WTTW and WFMT Announce Imagining More Campaign


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Window to the World Communications, Inc., parent organization of WTTW and WFMT, has announced the public launch of the Imagining More campaign.

The purpose of the capacity-building campaign is to strengthen the organization and increase its flexibility in an evolving media environment. The Imagining More campaign will reach the audience of Window to the World Communications on all its platforms: on air across its four distinct television channels, on WFMT, online at WTTW.com and WFMT.com, and nationally through content delivered on PBS stations and through the WFMT Radio Network.

Imagining More has three pillars: More Storytelling, More Possibility, and More Community. Numerous projects, all aimed at strengthening the organization’s infrastructure and capacity, fall within these pillars. The philanthropic goal of the campaign is to exceed $65 million.

The Crown Family is supporting the Imagining More campaign with a leadership gift and in thanks, Window to the World Communications named their Albany Park facility the Renée Crown Public Media Center. Additional leadership support has come from The Grainger Foundation; Alexandra C. and John D. Nichols, Donna Van Eekeren, and others.

Early support of the campaign has enabled WTTW and WFMT to launch projects that build the organization’s capacity to create and distribute content, support endowment growth, provide for technology upgrades, and deepen the organization’s ties to the local community.

One Imagining More campaign project that benefits children across the United States is the animated educational program, NATURE CAT, a co-production of Spiffy Pictures and WTTW Chicago. Sparked by WTTW’s deep commitment to its youngest viewers, NATURE CAT is one of the top programs in the highly regarded PBS Kids service. It airs throughout the United States on 350 PBS stations, the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, and is streamed more than 9 million times each month. Lead sponsorship for NATURE CAT comes from the Van Eekeren Family, Founders of Land O’Frost; The Hamill Family Foundation; The Segal Family Foundation; Capri Sun; Polk Bros. Foundation; Irving Harris Foundation; Bobolink Foundation; Sage Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust; Alvin H. Baum Family Fund; The David E. Zyer Family; and other foundations and individuals.

Another project made possible through the Imagining More campaign is the WFMT STUDS TERKEL RADIO ARCHIVE. With major support from the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, WFMT is digitizing 5,600 radio programs hosted across a span of 45 years by the legendary Studs Terkel, an award-winning author and WFMT radio host. The Archive, already partially available at studsterkel.org, offers free access to Studs’ thousands of interviews for the benefit of teachers, students, radio producers, and others.

The board of Window to the World Communications, Inc. is chaired by James W. Mabie. Imagining More is led by a campaign committee of the board, co-chaired by Norman Bobins, John L. Brennan, and Mark A. Hoppe.

“As we grow to be the leading provider of the finest programming for generations to come, we need strong allies who share our bold vision,” said Mabie. “WTTW is a Chicago cultural institution I have cherished for decades,” said Renée Crown, Vice Chair of WTTW and WFMT. “It provides high quality content for everyone—especially children—and has educated and entertained Chicagoans of all ages for three generations. This is what compels me to support this organization.”

About WWCI, Inc.
Window To The World Communications, Inc. is the parent organization of WTTW and WFMT. WTTW is the primary PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create/WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, and wttw.com. Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as CHICAGO TONIGHT, NATURE CAT, and 10 THAT CHANGED AMERICA, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content. WFMT is one of the country’s most respected classical music radio services, showcasing superlative programs, concerts, and live events across broadcast and digital platforms. The WFMT Radio Network home to the STUDS TERKEL RADIO ARCHIVE and is a leading creator and distributor of audio programs about arts and culture that are made available to radio stations and other platforms around the world including EXPLORING MUSIC WITH BILL MCLAUGHLIN and the Beethoven Network.