Youth Media Alliance is pleased to announced that Hedda Sharapan, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives at The Fred Rogers Company, and Angela Santomero, Executive Producer of the new preschool animated series inspired by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, will be opening the 2011 Children, Youth & Media conference.
It was natural for Youth Media Alliance to invite the company whose founder, Fred Rogers, dedicated his life to serving children, especially since his first appearance in front of the camera as "Mister Rogers" was for CBC in Toronto in the 1960s. Hedda Sharapan will be presenting the past, present and future of The Fred Rogers Company. She will provide an overview of the original Neighborhood series that revolutionized children's media - how it was designed, what it was proven to do, and how it evolved over time. Angela Santomero, a leading producer of US children's television and creator of Blue's Clues & Super Why!, will talk about the pressure of re-imagining this beloved series for today's audiences. She will demonstrate how the principles have endured but the aesthetic has changed. The presentation will include previously unseen clips of the new four-year-old Daniel Tiger, son of the original Daniel Tiger, and his preschool friends. The series will be launched in fall 2012 on PBS KIDS, together with a content-rich website, including interactive games for kids, online resources for parents and teachers, and other cross-platform content. Animation for the series is being done in Toronto by the Canadian partner for the series, 9 Story Entertainment.