Skip to main content

To Be Rather Than To Seem

All the projects highlighted in this year’s impact story reflect an essential element, one that is central to everything we do: community. PBS North Carolina embodies and celebrates all the things you love about your community—the traditions that give you a deep sense of place, the people who nurture and inspire you, the different points of view that expand your perspectives and the joy that fuels your soul. Everyone at PBS North Carolina is driven by a profound sense of purpose to represent and amplify the vibrancy of North Carolina’s communities. Thank you for supporting our efforts to reach and serve every corner of this great state. By investing in PBS North Carolina, you’re giving right back to the people who make our communities thrive. 

—David Crabtree, CEO & General Manager

Explore Highlights from PBS North Carolina’s Impact Report


In collaboration with statewide and local partners, PBS North Carolina connects community members with powerful multimedia resources that support effective teaching and inspire lifelong learners. We aspire to help all learners thrive through equitable access to high-quality educational materials and opportunities.

Rootle Roadster Tour

The Rootle Roadster Tour meets the unique needs of the smaller, rural communities of North Carolina that are often underserved. PBS KIDS educational programs are accentuated by PBS North Carolina’s own children’s media initiative, Rootle, to create family-friendly events that provide purposeful, engaging learning experiences with take-home educational materials. In addition to sharing learning resources for STEM, literacy, physical education and social-emotional and sensory activities, the tour builds awareness of local support systems and services for children.

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education, F.M. Kirby Foundation

Rootle Ambassadors

The Rootle Ambassador Program was started to identify local representatives to customize resources that fit the unique needs of their neighbors. Ambassadors connect PBS KIDS and early learning resources to their communities, enriching learning for all children and providing valuable training and experiences. Since its launch, Rootle Ambassadors from 44 counties have engaged their communities in 106 educational events. By 2025, the program will reach all 100 NC counties.

Supporting Partners: The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, NC Partnership for Children, State Library of NC, Triple P Parenting, Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Dogwood Health Trust, Unifour Foundation Endowment

Impact Summit

Early childhood educators are a key part of our children’s lives, but these important mentors often lack their own professional development opportunities. The Impact Early Childhood Education Summit is a free annual event created by PBS North Carolina, the NC DHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction. Attendees earn contact hour credits while learning about innovative strategies across topics such as social-emotional learning, literacy, STEM and equity in early childhood education.

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child Development and Early Education, NC Department of Public Instruction, The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust


Curiosity draws us out of our comfort zones and introduces new experiences that allow us to continue growing as people. We become more empathetic, adaptable, resilient and aware. At PBS North Carolina, we believe that sharing stories and experiences enlightens minds, enhances lives, fosters well-being and sharpens our mutual understanding of each other in the world. 

Block letters spelling out "INSPIRED" with an image of a bicyclist on a trail. within them.

Year of the Trail

In partnership with the Great Trails State Coalition and the SECU Foundation, PBS North Carolina was proud to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1973 North Carolina Trails System Act with the largest celebration of outdoor recreation in NC history. Broadcast and digital stories highlight exceptional amazing outdoor opportunities available across the state, from hiking, mountain biking and paddling to waterfall chasing and horseback riding. The series promoted healthy outdoor recreation and the community organizations that work to keep our state’s vast network of trails, greenways and blueways welcoming and accessible for all.

Supporting Partners: Great Trails State Coalition and SECU Foundation

Freight Train Blues

This concert series celebrates the legacy of Piedmont folk-blues innovator Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten. Born in 1893 in Carrboro, North Carolina, Cotten is best known for the compositions “Freight Train” and “Shake Sugaree,” which have been covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Doc Watson, the Grateful Dead and Taj Mahal. Today, a new generation of Southern roots musicians carries on this legacy, and PBS North Carolina captured these concerts in a 3-episode series. The series features performances by Amythyst Kiah, The Hamiltones, Alexa Rose, Harvey Dalton Arnold and Johnny Ray Daniels. 

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Come Hear NC and Music Maker Foundation

Explore NC App

Explore NC is a free AR app that allows everyone to explore North Carolina from wherever they are. Hop aboard a flight simulation at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, encounter endangered red wolves in their den at the North Carolina Zoo, take an up-close look at a 3D, life-size bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while listening to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at a high school in Rocky Mount and so much more.

