The arts festival will continue every Friday night into December and, according to press notes, "will contain full-length performances, behind-the-scenes interviews, profiles of artists and performers, and mini-documentaries about the art scenes in Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Chicago, the Blue Ridge Mountains and other regions. In addition, PBS member stations will have the opportunity to enhance their own local broadcasts with additional arts content from their community."
The initial programs featured in the festival include:
"PBS Arts from Chicago: American Masters 'Bill T. Jones: A Good Man'" will follow the Tony Award-winning choreographer on his creative journey with Fondly Do We Hope... Fervently Do We Pray, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial.
"PBS Arts from Minnesota: Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore" features a new production of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic from the Guthrie Theater, directed by the theatre’s artistic director, Joe Dowling.
"PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Give Me the Banjo" will be narrated by actor/comedian Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, and explores the roots of American music—the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, blues, old-time, folk, bluegrass and country. "PBS Arts from Los Angeles: Great Performances 'Il Postino from LA Opera'" will feature tenor Plácido Domingo at the LA Opera in this production of Il Postino, by composer Daniel Catán, based on the Oscar-winning Italian film.
"PBS Arts from San Francisco: Great Performances 'The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet'" will show the classic fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen in San Francisco Ballet’s production of John Neumeier’s ballet. The Little Mermaid also has an original score by Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach.
"PBS Arts from Miami: Great Performances 'Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp'" will show Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet in a trio of signature works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp. The program will include the company’s performances of Balanchine’s “Square Dance” and “Western Symphony” and Tharp’s “The Golden Section.”
"PBS Arts from Galveston: Tommy Tune – Steps in Time" will team nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune with the Manhattan Rhythm Kings for a singing-dancing review of his 50-year career in Hollywood and on Broadway.
"PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock" is a performance documentary that traces the mark that women musicians have made on America’s soundtrack. Inspired by the “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, “Women Who Rock” reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll, while exploring how those dynamics between the sexes have changed with time.
The ninth program, celebrity hosts and specific airdates will be announced at a later date.