Sesame Workshop is launching its first-ever documentary series to highlight some of the most challenging issues that kids are facing today
Through Our Eyes (four x 30 minutes) debuts July 22 on HBO Max and follow kids who are dealing with homelessness (“Shelter”), parental incarceration (“Apart”), living in a military family (“Homefront”) and displacement by climate-related disasters (“Uprooted”). Each documentary is aimed at kids ages nine and up, and looks at these issues with a child-focused lens.
To direct the series, Sesame tapped Emmy winners Geeta Gandbhir (I Am Evidence) and Rudy Valdez (The Sentence) for “Apart”; Emmy nominee Talleah Bridges McMahon (My Name is Pauli Murray) for “Uprooted”; Emmy winner Kristi Jacobson (Solitary) for “Homefront”; and Oscar nominee Smriti Mundhra (A Suitable Girl) for “Shelter”.
CEO Steve Youngwood previously told Kidscreen that Sesame is expanding into current affairs programming and documentaries in order to tackle pressing but sometimes overlooked issues that kids are facing. The company recently teamed up with CNN to launch a series of town halls covering how kids and families can combat racial justice and deal with the pandemic.
On the philanthropic side of its business, the non-profit has tapped Hillary Strong as chief development officer. Reporting to president Sherrie Westin, her remit is to expand philanthropic development efforts by tapping into new revenue streams and fostering a company-wide culture of stewardship.
Strong was previously a chief development officer at New York Public Radio, where she drove revenue and secured grants to support its foundation and philanthropic business. She has also worked in fundraising and development at The Whitney Museum, The Guggenheim Museum and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History.