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Independent Lens Pop-Up Screening Series

The Indie Lens Pop-Up is a virtual and in-person neighborhood film screening series with community driven conversations. The screenings featured films from the acclaimed documentary series “Independent Lens” which focuses on topics such as the struggle around overdose prevention advocacy in marginalized communities, life with a disability, the fight for universal basic income, immigration and social justice

This PBS North Carolina engagement series was supported by many organizations across the state, including Wake Forest Innocence and Justice Center, NC State University School of Social Work, Guilford County Public Health, NC Harm Reduction Coalition, Arts Access Inc. and The Center for Community Transitions.

Supporting Partners: Independent Television Services  and Inc. River Run International Film Festival


Through our content and initiatives, we seek to share trustworthy perspectives that empower our communities and broaden perspectives. We celebrate what’s happening in our own backyard and share North Carolina insight and innovation with the world. 

PBS North Carolina is also a critical communications provider for the state through a powerful partnership with the NC Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management and the Office of the Governor. We provide live broadcasts and streaming in English and Spanish from the NC Emergency Operations Center before, during and after events to keep North Carolinians safe and informed.

Digital Paging for Emergency Responders

Sending critical information to first responders quicker than current technologies saves lives. PBS North Carolina partnered with Triveni Digital and Device Solutions, Inc. to develop a digital paging service that enables more efficient, reliable and secure delivery of emergency information through a non-traditional use of PBS North Carolina’s TV broadcast platform. This innovation effort has been several years in the making and allows first responders to quickly deliver an immense volume of data to many recipients at the same time.

Supporting Partners: NC Fire Department and Macon County Office of Emergency Management

STEM Curriculum for Middle & High Schools

For more than a decade, PBS North Carolina Education Services Division has produced free educational resources aligned to North Carolina’s state curriculum standards. This year, the PBS North Carolina Learning Design team produced 2 dynamic multimedia learning resources geared toward middle and high school educators and learners.

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and PBS Digital Studios

Sci NC

Hosted by Emmy Award-winning reporter Frank Graff PBS North Carolina’s original science series explores the frontiers of human discovery with researchers who are solving today’s biggest challenges. Sci NC celebrated its 5th season with a Sharkathon, our first-ever 8-hour block of programs all about sharks. Highlights of the 2023 season include a look at sharks off our coast, the search for a rare salamander found only in North Carolina and research into a super vaccine. Sci NC also featured playful segments produced by NC Culture Kids that answered questions such as, “Do rhinos go to the dentist?” “How are seashells made?” and “What makes a waterfall?”

Supporting Partners: NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources


Celebrating its 5th season, ncIMPACT is a multiplatform series is hosted by Anita Brown-Graham and her team from the UNC School of Government as they listen, learn and lead community conversations across the state. The series has featured stories from all 100 counties in North Carolina—visiting 34 in this season alone—to find out how our communities are tackling their most pressing issues with education, jobs, healthcare and more. The 2023 season featured episodes about communities that developed innovative ways to support people with dementia, how local economies can be stimulated by sports and arts tourism and neighborhoods made safer by their own residents.

Supporting Partners: UNC School of Government and UNC Health

Black Issues Forum

As PBS North Carolina’s longest-running original public affairs series, Black Issues Forum is North Carolina’s leading forum for news stories by, about and for African American communities. Every week, thought leaders, changemakers and creators come together to share, illuminate and inspire. In addition to panel discussions and field reports on cutting-edge topics affecting Black communities across the state, the series celebrates stories of resiliency and triumph. 

Supporting Partner: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

State Lines

State Lines is a weekly series features a roundtable discussion that focuses on North Carolina policy, legislation and their impact on North Carolinians. The program brings context to complex issues facing North Carolinians and provides an open forum for meaningful discussion between experienced political analysts, journalists and elected officials from across the state and political spectrum. 


