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Inspiring Women

Premiere: 11/8/2017 | 00:01:27 |

Six innovators tell their own stories and explain how they’re changing their respective industries: podcast host Tracy Clayton, Chef Angie Mar, JavaScript developer Sara Chipps, web-cam performance artist Molly Soda, entrepreneur Rakia Reynolds, and visual artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.

About the Episode

[Editor’s Note: The following post is part of American Masters’ #InspiringWomanPBS campaign, which highlights the powerful, creative, and innovative women in our lives. Visit the Inspiring Woman page to join the campaign and submit the story of a woman who inspires you.]

Today, American Masters, THIRTEEN’s 28-time Emmy-winning arts and culture documentary series on PBS, launched its first web series, Inspiring Woman, at The six-part web series features inspiring influencers:

Tracy Clayton (available now), writer, humorist and co-host of BuzzFeed’s award-winning podcast Another Round,

Angie Mar (November 22), owner and executive chef of New York City restaurant The Beatrice Inn, and one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs for 2017,

Sara Chipps (December 6), the JavaScript developer who co-founded Girl Develop It, a non-profit focused on teaching women to become web and software developers, and is co-founder and CEO of Jewelbots, technology-enabled jewelry for tween and teen girls created to increase the number of girls entering STEM fields,

Molly Soda (December 20), web-cam performance artist whose work blurs the lines of reality, performance, and physical space who recently co-curated the book Pics or It Didn’t Happen: Images Banned From Instagram with artist Arvida Byström, which looks at Instagram and corporate social media image censorship,

Rakia Reynolds (January 3), entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of multimedia communications agency Skai Blue Media, and

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (January 17), the visual artist who created “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” an international street art series that tackles gender-based street harassment.

In Inspiring Woman, these powerful professionals tell their own stories and explain how they’re changing their respective industries.
“Our digital platforms give us a chance to spotlight new voices in our culture,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters, “and these women are all innovative powerhouses.”

This web series is part of American Masters’ year-long online campaign supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, #InspiringWomanPBS, based on themes central to the lives of Dr. Maya Angelou and Lorraine Hansberry: artistic expression, academic success, active community engagement and acceptance of difference. People can share stories of inspirational women in their own lives via text, images or videos at or via Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #InspiringWomanPBS. A video compilation series of the best submissions are featured monthly as PBS and American Masters Instagram Stories.

Additional campaign content includes new episodes of the American Masters Podcast Season 2, “Revolutionary Writers,” including Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and comedian Margaret Cho, and previously unreleased videos from American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. The campaign concludes with the new documentary American Masters – Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, premiering January 19, 2018 on PBS (check local listings). #InspiringWomanPBS is the latest example of American Masters’ and WNET’s commitment to educate and entertain audiences beyond broadcast.

The Inspiring Woman web series is a production of the Interactive Engagement Group. Daniel Greenberg is executive producer. Kait Hoehne is supervising producer. Gerry Johnson and Joe Skinner are producers. Michael Kantor is American Masters series executive producer. Junko Tsunashima is American Masters series supervising producer. Inspiring Woman is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

"What I want to do is really pay it forward. I know that I'm a trailblazer, but I believe in the importance of taking my time and investing it in other women."

How do I take everything that I've learned - in television, in magazines, being a mother, being a wife - how do I take all of those things and sort of throw them into a bowl, mix it up, put something into the oven and bake something that's specifically for me? Who are these people? You know, they have a story. They have an experience. And so for me, it's about amplifying these voices of women - particularly black and brown women, queer women, young women - it's about amplifying their voices. For the first half of my career I kind of viewed software as, 'I'm always gonna like what I do. I'm not going to love who I do it with.' Everyone's repping a place that they're from. I think that I've sort of just realized that the Internet is that space for me. Obviously I'm super frustrated by it all the time, but it's the only place that I could feel like I could really represent fully in a lot of ways. Writing was the only way that I felt like I could be sufficiently heard and represented. To be a chef/business owner, it's like you come in every day and you want to inspire people - to work harder and stronger and to really contribute to the greater good of what this restaurant is. You know, that's the challenge, is how do we constantly inspire?


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