Local Focus Draws Local Investment

Two new original TV series that launched in the fall of 2014 from WKAR are a hit with viewers and with area businesses and organizations that value local investment.


“Forte,” with its heartwarming stories of Michigan high school musicians in elite competition, debuted in October.


“Curious Crew,” which takes a hands-on approach to scientific exploration with a cast of inquisitive kids guided by award-winning educator Rob Stephenson, premiered in November.


Neither series would be possible without significant local support. Fortunately, mid-Michigan business and education communities have shown that they see value in these new programs that serve to build up and show off our local community.


And local program production across the board recently got a boost when MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) committed $150,000 over three years to WKAR during the December TV special, #GivingTuesday Showcase.


“The credit union strongly believes in supporting our community and giving back to initiatives that enhance people’s access to arts, culture, education – programs they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said April Clobes, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at MSUFCU. WKAR’s original program production effort “fits perfectly” with that mission, she says.


The six debut episodes of “Forte” were produced with support from the Worthington Family Foundation and MSU Federal Credit Union.


This first season of “Curious Crew” has drawn financial support from Michigan STEM Partnership, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, TechSmith, Fifth Third Bank, The John E. Fetzer Institute Fund of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Capital Area District Libraries, LAFCU, Granger, My Blend - Michigan Virtual University and others.


Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing offered key production support as the site for weeks of on-location production.


“The show is awesome,” says Erik Larson, Executive Director of Impression 5 Science Center, about “Curious Crew.” “The kids did a great job and Rob is terrific. It also makes the Science Center look great.”


So far, support for “Curious Crew” and “Forte” tops $93,000.


“It’s support from partners like these that makes it possible for WKAR to continue creating original programming that reflects the vibrant, varied community where we all work, play and grow,” said Cathy Zell, WKAR Senior Director of Development.

Curious Crew on set

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