We are driven by the power of art that lives at the intersection of education and entertainment. Our mission is to provoke thought while igniting imagination to make learning enjoyable for all our viewers. Throughout the year, we provided 3,255 hours of locally produced content and 22,322 hours of PBS favorites like Sesame Street, Masterpiece, Ken Burns productions and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Filer image

My Music with Rhiannon Giddens

Hosted by Grammy winner and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Rhiannon Giddens this new series is produced by the Will and Deni McIntyre Foundation and presented by PBS North Carolina with national distribution through PBS. It features performances and conversations with innovative musicians who have forged unconventional paths to find their voices. In 2023, the audience was treated to a virtual program screening and panel discussion featuring producers Will and Deni McIntyre and country music artist Rissi Palmer.

Supported by: Will and Deni McIntyre Foundation, The Rhea Bigelow Charitable Trust, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Carlyle Adams Foundation, The Community Foundation of Henderson County and its Perry N. Rudnick Endowment

The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle

The Key Ingredient with Sheri Castle is an Emmy Award-winning series follows famed food writer and teacher Sheri Castle as she traces the history of North Carolina’s most beloved ingredients. Along the way, she meets local farmers, fisherfolk and other experts to learn the stories behind these unique flavors. Join Sheri on a “cook-along” with renowned chefs, get kitchen tips and tricks and try her recipes for yourself. According to Sheri, “Even when my cook-along guests have backgrounds and culinary repertoires quite different from mine, we share a passion for making great recipes for family and friends.” 

North Carolina Weekend

PBS North Carolina’s iconic series NC Weekend kicked off its 20th season, taking viewers to must-see places and events across the state. Through the years, the series has visited hundreds of towns across North Carolina to find the most intriguing eateries, local businesses, nature spots and cultural attractions. To celebrate this milestone season, our audience was treated to an in-person reception with the show’s host and producers.

Supporting Partner: Visit NC

Antiques Roadshow in North Carolina

Part adventure, part history lesson and part treasure hunt, PBS’s most-watched ongoing series, Antiques Roadshow, landed in North Carolina this year to search for hidden treasures. The pop-culture phenomenon filmed episodes at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, with thousands of community members receiving expert assessments of their antiques and collectibles for free. The episodes taped in Raleigh will be featured in the 28th season of the show airing in 2024.

Supporting Partners: North Carolina Museum of Art and North Carolina Museum of History


Sustainable growth is our focus as we expand and diversify revenue sources. Private support from individuals, corporations and foundations remains the largest source of revenue. Coupled with federal and state funding, this support enables PBS North Carolina to achieve its mission to educate, inform, entertain and inspire the people of North Carolina.

A pie wheel showing PBS NC's financial income data with sections of the following: 39% Membership, 34% State, 13% Federal, 8% Support, 5% Non-recurring and 1% other.

Membership & Philanthropic Giving

In fiscal year 2023, grants and individual gifts remained a cornerstone of our annual funding. They represent $12.2 million in support that directly fuels the programs, projects, initiatives and distribution of services. 

Corporate Engagement

The Corporate Engagement team engaged 56 funders to put more than $2.5 million in revenue under contract during fiscal year 2023, including a 12% increase from 2022 in contracted revenue for specific projects. 


PBS North Carolina continues to generate a healthy mix of funding from private foundations, federal and state governmental agencies and public media partners that totaled $1,988,577.

Funders include the U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, Dogwood Health Trust, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Unifour Foundation Endowment, F.M. Kirby Foundation, NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Fred Rogers Company and South Arts.

Hear How PBS North Carolina Makes a Difference

Explore stories from members who share why they support public media.

Black family grandparents and grandchildren happily talking on the couch

Why Support Public Media? 

Everything we do supports lifelong learning. When North Carolinians watch or engage with us, we build a stronger society, one with more compassion and empathy for each other and communities across the state, country and world. 

Full Impact Report

PBS North Carolina is your homebase for the best of PBS and your partner for securing a bright future for North Carolinians of all ages. Your support continues to make a difference in the lives of everyone who calls North Carolina “home.” We are grateful to be here for you.

Learn more about PBS North Carolina's work and impact in the community in our full fiscal year '23 Impact Report. 

What's New at PBS North Carolina