KQED’s Original Mini-Doc to be Seen Nationally on PBS

The Art of Doing it Yourself to be part of the PBS Arts Festival,

Airing December 16

 San Francisco has one of the most eclectic arts scenes of any city in America. Recognizing the wide diversity of artistic achievement in the Bay Area, PBS will provide a national showcase for KQED’s original mini-doc, The Art of Doing it Yourself. Airing as part of the PBS Arts Festival, The Art of Doing it Yourself will be included in the Festival’s San Francisco night, December 16, 2011, and will follow the evening’s principal attraction, San Francisco Ballet’s production of The Little Mermaid. Airtimes on KQED 9 are as follows: The Little Mermaid at 9pm, followed by the 13-minute documentary at approximately 11:09pm. The mini-doc will also be available online at kqed.org.

 The Art of Doing It Yourself showcases San Francisco’s arts community at its best. The story centers on “Chicken” John Rinaldi, the artist/proprietor of a struggling artist’s warehouse/performance space located inSan Francisco. Chez Poulet is in danger of being shuttered due to a lack of funds. An array of visual, performance, and circus artists call the space home and Chicken John creates an only-in-San-Francisco benefit event to save the space.

 The mini-doc allows the viewer to take a peek inside the warehouse and reveals the wide variety and styles of arts residing within but also, what it means to be an artist and the eternal push and pull between art and commerce. The space is designed for artists to have the freedom to make art because they feel like it, not because they need to commodify it and not because it needs to put dinner on the table or pay the rent.  And yet, the reality lies with an unpaid mortgage and the hope that a benefit will allow Chez Poulet a little longer lease on life.

 Chicken John, a self-proclaimed ‘showman’ becomes, for the artists who collaborate with him and donate their time and talents to save Chez Poulet, a champion. One for the ridiculous and the bizarre, and a champion for the belief that one person can do anything.

 “It is impossible to showcase all of Bay Area arts in 13 minutes,” stated Executive ProducerLouise Lo.  “Instead, we decided to highlight a less-covered but thriving part of the arts community—do-it-yourself artists who take matters in their own hands and create art to express themselves rather than focus on ‘making it’ within the arts establishment.”

 Featured in the mini-doc are:

“Chicken” John Rinaldi – Showman, Proprietor; Ani Thompkins  – Gap employee by day, visual artist by night; Miriam Telles – Avant Circus Cabaret Aerialist ; Charles Gadeken – Visual Artist, Founder of The Box Shop  collective in Hunter’s Point

 Screeners available upon request


As part of its commitment to increase every American’s access to – and participation in – the arts, PBS kicks off the multi-platform PBS Arts Fall Festival October 14th.  Anchored by broadcasts every Friday night into December and a range of related online content, the Fall Festival features artists and performances from nine communities across the country with celebrity hosts from each locale.  Comprising full-length performances, behind-the-scenes interviews, and artist and performer profiles, the PBS Arts Fall Festival is complemented by locally produced mini-documentaries that highlight related topics and cultural aspects of the country’s top arts cities.  

 About KQED

KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation’s most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin.  KQED’s digital television channels include 9HD, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids, and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast.  KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local newscasts daily.  KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service, KQEDnews.org, as well as offers several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at kqed.org. KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents, and the general public through workshops, community screenings, and multimedia resources.


Contact: Scott Walton 415.553.2145/swalton@kqed.org

KQED’s Original Mini-Doc to be Seen Nationally on PBS 29 November,2011

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