Forget about reruns of Seinfeld. Tape Will & Grace if you must. Just don"t miss the latest in reality programming on WFYI-TV for 13 weeks starting March 27 at 7:30 p.m.
First lady Judy O"Bannon"s show "Communities Building Community" will premiere Thursday.
Indiana"s first lady, our own Judy O"Bannon, is footloose and fancy free in hamlets and cities, on farms, in factories, with toddlers and seniors, wielding a shovel, sauntering along sun-laced paths, looking you right in the eye through the camera - all in the cause of exposing the stuff people do around their neighborhoods, in their schools, outside in the open, inside in the dark. "Why should NUVO"s readers watch Communities Building Community?" O"Bannon rhetorically asks during a telephone conversation. "People will be energized. Surprised. Delighted. People who watch how their neighbors are already working to strengthen and revitalize their communities, institutions, interpersonal relationships will say, "Why, I can do that," or, "I can do even better than that," perhaps even, "I didn"t know we were doing that here Ö"" And exactly how are remote-control freaks going to be persuaded to stop roving the networks and watch one program all the way through for a baker"s dozen of Thursday evenings? "Every program is so packed with excitement," O"Bannon enthuses. She goes on to explain exactly why. "We"re showing how people are looking around their immediate surroundings, seeing a problem needing to be solved, defining opportunities to make lives better, improving conditions in the built environment, the natural environment, taking responsibility, taking action. Our message is right on target for this unsettling time. By taking control people can feel secure, feel they belong. We"re showing what"s possible when people work together." "It starts with you." O"Bannon"s inflection pulls you in. It"s a Mr. Rogers infectiousness. The thing that drives her, she admits, is a desire to build for the future. Not merely preserve, but to expand upon what we have, including cultural institutions, health care facilities, ways we learn to appreciate differences, not merely tolerate each other, learn to trust each other. Even improving our community"s infrastructure can be a grass-roots initiative. Certainly the economic well-being of a community can be affected through citizen action. What you can expect to experience during the next 13 weeks are opportunities for citizens of all ages, all walks of life "to be part of what is going on. "You know, if you help build it, you won"t tear it down," O"Bannon confides. Visit www.wfyi.org; www.Indiana2016.org or call 636-2020 for more information.