PBS Digital Studios Announces New Collaboration with YouTube Star and Best-Selling Author John Green
New Weekly YouTube Series, THE ART ASSIGNMENT, Produced in Collaboration with John Green and Sarah Urist Green, to Launch in Early 2014
September 24, 2013 – PBS today announced a collaboration with web video pioneer John Green, co-founder of the massively successful Vlogbrothers and Crash Course channels on YouTube and author of New York Times #1 best-seller The Fault in Our Stars, and wife Sarah Urist Green, an art curator most recently with the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to produce a new weekly series for PBS Digital Studios called THE ART ASSIGNMENT. The series is expected to launch as part of the PBS Digital Studios YouTube network in early 2014.
While most art-related video on the web focuses on art of the past and the idea of creative genius, THE ART ASSIGNMENT will celebrate risk-taking in the creative process and the act of making. The series will highlight emerging and established artists working across the United States, with each artist creating an assignment that will serve as an open call for responses. Viewers create their own responses through photos or video to be posted to YouTube, PBS.org, and other social media platforms with the aim of sparking conversation and comments about the original assignment video as well as the responses.
“We are delighted to be working with PBS on THE ART ASSIGNMENT, and to be joining the PBS Digital Studios network,” said John Green. “We believe the Web has enormous power to bring art to a new and diverse audience,” added Sarah Urist Green “The series will showcase contemporary art as accessible and social, rather than distant or intimidating.”
“THE ART ASSIGNMENT will be a vibrant addition to the PBS Digital Studios network; it is uniquely aligned with PBS’ mission to bring the arts to the widest possible audience,” said Matt Graham, Senior Director of PBS Digital Studios. “Drawing on John Green’s innovative approach to creating engaging, accessible, and fun educational content and Sarah Urist Green’s unique combination of curatorial expertise and social media connectedness, the series will introduce viewers to today’s most innovative artistic minds.”
The PBS Digital Studios network on YouTube includes more than 20 Web-original series designed to engage, enlighten and entertain online audiences. Combining a YouTube sensibility with a PBS commitment to quality, the PBS Digital Studios network has more than 500,000 subscribers and has generated more than 40 million views. Series include the Webby Award-winning PBS Idea Channel, as well as popular series such as PBS Off Book, It’s Okay to be Smart, Blank on Blank and more.
About Sarah Urist Green and John Green
The production team is led by creator, curator, and host Sarah Urist Green, former curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While at the IMA, she developed commissioned works by Spencer Finch (2013), William Lamson (2011), Kate Gilmore (2011), and Ball-Nogues Studio (2010), as well as installations for The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres by Atelier Van Lieshout, Kim Beck, Jeppe Hein, Tea Mäkipää, and the Swedish architecture firm visiondivision. In addition, Green curated the exhibitions Graphite (2012), Andy Warhol Enterprises (2010), and Joshua Mosley: American International (2010), among others. She is the editor and co-author of Andy Warhol Enterprises (Hatje Cantz, 2010) and the digital catalogue Graphite (2013). She holds a master of arts in modern art history from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts from Northwestern University.
John Green, executive producer and regular guest on THE ART ASSIGNMENT, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of four novels, including The Fault in Our Stars (TIME’s Best Fiction Book of 2012). With his brother Hank, John created the vlogbrothers YouTube channel, which now has more than 1 million subscribers and more than 300 million video views. In 2012, John and Hank launched the educational YouTube channel CrashCourse. With more than 800,000 subscribers, 41 million views, and partnerships with other educational initiatives including Khan Academy, Crash Course is one of the most successful educational video projects online.
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120 million people through television and nearly 29 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
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Jennifer R. Byrne, PBS, email@example.com, 703-739-5487