VIDEO: Faces of WNET

April 26th, 2010

by Rebecca Fasanello
Sr. Exec. Asst., Content / Producer

Do you remember what songs were sung to you when you were little? Where did those songs come from? Your grandfather the ice delivery-man? Your great-aunt Sadie? A distant in-law who was a bit of an outlaw? Who are the people in your family? How are you like them? How are you different?

Inspired by the four-part PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., that aired nationally this past February and March, we set out to listen to the stories of our colleagues here at WNET. Paralleling one of the queries of the Faces of America series: What made America? – our mission was to discover what kind of people make up WNET.

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I’d always felt that one of the perks of working at WNET is the range of interesting co-workers with which I interact every day; even without chatting around the water cooler, you can sense there’s something about our colleagues that’s out-of-the-ordinary. Indeed, every member of the human family is inherently interesting – and sure, everyone has a story — but what touched my heart was how the people in these short pieces appreciated and expressed their heritage.

Armed with a loose set of five or six questions and a full day of shooting with excellent shooter/finishing editor Kevin Alexander, I interviewed 29 candidates from our staff and volunteer pool – a true cross-section of the workplace here at WNET. Our goal: To discover the stories of the “non-celebrity”: These people with the warm smiles, intriguing looks and names — whether in production, membership services, law, or grant writing – they bring their heritage to our workplace. The four pieces you can see here aired on WNET as bookends to the nationally-aired series. We captured plenty of other fascinating stories that did not make air due, only, to time and composition constraints. We intend to add more stories to this site as we have time to edit.

We invite you to watch, and hope that these short pieces will spark your curiosity about your own family and heritage. And stay tuned for more stories.