Above: Jackie Venson’s performance in Studio 6A for Blackademics Season 5. Photo: Sam Butler for KLRU.
While many shows don’t last a season, Blackademics Television has already defied the odds by completing the taping of its fifth. But its producer, staff and presenters are ready for more.
“It has been a thrill to watch Blackademics Television grow,” said Dr. Kevin Michael Foster, executive director of ICUSP, which co-produces the show with KLRU-TV, Austin PBS. “We started as a small experiment — four presenters on one night, and from there it just took off."
BTV is recorded on the historic Austin City Limits stage in the KLRU studios. The stage has seen the likes of B.B. King, Ray Charles, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers, Robert Cray, Charlie Pride, and many more. Strengthened by the support of KLRU and the iconic venue, Blackademics TV has grown steadily each year.
The annual recording sessions for BTV involve Black Studies scholars, artists and activists from across the country sharing their ideas with a live studio audience. Nearly 50 talks are available to watch online, with more than a dozen additional talks set to become available in fall 2017.
This year, 13 public television affiliates across the country added Blackademics Television to their programming. In addition to Austin, current markets include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Portland, El Paso and more.
Stay tuned for updates on Season 5!