Actor/Filmmaker Raphael Sbarge to Co-Host KCET Special ‘A Concrete River: Reviving The Waters of Los Angeles’

Burbank, Calif. – May 2, 2017 – KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station, announced today a special telecast of the Raphael Sbarge (Murder in the First, Once Upon A Time) produced and directed documentary A CONCRETE RIVER: REVIVING THE WATERS OF LOS ANGELES, which chronicles the importance of the Los Angeles River culturally, economically and ecologically. Supported by a challenge grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, this special telecast will take viewers on a historical tour of the Los Angeles River starting with the native Tongva tribes that lived along its banks before the Spanish arrived, all the way through to the present day.  Co-hosted by Armenian filmmaker Carla Garapedian (Assoc. Producer, The Promise) and actor Sbarge, the special presentation of the documentary will take viewers behind the scenes of the making of the documentary, as well as treat viewers to various popular activities along the LA River including bird watching, kayaking and fly fishing. Sbarge will discuss his directorial debut as a filmmaker, as well as his environmental non-profit organization Green Wish. The special presentation of A CONCRETE RIVER: REVIVING THE WATERS OF LOS ANGELES will premiere Sat., May 20 at 7 p.m. PT on KCET in Southern California.

A CONCRETE RIVER: REVIVING THE WATERS OF THE LOS ANGELES RIVER tells the story of the once wildlife-rich river that has been turned into a concrete ravine from the hills to the sea. This documentary takes viewers on a journey from the origins of Los Angeles to the present; through floods, waterways and the building of the 51 mile-long concrete water basin, which protects Los Angeles from seasonal floods. Today, with the enthusiasm and support of many Angelinos, the river is roaring back to life. New, revived and redesigned, it will serve its purpose as a protective waterway and as an ecosystem; a place where wildlife, fish, and people may gather. A billion-dollar restoration plan is underway to restore the river to its original glory thanks to a grass-roots movement dedicated to forging a new river that can survive in today’s urban Los Angeles.

During the special programming, viewers who donate to KCET can receive an original handcrafted mosaic necklace that uniquely commemorates the Los Angeles River from The Piece Shop, a project that creates quality-handcrafted wares by residents of Skid Row and South LA. The effort is in conjunction with Piece by Piece, a social enterprise affiliate of Skid Row Housing Trust. Piece by Piece provides low-income and formerly homeless people with free mosaic craft workshops using recycled materials to develop marketable skills, self-confidence, earned income and an improved quality of life.  

The special will be supported by Newman’s Own Foundation, who recently awarded KCETLink Media Group a two-year $150,000 challenge grant as part of its commitment to the encouragement of philanthropy. As part of KCET’s commitment to Newman’s Own Foundation, the grant will be used for local KCET programming that celebrates the Los Angeles River and links supporters to L.A. River activities and engagement opportunities. Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $485 million to thousands of charities around the world.

Raphael Sbarge was born into a theatre-oriented family in New York City and began his career at the age of five on Sesame Street. By 16 he was in his first Broadway show, The Curse of the Aching Heart, opposite Faye Dunaway. At 18, just days after graduating high school, he flew to Chicago to co-star in Risky Business with Tom Cruise. Sbarge has since appeared in more than 30 films, including Independence Day, Vision Quest and Pearl Harbor. He was a series regular on CBS’s The Guardian and appeared in recurring roles on Dexter, Prison Break, 24 and Star Trek: Voyager. He has made more than 100 television guest appearances, with roles on The Good Wife, Castle, CSI, Chicago Fire, Criminal Minds and Grey’s Anatomy. Recent roles include TNT’s drama Murder in the First and ABC’s Once Upon a Time, where he recurs as Archie Hopper (aka Jiminy Cricket).

Outside of work, Sbarge, Ed Begley, Jr. and Rachelle Carson Begley launched the environmentalist non-profit organization called Green Wish, a nonprofit that helps local green organizations fund projects for their communities.

Since 2008, KCET has been documenting the history and culture of the Los Angeles River as well as ongoing coverage of its revitalization. Visit kcet.org/lariver for a comprehensive guide to the Los Angeles River, its people, its places, and its history. Explore self-guided field guides including walking, biking and horseback riding for the family as well as outdoor enthusiasts.

Join the conversation on social media using #KCETLink and #NewmansOwnFdn

ABOUT KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a part of the KCETLink Media Group. Select original programming from KCET is also available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV and Roku platforms.

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