For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Della Cassia
PBS’ Tavis Smiley to Visit Detroit School of Arts, Talk to Students & Newsmakers
March 23, March 24 and March 25, 2015
Community Arts Auditorium, Wayne State University
DETROIT (March 19, 2015) – Tavis Smiley, the host of the late-night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS will spend three packed days in Detroit next week talking to newsmakers about the city’s resurgence, challenges, and opportunities, visiting a Detroit school to meet with students and administrators, and holding an education roundtable and a town hall. Confirmed interviewees as of the date of this press release include: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; Judge Steven Rhodes in his first national interview; David Hecker, Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan; Judge Damon Keith; Wayne State University President, Dr. Roy Wilson; Skillman Foundation President/CEO Tonya Allen; Detroit Free Press Editorial Page Editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephen Henderson, and many others.
Smiley will tape five episodes of his award-winning program in front of a live audience at Wayne State University’s Midtown Detroit campus on March 23, 24 and 25. Detroit Public Television (DPTV) will provide the crew and state-of-the-art facilities to help produce the shows in conjunction with Wayne State University.
The focus of the week will include examining the city’s Downtown resurgence, the challenges facing long-time residents of the city, the arts community, and education. The week will conclude with a Detroit Town Hall meeting focused on “How to Fix Detroit.”
On Monday, March 23, at 2 p.m., Smiley will meet with Detroit Public School students at the Detroit School of Arts (DSA), 123 Selden St., in midtown Detroit. Students from DSA and DPS’ Communication and Media Arts High School (CMA) will have opportunities to ask questions and Smiley will enjoy a performance by the DSA’s Vision male vocal ensemble.
Smiley is a broadcaster, author, publisher, advocate and philanthropist whose thoughtful conversations with world figures and his work to inspire the next generation of leaders have made him a celebrated journalist and passionate advocate for youth empowerment. His show has won numerous awards and is seen daily on PBS stations throughout the country as well as on the WORLD Channel. Funding for the 5-night series is provided by Ford Foundation and The Skillman Foundation.
“The world is looking at all that has been accomplished over the last two years in Detroit. Yet, there are still huge challenges ahead of us,” said Rich Homberg, President and CEO of Detroit Public Television. “Having Tavis come to Detroit to help translate our story for the entire country is an important opportunity for Detroit Public Television. We’re truly excited about this partnership.”
“I love Detroit and welcome an opportunity to bring my show to Wayne State University,” said Smiley. “Detroit has a bright future and we intend to give viewers across the country an in-depth look at the city’s rich cultural heritage, thriving art scene and some of the forward-thinking initiatives taking root.”
Tavis Smiley is currently the host of the late-night television talk show “Tavis Smiley” on PBS, as well as “The Tavis Smiley Show” from Public Radio International (PRI). He has authored or co-authored 18 books, including What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America and The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto, both of which were New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, My Journey with Maya, will be published in April; the book beautifully recounts how Smiley stumbled into a relationship with Maya Angelou that shaped his future and affected the man he became. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Tavis Smiley Foundation, which recently announced a $3 million, four-year campaign called “ENDING POVERTY: America’s Silent Spaces” to alleviate endemic poverty in America. In 2009 TIME magazine named Smiley to its list of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame April 2014.
If you are interested in being a part of the live audience, please visit www.dptv.org/tavissmiley.
About Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit's classical and jazz radio station, in collaboration with the license-holder, the Detroit Public Schools. The radio station is located in the Detroit School of Arts. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic, and cultural communities.