Self-described as Classical MTV
October 16, 2012 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Flipping through public access or PBS channels one might have seen Classic Arts Showcase with it's familiar ARTS bug. The 24-hour non-commercial free-to-air satellite channel broadcasts a repeated 8-hour mix of about 150 video clips weekly a mix of various classic arts including animation, architectural art, ballet, chamber, choral music, dance, folk art, museum art, musical theater, opera, orchestral, recital, solo instrumental, solo vocal, and theatrical play, as well as classic film and archival documentaries. The channel has no VJs and only silent interstitials encouraging the viewer to “...go out and feast from the buffet of arts available in your community.”

The channel was founded in 1994 and is completely and totally funded by the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. Both men made their fortunes making Adolphs Meat Tenderizer a national brand allowing them to make their philanthropic endeavors. In addition to the channel the foundation has funded actions such as American Association for Single People, helping in the creation of the Los Angeles Music Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Mr. Deutsch died in 1977 and willed his holdings to the foundation; until his own death in 2003, Mr. Rigler oversaw its allocations leaving the channel with an endowment to broadcast at least until 2022.
posted by wcfields (7 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, you have just answered a question that I would never have been able to explain well enough to ask. This is one of those things I loved without knowing fully what it was (the ARTS bug would have been my only familiar "in"), and knowing more details makes me love it even more.

I've seen this as filler for years and am not sure if knowing where to find it on my cable system for 12 hours at a time is a blessing or a curse. Either way, thanks.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2012

Whenever I happened to catch Classic Arts Showcase in the wee hours of the morning, it always reminded me of the euthanasia scene in Soylent Green.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2012

Never had cable - still don't. I've spent many an insomniac hour watching this programming after my local PBS station signs off, but never had any idea who was behind it. Great post.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:19 AM on October 16, 2012

Why can't rich dudes do more of this?
posted by PenDevil at 11:35 AM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

My favorite moment watching Classic Arts Showcase is the time I saw an excerpt from an Australian performance of the Pirates of Penzance with the flamboyance, let us say, turned up to 11. It was wonderful.
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2012

My preschoolers loves this channel.
I think it may have indirectly lead to her dancing obsession.
posted by madajb at 4:06 PM on October 16, 2012

And of course, the nature of scheduling by PBS 'round my parts means that I will never, ever get to watch it on purpose.
posted by rhizome at 4:18 PM on October 16, 2012

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