When I heard about the KCET-PBS split, the very first thing I thought was, “OH NO, how will I watch Sesame Street?!” I’m 28 years old, but on weekday mornings, I don’t care what’s going on in my neck of the woods. I don’t care how George Stephanopoulos is balancing his storied political career with tips on dieting. No, my morning television ritual is empathasizing with Cookie Monster; wondering who else Bert and Ernie are fooling; and assessing whether, and to what extent, Elmo is annoying, or was it just those darned toys that made him seem that way? Oh, and seeing what else they’ll spoof: the All Spice commercial; True Blood; 30 Rock.
Starting January 1, 2011, we’ll have to find our way to someplace else where the air is sweet. The LA Times has a great summary of why KCET decided to break from PBS (it’s sad, and, like most things, it has to do with money). For those still feeling nostalgic about the beloved children’s program, head out to the Central Library for the “Forty Years of Sesame Street Illustration: Selections from the Publishing Archive of the Sesame Workshop” exhibit, on display from now until April 30, 2011. I stumbled upon the exhibit when I was there last week to check out a few things, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great time at the library.
Wonderful pieces from Sesame Street publishing history line two small exhibit halls right near the Popular Library section on the library’s first floor. Over the course of the show’s 40 year history, there have been Sesame Street-themed coloring books, children’s books, pop-up books, flashcards – if it was an educational tool that could be reduced to the printed page, it was done.
There also are great, simple illustrations and artwork on display, including a piece from Mad Magazine‘s Jack Davis.
KOCE (channel 50 for proud owners of the bunny ears) and KLCS (Channel 58) are KCET’s little siblings that will carry Sesame Street on their public channels come January 1, 2011. And you can, I suppose, always catch the show on the Internets, which seems odd to me, but only because I’m old and can’t platform jump as high as kids these days.
It’s fitting that an exhibit showcasing a public education show like Sesame Street is curated by the most public of all educations, the library. This is one, of so many, reasons why libraries and other forms of public education should not be first on the budget chopping block – you’d think we would want to encourage kids and adults alike to learn all they can – but alas. The exhibit – like borrowing books from the library – is free. Until they privatize the library, anyway, which may be coming faster that you think.