Back to all news stories

An engaging sense of PLAY

By Kate West

PLAY showcases the projects created by the A&D community.

The University of Michigan School of Art & Design’s ongoing video series, PLAY, received an Emmy Award as a top program in the arts and entertainment category. The award from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was presented at the annual Emmy Awards ceremony June 5 at the Royal Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak.

Since the closing of WFUM, the Ann Arbor-Flint PBS station last April, the PLAY series has run on the Michigan Channel. The award marks the fourth Emmy in three years for the series.

“Our unique paired websites – one primarily for administrative and news purposes, the other (PLAY) for showcasing the creative work of the A&D community – allows us to effectively transmit to the public the dynamic and diverse character of the school and enter successfully into the media culture represented by the Emmys,” said Bryan Rogers, dean of U-M School of Art & Design.

The PLAY series features short pieces by and about the School of Art & Design community. The series is produced by Katherine Weider-Roos, who, before coming to U-M in 2005, specialized in arts programming at PBS. She has received several EMMY awards, including for her work on “Backstage Pass,” (1998); “Visionary States and the Artist,” (2001) and “In a HeartBEAT: The Story of Mosaic Youth Theatre” (2006).

In addition to the Emmy Award, the PLAY production graphics team received an Emmy nomination for the work of U-M students Shannon Kohlitz, Kavita Lokchander and Carolyn Sommes.

In 2009, an award for best graphics went to then undergraduate Peter Traylor for his “Shadow Puppet” animation created for the PLAY TV series. A second award in the Advanced Media category went to the Animation Station, an interactive, portable work that allows users with or without experience to make stop-motion animations and share them online.

In 2008, PLAY received an Emmy in the category of Program Promotions – Single Spot for a work created by then undergraduate Jeff Christy.  Also in that year, PLAY was also presented with a Broadcast Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for Best Marketing & Promotion.