three continents, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

American Masters launched a year-long online campaign, #InspiringWomanPBS, based on themes central to Dr. Angelou’s life: artistic expression, academic success, active community engagement and acceptance of difference. People can share stories of inspirational women in their own lives via text, images or videos on the American Masters website (http://pbs.org/americanmasters) or via Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #InspiringWomanPBS.

A video compilation series of the best submissions will be featured on PBS’ Instagram Stories and Snapchat channels throughout the year. Additionally, previously unreleased videos from Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive will be released as part of the campaign, as well as new episodes of the American Masters Podcast.

American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise is a co-production of The People’s Poet Media Group, LLC, THIRTEEN’s American Masters for WNET, and ITVS in association with Artemis Rising.

Corporate support for Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise is provided by American Family Insurance. Additional funding for this program is provided in part by IDP Foundation, Ford Foundation/Just Films, National Endowment for the Arts, National Black Programming Consortium, Anne Ulnick, Michael Metelits, and Loida and Leslie Lewis.

Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.

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