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Posted on Saturday, October 24th, 2015 in KTWU Productions.

LIVE ON-AIR & LIVE ONLINE All to Benefit Local Public Television, KTWU!


The annual KTWU LIGHTS CAMERA AUCTION 11 returns for 2015 with lots of items, tons of fun and more bargains than ever before.

The entire auction will be televised on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1, on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 7pm – 11pm; SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 4pm – 11pm; and SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 4pm – 10pm.

Viewers will want to tune it to catch their favorite categories: Friday night is Sports Night, Saturday will be many Specials, and Sunday will be the Major Donation Items. Also on Sunday, November 8, and new this year, a time set aside to showcase the wonderful artwork pieces donated, from 5 to 6 pm.

But potential buyers don’t have to wait for the TV show. Everyone can bid online, anytime at the KTWU website at

Register now to bid online. In the computer’s internet browser, type and click on the red REGISTER button. Follow the simple instructions and begin bidding.

KTWU is supported by many businesses and organizations in our community. This year, LIGHTS CAMERA AUCTION 11 is thrilled to be able to offer these major donation items worth $1000 or more:

DeBacker’s Gift Certificates (2),

Sk8away Skating Event,

Gage Bowl Bowl Party,

50th KTWU Anniversary Commemorative Quilt,

Ace Computers, Complete Custom Built Computer,

Ladies Pink Topaz Ring,

Hand Crafted Kansas Walnut Trestle Table,

WIBW TV Advertising Package,

Topeka Ramada Convention Center Package ,

”Maple Hill” Art by Shirley Akers,

Prairie Band Casino Getaway,

“The Banner Ninja” Aerographical Photography Package,

“Boy Reading” Art by Jung Kim,

Topeka Sod Farm Sod Donation,

Shawnee Country Club Golfing Experience,

“Reflections of the Past” Art by Cally Krallman,

and a Public Service TV Announcement for a Non-Profit Organization.

A large number of creative pieces of artwork have been donated to KTWU LIGHTS CAMERA AUCTION 11. Original paintings, signed prints, unique posters, glass artwork and photography will all be part of the new Art Preview segment on Sunday, November 8, from 5 to 6 pm during the live television show.

Viewers are encouraged to bid online at any time as bidding has begun and is continuing now! All of the items that will be available are online now for viewing. More may be added up until the auction broadcast on KTWU.

The KTWU LIGHTS, CAMERA, AUCTION 11 for 2015 is generously underwritten by Vision Bank, Jostens, Brewster Place, Warehouse 414, and Prairie Band Casino & Resort.

Today is the Day! HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, KTWU!

Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 in KTWU News.
Today is the Day!  HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY, KTWU!

October 21, 2015 — Fifty years ago today, KTWU signed on the air and began broadcasting as the first public educational television station in the state of Kansas.

In the beginning, in glorious black and white, KTWU could be seen in Topeka and the surrounding area, although the station did not broadcast a full day’s programming schedule. Even as color and new programming came along, it was not until 1998 that the station was able to air a complete 24-hour-a-day schedule.

KTWU is licensed to Washburn University, the call letters stand for “Topeka Washburn University”. The “K” does not stand for Kansas, as many assume, because stations west of the Mississippi River begin with “K” as mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.

Those early years were very difficult. The small staff was faced with little revenue to operate the station. Programming was gathered from a variety of resources including local, in-studio production. KTWU became an affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) upon its creation in 1970.

The station began in a small building at the broadcast tower site on Wanamaker Road. Upgrades to the facility and equipment were always a challenge. More adversity was faced after the 1966 tornado as any potential supplemental funding was redirected to the main Washburn campus for cleanup and rebuilding. KTWU operations continued, though, as crucial public viewership and financial support grew over the years.

It was not until 1994 that the station was able to move into the current modern technological facility located on the Washburn campus. This building, located centrally in Topeka and more accessible to students, ensures KTWU’s continued success and enables the outreach in the community so crucial to the station’s mission.

