Aug. 17 2011 12:00 AM

Ken Burns and Ken Beachler both get some attention during WKAR’s annual Fall Preview


WKAR will honor a local arts advocate and provide a look
at its future programming during its third annual Fall Preview on Aug.

“It’s become kind of a tradition here to introduce the
community to what’s happening here at WKAR,” said WKAR communications
director Jeanie Croope. 

The evening includes a sneak peek at new programs lined up
for WKAR-TV and radio, including documentarian Ken Burns’ “Prohibition”
(premiering in October), the PBS Fall Arts Festival, the new series
“America in Primetime” and the documentary “The War of 1812,” among others. 

WKAR will also recognize director, actor
and administrator Ken Beachler, a longtime figure in the community arts
scene. A Michigan State University graduate famous for his versatile
voice, Beachler trained privately in Chicago for a career in musical
theater, and went on to serve as director of MSU’s lecture/concert

Beachler is directing the Lansing Civic
Players’ production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff?” later this year
and will direct Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Follies” at Riverwalk
Theatre next spring.

also has a history in TV. “Beginning in 1971, I started hosting
television programs,” he said in a phone interview last week. “It’s nice
of (WKAR) to thank me, but it’s not deserved: I was just part of the
team. But they said it had do with other stuff I had been doing for 50

Croope said Beachler’s connection to the art community and WKAR is the reason for his recognition. 

“He was the founding director of Wharton
Center and WKAR-FM’s first fine arts programing director. So it’s kind
of a nice way we can salute someone who is so connected to our arts in
the community in so many efforts and also to WKAR,” Croope said.

The preview is open to the public, but reservations are
required, due to limited space. Reservations can be made online at

WKAR Fall Preview
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24
WKAR Studio A, Michigan State University
Free, but reservations are required.RSVP by calling Becky Scheel at (517) 432-3120, ext. 354, or e-mailing