For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253


(Rochester, New York) April 4, 2011 – Songs of Freedom, produced by independent producers Dave Marshall and Chris Christopher and presented to the public television system by WXXI, won a New York Emmy® Award in the Children's Programming category and in the Director: Post Production category last night at the 54th Annual New York Emmy® Awards gala. The gala took place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Songs of Freedom tells the story of a young slave girl, Imani, during the pre-civil war in the South. She finds the strength to break free and goes on a harrowing journey to freedom in the North. The educational program is designed for fourth graders, and includes a book, film, curriculum and website. To learn more, log on to:

"It took the efforts of many people to make Songs of Freedom, and everyone -- our cast, our crew, our sponsors -- have our deepest thanks," said Producer/Director Dave Marshall in accepting the award. "We are especially grateful to WXXI, the PBS affiliate in Rochester, NY, and our friends Norm Silverstein, Elissa Orlando and Todd McCammon," added Managing Producer Chris Christopher. "As independent producers we are proud to have WXXI as our broadcast home."

WXXI also received Emmy award nominations for two of its productions. Its film, Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre, produced in partnership with the Eastman School of Music, was nominated in the Documentary category. Restoring a Masterpiece was made possible by support from The Pike Company, PAETEC, Louise Epstein, Keith & Betsy Wilson, and members of WXXI. New York Wine & Table, produced in partnership with the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which features New York State food, wine, and agriculture, was nominated in the Magazine Program category.

The New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, founded in 1955, is the preeminent membership organization serving all media professionals by offering career enhancing events and networking opportunities. NY NATAS fosters creativity and inspires artistic and technical excellence through the renowned Emmy® Award, the most prestigious honor and most coveted peer-recognition symbol of distinction in television. NY NATAS  continues  to  evolve  playing  a  vital  role  in  recognizing  outstanding  content  in  the  changing  industry. As distribution platforms  have  expanded  to  include  broadband  and  portable  devices NY NATAS  now  honors  television  the  art  form  regardless  of  the  delivery platform. For more information, please visit

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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