After an extremely successful first season on PBS starting last April, we're back for a second season of the educational and cultural travel series (and Emmy® Award-winning!) Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi. I continue my dance journey, this time traveling the world within the five boroughs of New York City: by learning the dance & music traditions of local New Yorkers in the ethnic neighborhoods of NYC! In each of the 13 30-minute episodes, I feature first, second, and third generation immigrants and how they are preserving their cultures through music and dance. These ethnic enclaves transport me within the city limits to Little Ukraine, Little Haiti, Harlem's deep-rooted history, and more. Through dance, music, food, celebration, and of course personal connection, I gets a taste of the world in one of the most diverse cities.
Bare Feet in NYC with Mickela Mallozzi is scheduled to air nationally on PBS starting July 2017 - the episodes are edited, the stations are excited for the new season, and we're ready to start airing in over 101+ million homes across the US. But what a lot of our viewers don't know is that in order to participate in the public television space, not only do you need to be vetted by PBS and American Public Television, but you also need to find ALL of your own funding. Have you ever noticed that there are no traditional commercials on PBS? That's because sponsors and advertisers have no control over the content that airs on the station, which keeps the programming accurate, full of integrity, and elevated. However, the responsibility to fund the production AND pay for distribution of the series (yes, as an independent producer, I must pay American Public Television to air my show) rests on the producer, which is me. Financial support can come from grants, underwriters, and viewers like you!
I didn't come from a TV production background; I have no formal training as a TV host; nor do I have any training as a journalist. And back in 2010, when I first had the idea for Bare Feet, I was laughed at by producers
who said, "If you're lucky, a network will buy your idea, but you definitely won't be the host." I can proudly say that my tenacity, passion, and patience to succeed in this project has paid off - two Emmy® Awards later (for Best Host and Best Magazine Program), the show is airing across the US in over 90% of all PBS stations, on the PBS app, on PBS.org, and in multiple countries around the world (including Hong Kong, Greece, and more!), and people are not only SEEING the show but they are LOVING it too!
But I want to be 100% transparent to my viewers. This new season could not be a message of more importance - we are truly highlighting the cultural diversity of New York City and of our country. This message is not only important but it is necessary to share with the entire United States, highlighting how our diversity is our biggest asset. I come from a family of immigrants, and I was inspired by my own experiences to share the stories of other immigrant families. Our country has been built by immigrants and by people who were forced to come here, and their modern legacies need to be told. I do this through the only way I know how, through music and dance.
This show has gone beyond what I had ever expected, and not in the way that you might think: I have received so many moving messages from fans who have shared how Bare Feet has touched them personally. From helping them through their cancer treatments to allowing them to share family time with their kids to giving them a sense of escape from their daily lives by traveling the world with me and even DANCING with me, it has been such an honor to be able to share my dream and my passion with you all. And then to be able to meet so many of you in person every day - the hugs, the tears, and the smiles are what keep me going with this passion project.
I only ask that if Bare Feet has touched you in any way and you want to see these episodes continue on PBS, then please consider supporting our little show. There is no risk - we know that if we raise $25K, Season 2 can start airing nationally on PBS stations across the country starting this July. And if we raise a little more than that, we can start working on the next season of the show, Bare Feet in The US.
The $25K will help cover some of the distribution costs as well as help us continue to promote and spread the word of Bare Feet.
Our message is clear - I make new friends by dancing with strangers, and if I can share these moments with the rest of our country, maybe we can all try a dance with a stranger who someday just might become our friend because of it.
Thank you for your support, and thank you for believing in Bare Feet!