June 7, 2012

Jac Venza

Jac Venza

Marcia Franklin talks with Jac Venza, the founder of some of the most iconic arts programming on PBS, including Great Performances, Live From Lincoln Center, and Dance in America.

Venza, 85, was in Moscow to speak at the University of Idaho College of Arts and Architecture's Speaker Series. He and Franklin talked about his long career in public broadcasting, the potential effects of cuts in funding by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to traditional PBS arts programming, and trends he's following in the arts.

In a special Web Extra, Venza offers more details about his working relationship with key arts figures such as George Balanchine, and the innovations in television he pioneered.

Upon his retirement from WNET in 1997, where he was director of cultural and arts programs, Venza was given PBS' highest honor, the Ralph Lowell Award. He is also the recipient of a personal Peabody Award as well as a Primetime Emmy Governors Award for Lifetime Achievement.