About This Season
Produced in partnership with WTTW in Chicago, Local, USA is a half-hour, 13-week series that features fascinating stories of diverse people, culled from public television stations and independent producers from across the country, and curated around a single theme for each program.
Local, USA is a co-production of WTTW and WORLD Channel.
Through the Past
Wherever we go, the past is never far behind. From Chicago, Illinois to Lincoln, Nebraska and Weston, Florida to Toledo, Ohio, Local, USA explores four stories connecting us to times gone by.
Sense of Place
Finding a sense of place...and purpose in four stories through a young girl from Memphis, a family of native descent in Lincoln, Nebraska, a whimsical San Franciscan artist, a silent film star in Seattle, and a lifelong Chicagoan.
Finding One's Voice
Searching for an artistic voice and a way of expressing oneself. An autistic artist in New Jersey finds the best tools to communicate his wonderful works of art -- despite barely uttering a word -- and a young Chicago prodigy connects with her inner performer and discovers her electrifying voice.
Head Trauma at War
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, has received increasing attention especially among athletes and soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. We examine the links between TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the damage they can do, through the story of retired Army sergeant Andrew Reeves of Colchester, Vermont.
Native American Culture
Three stories about modern Native American culture: the effects and solution of climate change in the Pacific Northwest; a Lincoln, Nebraska sculptor, linking the past to the present; and the fight to revive a language in Oklahoma.
Three stories question the limits of any disability: the loving marriage of two individuals in New York City; a volunteer program that introduces unlikely candidates to surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii; and a blind North Carolina hiker sets out to climb the Appalachian Trail.
Utah is not exactly the first place you think of when talking about alcohol & liquor. But since the early days of prohibition, “The Beehive State” has a unique foray into distilling spirits. We retrace Utah’s fight for and against alcohol with a look at the characters keeping it alive today.
Death and Dying
An uplifting meditation on death and dying with stories of an embalmer in Toledo, Ohio; a New York City hospice volunteer; a dying Brooklyn woman; and an urban philosopher from Memphis, Tennessee.
We get social, with social media! Finding the people using social media to change the world from Chicago (Twitter), Raleigh-Durham, NC, Santa Monica, California (Instagram) and Los Angeles (facebook).
Poetry in Motion
Poetry with a kick! The words, sounds and people that bring poetry to life. Five shorts from cities across the USA, including San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago and Minneapolis, that are connected by the rhythm of words and the search for identity.
Sowing the Seeds of Change…planting ideas for sustainability and self-sufficiency. You might think of it as a Midwest rust belt town, but community gardeners in Flint, Michigan are undergoing a variety of projects and planting the seeds of hope for economic revitalization.
Living the Dream
Living the life! Whether it’s in the cozy confines of your own home, or venturing out to find your calling in the big wide world…four subjects in pursuit of their dreams.
Drive Like A Girl
"Drive Like A Girl" follows New York's champion all-girls robotics team, The FeMaidens (The Iron Maidens), just one year after they beat more than 60 male-dominated teams in a regional competition. Though they advanced to the national stage in Atlanta, Ga., they lost before winning it all. Now, they've returned for another shot at the title.
Hunger in America
Portraits of America's hungry. Food insecurities from San Joaquin, California's farmers who do not have enough to eat to a family in suburban Chicago feeling the economic pinch at the dinner table and food deserts in the home and big city.
The immigration trail to Nashville, Tennessee: Bhutan refugees who come for religious freedom; the relocation and adaptation of Somalians; and the flourishing professionals in the Kurdish community.
Immigration: On the Border
Issues on immigration from both sides of the fence: the treacherous conditions migrants face while trying to cross into the United States; danger for the children of immigrants who are left behind; and the vigilante Americans who patrol the border.
Caring at the End
As our loved ones near the end of their lives, the difficulty in comforting them reverberates in the lives of family members, caretakers, and communities.
Harnessing the Sun
The story of America's solar industry, and the promise of solar today and tomorrow: rise and fall of the 1970s American solar energy program; a non-profit dedicated to providing low income families with solar panels; the company that built “the worlds greenest office building;” and the Idaho couple blazing new solar paths for America’s highways.
Building an Identity
As the Asian American population continues to rise in the United States, so do their questions about what their place is in America. Stories of a Japanese-Filipino man who narrates his “becoming American” story; a group of mixed race professionals address issues of identity and acceptance; and mothers trying to balance the old with the new.
PTSD: Bringing the War Home
An examination of what has become all too common among U.S. veterans returning home from combat zones. Spotlighting those affected by war-related PTSD: a devastating injury pushes a former soldier into the dark; the family of a Navy Seal tells his tragic story; a woman rebuilds her post-war life; and a program committed to rehabbing veterans.
Beyond the Classroom
Schools across America are incorporating real world job skills into their curriculums, training the next generation of farmers, scientists and engineers.
For generations, Native Hawaiians have depended on the ocean for their source of food, but today, large commercial fishing fleets threaten their way of life.
Breadfruit & Open Spaces
In Guam, Micronesian immigrants from Chuuk are living a dream come true: they have purchased land to build homes and plant crops for their families. But their “American dream” may be short lived when threatened with evictions.
Language creates barriers and opportunities for refugees and immigrants in Tennessee, from a mobile ESL classroom, to Spanish-language newspapers, to “English Only” laws.