Archive for September, 2014

A fond farewell to Dave

‘Kentucky Life’ host hangs up his hat — and walking stick

After 15 years, KET and Kentucky Life are saying good-bye to its longtime host, and his pooch pals. Dave Shuffett has announced his retirement.

“My 22 years in state government and 15 years at KET have afforded me wonderful opportunities,” Dave tells his viewers. “I’ve seen the beauty of the commonwealth and met the people who make our state such a special place.”

Since 1999, Dave has traveled the state for KET’s Saturday-night staple, where in any week you can experience stories that run the gamut from moonbows and mountain music to the Civil War and sheep shearing. He’s also hosted, with Amy Hess, KET’s Kentucky Collectibles since it premiered in 2012.

Dave will continue to be on the air this fall as Kentucky Life begins its 20th season Saturday, Oct. 4 at 8/7 pm on KET.

As loyal Kentucky Life viewers know, Dave hails from Greensburg along the Green River, a place he’s revisited often in stories through the years. He’s a graduate of Murray State University, where he majored in communications. From there he spent six seasons as host and producer of Kentucky Afield, the state’s longest running series, produced by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and airing on KET.

In 1994, Dave was selected by the League of Kentucky Sportsmen and the Kentucky Wildlife Federation as its Kentucky Conservation Communicator of the Year. Dave’s work has attracted numerous other awards too, including preservation and conservation awards, and regional Emmy nominations as a KET host.

In 1995, he went on to pursue his own television series and production company, Outdoors with Dave Shuffett, where Dave brought his enthusiasm for the wonders of nature to a national audience.

Any mention of Dave would be remiss without talking about his canine companions, which brought animal lovers throughout the state a lot of joy as his loyal sidekicks. Most recently, golden retriever Toby was by his side. Sadie, an adopted border collie, traveled with Shuffett for thousands of miles on the program until she passed away at age 15. Charlie, another golden, was top dog for several seasons.

“Dave has tirelessly traveled from one end of Kentucky to the other, and everywhere in between, to bring viewers many of the wonderful and unique people, places, and stories that make Kentucky so special,” said Shae Hopkins, KET executive director. “Dave will be greatly missed.”

We know you’ll miss Dave too — and join us in wishing him all the best in his retirement. But he’ll be with us on the air throughout this season — and for years to come in encore presentations of his friendly, enthusiastic take on our Kentucky life.

So what adventure awaits Dave next? He says, “I plan to pursue some other writing and media projects … and catch up on chores! The homestead is fallin’ apart. The fence needs paintin’, the house needs stainin’, the stalls need fixin’ and the horses need ridin’.”

America After Ferguson

Join host Gwen Ifill for town hall meeting

Explore the many issues that have been brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., in America After Ferguson, airing Friday, Sept. 26 at 8:30/7:30 pm on KET.

Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor, and moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, moderates.

While the facts of the case are still in dispute, for many the story of Ferguson has become a symbol of the larger social divides in America, exposing a persistent disconnect along lines of race, class, and identity.

The program, taped at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, includes audiences in communities across the country.

Participating in America After Ferguson are national leaders in the law enforcement, race, and civil rights; government officials, faith leaders, and young people.

“The upheaval in Ferguson stirred up an all too familiar stew of debate over race, justice and citizenship,” Ifill said.

“It’s a discussion fueled by community outrage and resentment on all sides, but it is one that shouldn’t end. Our town hall conversation will shed light rather than heat on the topic, as we seek out the voices interested in digging deeper.”

Actors Theatre: Step onto our stage

New ‘Kentucky Muse’ celebrates theater’s 50 years


It’s been a venue for new playwriting talent such as Kentuckian Marsha Norman, and launched the careers of notable actors such as Kathy Bates, Mary McDonnell, and Holly Hunter. It’s known internationally for its vibrant new talent, strong apprenticeship program, and model of integration of the arts into the community.

KET’s arts series Kentucky Muse salutes the River City playhouse in its newest documentary “Actors Theatre of Louisville,” premiering Monday, Sept. 22 at 9/8 pm on KET.

The theatre was conceived of in the early 1960s and went on to lead a revitalization of downtown Louisville at a time when people were fleeing the city for the suburbs and became a real anchor for the arts.

Led for three decades by Jon Jory, the theater was able to marshal the resources of the city’s wealthiest citizens and institutions, and in the process attract the talent of emerging playwrights — some of whom went on to win Pulitzer Prizes — as well as actors who would win international acclaim.

Interviews with Actors Theatre’s leadership past and present, leading actors, playwrights, and directors — along with footage and photographs of dozens of productions — document a tradition of excellence and inspiration that has never waned in the 50 years of the theater’s existence.

Watch a preview now!

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