Eye on the Arts



The ‘Eye on the Arts’ segment was a popular special feature for over 15 years on our station’s Friday night news broadcast, with host John Cain interviewing guests in studio.   With the cancellation of our local news, Lakeshore PBS decided to expand ‘Eye on the Arts’ into its own half-hour television show. 

The retooled “Eye on the Arts” left the studio and went out into the community to feature segments of various artists and artistic organizations.   First appearing in a monthly format, Lakeshore has committed to produce the show as a short-run weekly series.

Producers create 3-5 minute segments that spotlight art and artists that are representative of our diverse NW Indiana region, which spans seven counties and ranges from cities that border Chicago to the very rural areas with a limited arts community. 

Producer Tony Santucci works with the South Shore Arts, the local Regional Arts Council and other community leaders to find these stories. “In shows to date, we have featured traditional art such as dance, theatre and painting, but also improv comedy, graffiti artists and a glass blower,” Santucci shared. “We find art in so many different places: that is what makes this show so exciting to produce.”

The show’s goal is to share stories of these regional artists to our large TV audience across the entire Chicagoland area, including many of Northwest Indiana’s under-served populations who often feel that the arts are inaccessible. 

Cain, who is executive director of South Shore Arts, sees the show as clearly addressing that need. “’Eye on the Arts’ works to fill this gap by educating the public about the availability of arts across our region,” Cain said.  This lack of awareness has been a key challenge in promoting the arts on a regional level as many residents were unaware of the cultural programs being offered by the local arts community, often at no charge. “This allows citizens within and outside our region to be better aware of the inherent joy and inspiration brought by the arts community,” Cain said.

Matt Franklin, Executive Producer for the program, relishes the opportunity to explore recurring themes that resonate within the program. “We hear, time and time again, people discuss how art can teach both the artist and the audience alike,” Franklin said.  “For some, art is used a rehabilitative tool, and for others, it is an economic engine for a community.”   

This series underscores Lakeshore PBS’s commitment to showing the full spectrum of the region’s cultural activities along with our desire to partner with organizations working to improve the quality of life for our residents.  After the program has aired, the video segments are shared on social media and are provided to those who participated as a means to promote their own organizations online.

“Eye on the Arts” also retains a radio presence through weekly segments with John Cain, who interviews guests in studio on our sister station, Lakeshore Public Radio.