LESSONS From the Neighborhood: What Mr. Rogers was REALLY Teaching

Premiere Screening & Discussion: Friday, April 4th, 2014
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia
6:00 – 7:30 pm

This premiere will be held in conjunction with the Institute for the Arts in Healing’s Spring Training event on Mindfulness, Compassion & the Arts in Therapy. In the same hotel is the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute, with a Symposium all day Friday before the film showing as well as workshops Sat. & Sun. http://institute.expressivemedia.org/

The Discussant for the Film will be Dr. Eliana Gil, Institute Founder and Chair. Dr. Gil is a registered play therapy supervisor, a registered art therapist, and a licensed marriage, family, child counselor. Also a former president of the Association for Play Therapy, she received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. She is the author of numerous books and articles.

Film Trailer: http://youtu.be/ZMXahUKKwVg

Fred “Mister” Rogers was more than just a television friend to millions of children. He taught us key psychological principles for living in a creative language accessible to all ages.

In 1966, having moved back to Pittsburgh from Toronto, Fred Rogers acquired the rights to his CBC 15-minute program “Mister  Rogers” and relaunched it in a “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” format on WQED. Known for his natural and gentle style, each episode featured puppeteer Rogers speaking directly to his young audience about a variety of topics and life issues. The program was broadcast through 2001, and over 1,000 30-minute episodes were produced.

Also in 1966, Rogers invited Judy Rubin, a young Pittsburgh art therapist, to visit his TV neighborhood as The Art Lady. A character on the show into 1969, Rubin later became a pioneer in the discipline of art therapy, as well as a psychologist and psychoanalyst. Inspired by Roger’s recommendation that she promote the healing power of the arts to the attention of the public through film, Rubin began her work as a filmmaker in 1970, later founding Expressive Media, a nonprofit dedicated to that mission.

“Lessons from the Neighborhood – What Mister Rogers was Really Teaching” is Rubin’s homage to her friend and mentor, and—reflecting Rogers’ simple narrative approach—reveals the underlying psychological and educational principles that he so creatively introduced to his viewers through the use of puppetry and song.

Created with the cooperation of WQED-TV, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Fred Rogers Company as well as Joanne Rogers (Fred’s widow) and others, this documentary opens an entirely new discussion about Rogers’ contribution to the wellbeing of our national psyche, and the power of the arts to help us to surmount not only daily challenges (anxiety, separation, delaying gratification) as well as life’s many dilemmas and passages.

Contact: Barry M. Cohen, Executive Director, Expressive Media
• 703-914-1268 •

Dr. Rubin & Dr. Gil may be available for interviews as desired.

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