American Spark
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About

Host/Executive Producer May-Lily Lee admires poets. She's intrigued by the idea of being a video poet and working with others doing the same thing. Tightening. Redacting. Distilling the essence of a person’s story into four minutes. She told short-form television stories about Virginians for two decades - you don’t do something that long if you’re not feeling it.

In 2014, May-Lily set off on a journey with a broadcast and internet series in mind, a series that would spotlight people in creative pursuits. She traveled to Seattle and Sacramento, to New Orleans and Atlanta, and on and on as the list of cities and towns grew. A team of producers, shooters and editors grew, too. And what an impressive group, including a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist. Before they knew it, they had a program in the making. And while the title went through various iterations, this one stuck: American Spark. As you’ll hear in the series open, the team goes coast to coast in search of people passionate about their craft… Whether it’s song or dance, on a canvas or in a kitchen… What fuels the creative spirit? That’s what we’ll explore on American Spark.

 

 

American Spark. A new storytelling series. A celebration of the creative spirit. Creativity isn’t limited to a painting or a song, as we learn from these stories. Visit Hansen’s Sno-Bliz in New Orleans and see how Ashley Hansen Springgate has kept alive her family’s famous frozen confection. Meet a San Francisco skateboard maker passionate about up-cycling and connecting with his community. Head to Stanford University where we meet the Mad Scientist of Music. In the Appalachian mountains hear a musical family rooted in old time traditions including the adage that a family that plays together stays together. What fuels the creative spirit? That’s what we’ll explore on American Spark.

An upcoming segment on American Spark: singing cobblers David Young and daughter Yvonne of Waynesboro, Virginia

An upcoming segment on American Spark: singing cobblers David Young and daughter Yvonne of Waynesboro, Virginia


ABOUT THE HOST/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

"I love poets," says May-Lily Lee, "I'd be thrilled if someone called me a video poet." Tightening. Redacting. Distilling the essence of a person’s story into a few minutes. May-Lily told stories on Public Television for two decades - you don’t do something that long if you’re not feeling it. Dubbed Virginia's Storyteller, she became Virginia's longest-running statewide Public Broadcasting personality, and along the way picked up dozens of awards including six regional Emmy's. But who's counting?

In late 2014, May-Lily set off on a journey with a new series in mind. She traveled to Seattle and Sacramento, to New Orleans and Atlanta, and on and on as the list of cities and towns grew. A team of producers, shooters and editors grew, too, including a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist. Before they knew it, the team had a series in the making. And while the title went through various iterations, this one stuck: American Spark. What sparks you?