Now at 50 years, KTWU is broadcasting local public television in eastern Kansas and portions of Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma. Through over-the-air broadcasts and cable and satellite television distribution, KTWU reaches a potential audience of 1.6 million viewers.

KTWU offers five digital destinations for unique content: KTWU (PBS) in High Definition on Channel 11.1; KTWU/MHz Worldview on Channel 11.2; KTWU ENHANCE on Channel 11.3; KTWU.ORG, online; and KTWU MOBILE TV.

Many successes over the years have brought KTWU to this 50th anniversary. The one constant throughout has been the solid community support for these efforts. KTWU now looks ahead to the future and the amazing technological advances that are still to come, providing new and exciting ways to serve the thousands of viewers who turn to local public television every day.

Many local and national programs are available online and viewers are invited to watch and learn more by visiting KTWU at

Some of the highlights of KTWU’s 50 years are:

Oct. 21, 1965: KTWU signs on the air as the first public television station in the state of Kansas.

1968: MR. ROGERS premieres.

1969: SESAME STREET premieres.

1970: PBS television broadcasting service is launched.

1971: The station launches its first fundraising auction, with proceeds going to purchase two portable color cameras for studio and location use.

1973: KTWU is one of six public television stations nationwide to take part in a pilot project to test closed captioning for the hearing impaired.

1975: THE MCNEIL/LEHRER REPORT, known today and the PBS NEWSHOUR, premieres.

1977: KTWU installs a 10-meter-wide dish antenna that connects the station to 148 sites in the PBS system.

July 4, 1983: The station celebrates its first uninterrupted day of programming, from 6:45 a.m. to midnight. Prior to that, the station signed off for several hours in the afternoon.

1985: Construction of a tower in Iola allows KTWU to provide service to southeast Kansas.

1987: “Sunflower Journeys,” a KTWU-produced series about Kansas and its peoples, debuts.

1990: Ken Burns’ THE CIVIL WAR premieres and attracts an audience of 40 million nationwide making it the most watched PBS program ever.

1994: KTWU moves to a new building at Washburn University, where it continues to operate today.

1995: KTWU is one of the original public television stations nationwide to launch the Descriptive Video Service (DVS) to make programming accessible to the blind and the visually impaired.

2000: CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG premieres.

2002-2003: The station raises $7 million for a new broadcasting tower and transmitter to meet Federal Communications Commission requirements to switch to digital technology. The tower was completed in 2002, and KTWU began broadcasting its programming digitally in May 2003.

2005: KTWU begins broadcasting three distinct digital television channels: KTWU in High Definition on digital channel 11.1; KTWU Mhz WORLDVIEW on digital channel 11.2; KTWU ENHANCE on digital channel 11.3

Today, October 21, 2015: KTWU’s anniversary of 50 years of broadcasting.

Provides programs and services that enrich the lives of those we reach
1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS 66621


Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 in KTWU News.

Leading into the spookiest season of the year, KTWU’s THEATRE OF THE MIND presents TRILOGY OF TERROR, based on three stories from notable writers. This 10th anniversary year presentation airs on Sunday, September 27, 2015, at 7 p.m., on KTWU-HD, digital channel 11.1.

KTWU’s THEATRE OF THE MIND programs are television productions that re-create the style of a 1940′s radio play. This year, the performance is crafted to tell three frightening tales of terror: “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, and “The Cats of Ulthar” by H.P. Lovecraft. Playwright Philip Grecian adapted this performance based upon the three classic stories.

As has been the custom with these dramas, the actors play multiple roles and employ vintage microphones to simulate radio’s Golden Age with live physical sound effects. They portray period radio performers, and so the haunted presence of Poe’s House of Usher, the hoofbeats of the Headless Horseman and the horrific fantasy with felines are created through “theatre of the mind” in the imaginations of the listening audience.

