"Mark Kistlers Imagination Station" Wins Emmy Award

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northern California Chapter has honored “Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station” with an Emmy Award in a collegial banquet held at San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. The public television series, which airs locally on KQED 9, teaches kids to draw in 3-D while imparting messages of self-esteem, and appreciation for literature, science, classic art and the environment.  The series airs in at least 60 other cities around the country. The 26 episodes of the 2009 series were produced and written by Robert Neustadt (Chicago), directed and edited by Douglas DeVore and Wendy Van Wazer (San Jose). The specific 30-minute episode, “Sammy Sea Turtle and The Mermaid,” was honored in the category of best Instructional/Informational Program.




Distributed in HD by NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association),  the series was shot in Michigan at Ferris State University Grand Rapids where a team of animation students and faculty donated hundreds of hours and resources to record Kistler’s Summer Camp. Rough cuts of the 26 half-hours were edited by students at ITT Technical Institute in Sylmar, California and completed by DeVore and Van Wazer. The award-winning animated open was brought to life by a team of animation graduate students and instructors at San Jose State University, led by Dream Works, SKG Animation Supervisor, Rex Grignon (“Shrek” & “Madagascar 2”).  Colorful animated vignettes which illustrate Kistler’s 12 “Renaissance Words” were created by students from Savannah College of Art and Design, ITT Technical Institute and Ferris State University, Grand Rapids.







“The list is too long to mention the many professionals, students, teachers and parents who contributed their time and talents to make this show happen. They humble me and they have my gratitude forever, ”  said Kistler who is also known for his Simon & Schuster Books, Summer Camps, and energetic school assemblies.  Kistler has been honored previously for earlier versions of “The Imagination Station” and his debut series,  “The Secret City”, produced in 1985 by Maryland Public Television. Series Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Neustadt is proud of the vast body of work,



“We love creating TV that is truly interactive, you watch and gotta pick up a pencil. Mark is the driving force behind every single minute of all 92 half-hours.”    Devore, who runs Digital Turbulence with his wife VanWazer, said  “This kind of grass roots production is challenging, but we believe in the final product and the good it can do.”




Major funding for the series was provided by The Sheldon Family of Milwaukee, Ferris State University Grand Rapids and the LunaTech Fringe, a cartooning and web design studio headed by Ward Makielski.  Special contributions come from artists Thomas Cleveland, Tim Decker, David Jablonski, David Baker and the following museums who contributed classic works of art for “The Master’s Gallery” segment:  Art Institute of Chicago, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Toledo Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art.







A video history of Kistler’s TV programs and the latest “Imagination Station” pilot can be viewed on-line.  His newest iPhone APP was just released and Kistler’s how-to draw mini-lessons can be streamed on You-Tube.