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2011 Keynote Lecture

October 22, 2011

12:00 noon
Music Hall Stage
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh

"Let’s Just Save Everything"

WQED Senior Producer

Rick Sebak is an Emmy ® award-winning producer who makes unusual television programs. His slightly wacky documentaries celebrate various aspects of modern American life and the unexpected charms of Pittsburgh. Audiences have learned to recognize his friendly narrative style and the unusual topics that he obviously loves. He has a way of quickly capturing the essence of a place and its people. He has produced more than 20 individual programs about Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. After his special on "Pennsylvania Diners & Other Roadside Restaurants" aired on PBS stations in 1994, earning great attention and high ratings he began to produce national documentaries on often overlooked aspects of American culture for PBS, incorporating the same friendly style Pittsburghers had learned to love. To date he has produced 12 national documentaries for PBS.

His latest PBS documentary “Breakfast Special,” is a show about the places around the country we go to eat the day’s most important meal.

PBS stations around the country often rebroadcast Sebak’s programs because audiences respond so favorably to the quirky blend of Americana, places and personalities. Before coming to WQED Pittsburgh, Sebak worked for 11 years at the South Carolina Educational Television Network in Columbia, South Carolina. His work there included the award-winning documentaries “Shag,” about the official state dance of South Carolina, and “The Slightly Wacky Aussie Doco,” a travelogue about Australia.

In 2007, Sebak received an honorary doctorate from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. He has also received numerous other awards including recognition from the Media Association of Pittsburgh and the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh. In addition to Rick’s productions, he also writes a monthly column for WQED’s PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE.  He is a native of Bethel Park.