The Air Command Radio Company group of actors putting their talents into this production include:

For “The Fall of the House of Usher”
Announcer….Philip Grecian
Digby Graves.…David Tangeman
John Decker….Jay Hurst
Groom….Dustin Dean
Wilson….Russ Hutchison
Roderick Usher….Shawn Trimble
Madeline Usher….Kirsten Goodman
Doctor….Skip Ellis

For “The Cats of Ulthar”
First Cimmerian Storyteller….Jay Hurst
Second Cimmerian Storyteller….Travis Lamb
Julia…Cortni Hurst
Louis…Les Smith
Alice….Erin H. Fox
Oliver….Dustin Dean
Madam Dubrovna…Kirsten Goodman
Menes…Elayna Bonnewell
Edward…David Tangeman
Judson….Skip Ellis

For “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
Peter Vanderdonk…Shawn Trimble
Nicholas Vedder….Skip Ellis
Ichabod Crane…Les Smith
Katrina Van Tassel…Erin H. Fox
Brom Bones…Russ Hutchison
Women at the dance…Cortni Hurst, Kirsten Goodman, Elayna Bonnewell
Baltus Van Tassel…Travis Lamb
Doffue Martling…Philip Grecian
Gunpowder…Travis Lamb
The Horseman’s Laugh…Shawn Trimble

Written and Directed by Philip Grecian

Music Director….Tiffany Bonnewell
Stage Manager/Video Booth….Carly Craig
Stage Manager/Audio Booth.…John Hanna

Audio Operator….Melissa Smith

Sound Effects Artists….Arlyn Brunken (Captain), Stacey Smith, D’Sean Hendricks, Les Smith
Additional Sound Effects Construction…Delane Brunken, Skip Ellis

Remastered High Definition 25th Anniversary Presentation of THE CIVIL WAR by Ken Burns

Posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2015 in PBS News.
Remastered High Definition 25th Anniversary Presentation of THE CIVIL WAR by Ken Burns

THE CIVIL WAR, the award-winning film produced and directed by Ken Burns, will be rebroadcast over five consecutive nights in September 2015. The broadcast, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the series’ initial broadcast in September 1990, will present for the first time a newly restored high-definition version. This is also the first time the film will be seen with the same fidelity and framing as the negative that Burns and his co-cinematographers Allen Moore and Buddy Squires shot more than 25 years ago. The broadcast premieres Monday, September 7, 8 PM, on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.



Posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2015 in PBS News.

Now experience the inspiring rebirth of an African wilderness through the eyes of Emmy Award-winning wildlife cameraman Bob Poole. Darting lions, wrestling crocs, facing down angry elephants – it’s all part of a day’s work as he joins the battle to re-wild a legendary national park. GORONGOSA PARK: REBIRTH OF PARADISE premieres on Tuesday, September 22, 7 PM, on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.

Mannheim Steamroller celebrates 30 years in KTWU Special

Posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2015 in KTWU News.
Mannheim Steamroller celebrates 30 years in KTWU Special

Mannheim Steamroller 30/40 celebrates 30 years of the debut of Mannheim Steamroller’s ground breaking Christmas sound and marks the 40th anniversary of the group’s first release from the iconic Fresh Aire series. Celebrate the holidays against the backdrop of Grammy award winning composer Chip Davis’ classic Christmas and ground breaking Fresh Aire series sounds. Longtime fans and those experiencing Mannheim Steamroller for the first time will savor songs like Deck the Halls, Fresh Aire, Come Home to the Sea, and more. During the program KTWU viewers will have a special offer for tickets to attend the Mannheim Steamroller concert this fall in Topeka in person.  MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER 30/40 airs on Friday, August 14, 9 PM, on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.


Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2015 in KTWU News.

KTWU is proud to broadcast a special concert of the Kansas State University Orchestra with guest electric violinist Doug Cameron on Friday, August 7, 2015 on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.

David Cameron has performed the electric violin all over the world. Last September he took his program to Kansas State University and performed this electrifying concert with the Kansas State University Orchestra under the direction of Dr. David Littrell.

This was Cameron’s second visit to Kansas State. “Doug’s style is so captivating and unique that I wanted to have him back,” said Dr. Littrell. “The students really responded to his contemporary, high energy style of performing. We played everything from Coldplay to Charlie Daniels.”

