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PBS to offer WOUB documentary nationally

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 5, 2005) -- WOUB's "Passion Works: A Story of Flying" has been selected for national distribution by the Public Broadcasting Service's PBS Plus. Produced and directed by Blis Hanousek DeVault and edited by Eric Anderson, the program reveals how an active community arts program can inspire, transform and even transport people to reach new passions and new places, regardless of the person's history, social standing, physical limitations or so-called disabilities. The documentary, executive produced by Mark Brewer, will be distributed in February 2006 for PBS stations nationwide.

Watch a clip from 'Passion Works: A Story of Flying'Producer Devault says, "It will be great to get this story to communities everywhere. I look forward to helping the people at Passion Works spread their message and to showing the country what people with disabilities can do with their lives. There are many dedicated individuals at Passion Works and it's exciting to know they will get the recognition they deserve."

The Passion Works studio is a creative vehicle for unique artists in southeastern Ohio. The art studio helps adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MRDD) overcome challenges that are unique to Passion Works' artists. Artists design jewelry, paint pictures and are involved in other artistic endeavors. In Athens County, Ohio, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, members of the MRDD community are often forced to compete for a limited number of entry-level jobs -- jobs that the mainstream population is also seeking. Featured in the story are the challenges and limitations faced by the artists and their successes at facing and overcoming them.

The documentary includes interviews with studio artists as they discuss their place in the artistic process, both individually and collaboratively. There are interviews with local and regional community members along with a discussion of how the studio serves as a community resource. Studio Artistic Director Patty Mitchell began Passion Works in 1996 with a modest grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

In "Passion Works: A Story of Flying" the mayor of Athens, Ric Abel, dedicates the Passion Works flower as the official flower of Athens and the governor of Ohio, Bob Taft, discusses the impact of Passion Works' studio art upon him and the state's First Lady Hope Taft.

Carolyn Bailey Lewis, director and general manager of WOUB, says, "I am pleased with the collaboration we have with Passion Works to tell the story of the amazing people who create such incredible works of art. It is gratifying that WOUB's production and Passion Works will be showcased nationally. This program choice by PBS' national program service is an excellent example of the creative and talented staff at Ohio University's public television station."

The documentary will be broadcast locally on WOUB-TV in April 2006. For information about WOUB's programming, visit www.woub.org.

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Media Contacts: Documentary Producer Blis Hanousek Devault, (740) 593-4658, or WOUB Public Information Coordinator Kelly Martin, (740) 593-4944 or kelly_martin@woub.pbs.org

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