New Exhibition “On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting” Opens June 24

Jun 19, 2017

LBJ Presidential Library Opens Exhibition
On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting

Meet & Take Photos with Walkaround Elmo from Sesame Street
Experience The Joy of Painting with Art by Bob Ross
Remember A Prairie Home Companion

What: Exhibition in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson
Co-sponsors: KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, and NPR station KUT 90.5

When: Exhibition opens June 24, 2017, and runs through Nov. 12, 2017

Opening Day: Saturday, June 24, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Free admission and parking
  • Meet & take photos with Walkaround Elmo
  • Small Wonders Puppet Theater shows at 11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
  • Cookies!
  • Enter for a chance to win two passes to attend a taping of the Austin City Limits TV show and behind-the-scenes tour

Where: LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78705

Media Contacts: Anne Wheeler
[email protected]
(512) 721-0216

Maury Sullivan
[email protected]
(512) 475-9087

Erin Geisler
[email protected]
(512) 475-807

(AUSTIN, TX) – Fifty years ago, on Nov. 7, 1967, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Public Broadcasting Act, creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The act established PBS and NPR as the national distribution networks for public television and radio, transforming our national media landscape. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is the steward of federal funding that supports nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

The new exhibition at the LBJ Presidential Library, On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting, is co-sponsored by KLRU-TV Austin PBS and NPR station KUT 90.5. It brings iconic artifacts from treasured television and radio shows under one roof.

On the Air: 50 Years of Public Broadcasting runs through Nov. 12, 2017. During that time, visitors can pose with Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Count von Count, on loan from Sesame Workshop. Turn the corner and there’s even more to see: visitors can take photos in front of full-scale backdrops of the iconic 123 Sesame Street stoop and Big Bird’s nest. Also featured in the exhibit are: Mister Rogers’ sweater, sneakers and trolley; artwork by The Joy of Painting host Bob Ross; and an autoharp used by Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion.

Sesame Street was created to provide early access to education for all children, which is as vital now as ever,” said Jennifer A. Perry, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President and Publisher of North America Media Products and Publishing. “PBS has made our program available to all Americans for almost 50 years, playing a vital role in helping the most vulnerable kids get access to quality preschool education. As a longtime partner of PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Sesame Workshop is proud to participate in this exhibit.”

Opening day features another favorite from Sesame Street: meet and take photos with Walkaround Elmo - hugs are encouraged! Walkaround Elmo will be visiting only on June 24.

Interesting facts:

  • Sesame Street reaches children in 150 countries
  • Each month, more than 95 million people watch their local PBS stations.
  • The first show broadcast on NPR was All Things Considered on May 3, 1971
  • More than 37 million people listen to NPR each month.
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides federal dollars to approximately 1,500 TV and radio stations.
  • KLRU-TV Austin PBS provides a free 24/7 children’s programming live stream through and the PBS KIDS Video App.
  • More than 600,000 people listen to KUT and KUTX  in Central Texas each week.