As a recording artist and composer, Cameron has ten CDs to his credit, which feature many jazz luminaries including David Benoit, Lee Ritenour, Russ Freeman from The Rippingtons, and others. He has been a favorite on jazz radio. This program features all of Cameron’s own symphonic arrangements in which the symphony performs with a full rhythm section. The concert is electrifying.

“I’m so excited to have this program broadcast on KTWU educational television,” said Cameron.
“What Dr. Littrell has going here at Kansas State is truly unique. He has mentored many young musicians from his multiple orchestras, and they are all good kids!”

The concert also features Dr. Littrell’s Gold and Silver Orchestras comprising elementary through high school musicians. You will see over 130 musicians on stage at times during this performance.

Cameron added, “As an educator myself, I believe that music can bring kinder, gentler people to the world, and Dr. Littrell is doing that every day here in Kansas. I think people will be surprised at the talent on display with this orchestra. They rocked the joint!”

THE BOMB Explores Most Destructive Weapon

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2015 in PBS News.
THE BOMB Explores Most Destructive Weapon

Explore the most destructive invention in human history, the nuclear bomb, how it changed the world and how it continues to loom large in our lives. THE BOMB premieres on Tuesday, July 28, 7 PM on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1

HARPER LEE To Kill A Mockingbird Author’s Second Book Discovered

Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2015 in PBS News.
HARPER LEE To Kill A Mockingbird Author’s Second Book Discovered

One of the most influential American novels of the 20th century and biggest bestsellers of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) was believed to be the first and only novel by Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926), until now. To be published on July 14, 2015, will be Lee’s earliest known work, Go Set a Watchman, featuring characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which was published 55 years ago.

In honor of this landmark literary event, American Masters presents a newly updated version of Emmy®-winning filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy’s 2012 documentary Harper Lee: Hey, Boo, broadcast as Harper Lee: American Masters on Friday, July 10, 9 pm on KTWU/PBS on Digital Channel 11.1. Murphy was able to read an advance copy of the new novel before updating the film and will live tweet (#HarperLeePBS) during the broadcast.

Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill a Mockingbird and believed to be lost or destroyed. Its remarkable discovery allows readers of Lee’s beloved classic the chance to see Atticus and Scout again. How and why this happened is a mystery we unravel in the new version of the documentary,” said Murphy.

Lee once said she wanted to be South Alabama’s Jane Austen, but became an enigma when she stopped speaking to press in 1964 after her whirlwind success. Harper Lee: American Masters offers an unprecedented look at Lee’s life, illuminates the phenomenon behind To Kill a Mockingbird and the Oscar®-winning 1962 film adaptation, and previews Go Set a Watchman, which Lee wrote in 1957. The documentary features interviews with Lee’s friends and family – including her centenarian sister Alice (now deceased) – who share intimate recollections, anecdotes and biographical details for the first time: Lee’s rise from small-town Alabama girl to famous author, her tumultuous friendship with Truman Capote, and the origin of her most memorable characters: Atticus Finch, his daughter Scout, her friend Dill, and Boo Radley.

The film also explores the context and history of the novel’s Deep South setting and the social changes it inspired after publication and through the feature film starring Gregory Peck. Oprah Winfrey, Rosanne Cash, Tom Brokaw, Pulitzer Prize-winners Rick Bragg, Anna Quindlen, Richard Russo, Jon Meacham and Diane McWhorter, James Patterson, Wally Lamb, Scott Turow, civil rights leader Andrew Young, and others reflect on the novel’s power, influence, popularity, and the ways it has shaped their lives.


POLDARK Continues with Swashbuckling Action!

Posted on Sunday, June 7th, 2015 in PBS News.
POLDARK Continues with Swashbuckling Action!

Captain Ross Poldark rides again in a swashbuckling new adaptation of the hit 1970s series. Aidan Turner stars as a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolution; Eleanor Tomlinson plays the miner’s daughter taken in by the captain. POLDARK airs on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC,  Sundays, 8 PM, on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.