MERRILLVILLE — On June 7, Lakeshore Public Media was honored by two groups for its local programming and community involvement, one by a regional partner and the other by a statewide organization.

Last Friday night, South Shore Arts recognized Lakeshore Public Media as Arts Partner of the Year.

“Every year at our Beaux Arts Ball, we honor individuals or companies or organizations that have provided extraordinary support to the arts in one way or another,” said John Cain, the executive director of South Shore Arts. “This year, we are honoring Lakeshore Public Media for its many years of regional arts promotion on television and radio through ‘Eye on the Arts.’”

“Eye on the Arts” is a television series designed to showcase the high level of artistic talent in NW Indiana.  Lakeshore PBS produces video segments that take viewers out of the studio to a variety of local artists and artistic organizations, demonstrating how art inspires and improves the quality of life for the local community. “Eye on the Arts” is also a weekly segment on Lakeshore Public Radio with local members of the artistic community having a conversation about their work.

“I hope that through our efforts we cause people in Northwest Indiana and Greater Chicagoland to see the greatness and promise of our community through local artistic expression,” Muhammad said. “I am so proud of the Lakeshore team and my community for this recognition. It takes us all to achieve greatness.”

According to a Lakeshore press release, the TV show producers aspire to feature art and artists that are representative of the diverse NW Indiana region. Producer Tony Santucci and his team works with the Regional Arts Council, South Shore Arts and others to find these stories.

“We find art in so many different places and the artists are so passionate about what they do,” Santucci shared. “That is what makes this show so exciting to produce.”

Matt Franklin, the show’s executive producer and Vice President of TV Operations for Lakeshore Public Media, sees the arts as a core to the organization’s mission.

“For over 15 years, our goal has been to advance regional arts through exposure to our large and diverse TV audience, a reach that covers over 320,000 Indiana households and beyond,” Franklin said. “The stories are out there, and we enjoy sharing them with people who often feel that the arts are inaccessible.”

Also this week, the Indiana Broadcasters Association announced that Lakeshore PBS was a finalist in Region 1 for a Cardinal Community Service Award. The IBA recognizes TV and radio stations for the impactful work done in their local communities. Lakeshore PBS was acknowledged for producing a series of short videos promoting women in STEM careers, providing role models for young women to see themselves in these challenging careers.

The IBA Cardinal Community Service Award will be given to Lakeshore PBS on Aug. 14 in Fort Wayne. This marks the third year in a row that Lakeshore PBS has been recognized with this award. In 2018, Lakeshore PBS partnered with the Legacy Foundation to produce a televised program and supporting online elements for On the Table, an engagement effort that brought together groups of community members to have a meal and conversation.

In 2017, Lakeshore PBS partnered with the city of Gary and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana to host its first town hall event titled Race, Justice, Community and Policing. The public forum explored the role of race in policing efforts across the diverse Northwest Indiana communities. Lakeshore PBS would go on to win the statewide Spectrum Award for Local Community Involvement and was also runner-up for Station of the Year in Market 2 (outside Indianapolis), with the honors going to WPTA in Fort Wayne.

“To be recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters for our work is a great honor, and validates our commitment and our efforts to serve our audience – both on-air and out in the community,” Muhammad said.

“The Indiana Broadcasters Association is very pleased to recognize Lakeshore PBS’s community outreach efforts in the community with a Cardinal Award” said IBA Executive Director Dave Arland. “Lakeshore Public Media continues to be an important voice for northwest Indiana.”

“This could never happen without the dedicated support of our community.” Muhammad said, reflecting that Lakeshore’s mission is to provide a platform for analyzing and understanding issues relevant to the region while recognizing the diversity of our audience. “Going all places and representing all faces. That’s Lakeshore PBS.”

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