What We're About
Arts and culture lie at the core of public media’s mission. Art before it’s famous, art in the making and art that deserves to be seen. That is what a newly formed triad – Rocky Mountain PBS, KUNC in Northern Colorado and KUVO/KVJZ in Denver and Vail – is dedicated to keeping the arts alive in Colorado. Together, we are airing more local and national arts programming than any other media organization in the state!
As Colorado’s first and only multi-media arts & culture web hub featuring television, radio and web-exclusive content, we showcase a variety of local artists as well as artists from coast to coast, thanks to a unique exchange with over thirty major market PBS stations. We pride ourselves on stories that are geographically diverse and artistically broad as possible.
Our multimedia partnerships allow us to produce fresh and localized radio reports and create original digital content for the web. Our growing catalogue of stories includes poets, performers, photographers, architects, metalworkers, sculptors and visual artists. We showcase artists making signature works of significance, all contributing to a diverse American experience.
Who We Are
A native of Stamford, VT, I call(ed) the Berkshires of western Massachusetts my home. The Berkshires are a culturally rich area -- I’m talking pass the butter and heavy cream -- rich.
Degrees in English and Theatre from Manhattanville College (thanks mom) have been useful when I need to look good on paper. Toss in life-long dance lessons and two failed attempts at guitar mastery (sorry, dad) and you’ve got the broad brush strokes of how I landed here in Colorado.
I am the arts and culture maven for KUNC, Rocky Mountain PBS and KUVO, which means I have a business card that folds out. The nuts and bolts of the gig go like this: host the weekly arts magazine television show, Arts Districton Rocky Mountain PBS. Report on all things arts and culture for NPR member stations KUNC and KUVO.
Colorado’s arts and cultural scene is robust and diverse, at least that’s what Google tells me, and I suspect that’s the reason the bosses at all three organizations saw fit to craft this Transmedia position.
Before I packed up my stuff, drugged my cat, and said “Westward, ho!” I was the host, writer, and a producer of Connecting Point, WGBY-Springfield’s nightly magazine program. While there, I busted out my backpack and video equipment to report on some serious stuff, the impact of the 2010 earthquake on a small village in Haiti, and some seriously fun stuff, the 75th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail.
Nitty gritty: More than a decade of journalism experience, first for something called a daily newspaper and then on the airwaves of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
Shout outs from: the Associated Press and the Edward R. Murrow foundation.
Lisa D. Olken, Executive Producer
As the Executive Producer of Arts District, Olken oversees everything- from the stories that are chosen for each show- to the shooting, editing, promotion and partnerships that are part of the Arts District community engagement philosophy. Olken’s award-winning programs and documentaries focus on the arts, cultural heritage and the environment and she is dedicated to presenting the state’s ethnically diverse stories for local and national audiences. In addition to Arts District, Olken produced the film, ‘Urban Rez’, which was awarded the 2013 Heartland Regional Award for Best Cultural Documentary. Among her more than 55 prestigious honors are: the Ministry of Agriculture Prize at the International Ekotopfilm Festival in Bratislava, 27 Regional Emmy awards, 11 Colorado Broadcasters Association awards, 3 National CINE Golden Eagles, and 2 Western Heritage Wranglers, the highest award in Western genre.
Mariel Rodriguez-McGill, Associate Producer
Mariel Rodriguez-McGill is the associate producer for Arts District. Mariel first picked up her father's VHS Magnavox at the age of seven and spent her youth creating music videos and short horror films in the back woods of her Massachusetts home. Always a lover of the arts, Mariel’s first televised project featured the unique way in which dance can teach an audience about different cultures. Since joining the crew of Arts District, she has grown to appreciate the wide array of artistic talent throughout Colorado and is consistently mesmerized by each new project.
Daniel Mercure, Series Editor
Creator of the Series Open for Rocky Mountain Legacy and Jazz In Five PointsA Denver native, Daniel Mercure has been an editor at Rocky Mountain PBS since 1981.He has been honored with numerous national and regional awards, including the prestigious Heartland Chapter Emmy for Editing on "America' s Mountain" in 1997.His credits have included the nationally distributed "A House for All Seasons", P.D.Q. Bach's "The Abduction of Figaro", "Klondike and Snow: A Tale of Twin Polar Bears", Spirit of Colorado, and Rocky Mountain Legacy.
Janine Trudell, Director of Photography/Editor
Janine Trudell is Director of Photography and Editor for Arts District. Her desire to tell creative stories, using video and still photography, contributes to the direction and production of segments on artists in the community. Her background is photojournalism having worked in numerous positions for several commercial broadcast outlets before coming to Rocky Mountain PBS. Her talents have won her many awards such as; CINE Golden Eagle awards, National Telly Awards, Heartland Emmy awards, Edward R. Murrow awards, National Press Photographers Association awards, to name a few. Trudell’s curious nature keeps her interested in all varieties of art from poetry to photography, musicals, painting, drawing, to textiles and sculpture. As a photographer and poet she believes strongly in supporting artists and their communities.
Paul Cywilko, Videographer/Editor
Paul Cywilko is a videographer and editor for Arts District, where he lends his creative eye in the production and post-production of the weekly magazine show. Prior to joining the Arts District crew, Cywilko had worked as a travel videographer and won National Telly Awards in the categories of Editing and Travel/Tourism Video. As a travel enthusiast, he is passionate about the diverse world of art and the necessity for those diversities to be showcased.