How many times have you had the opportunity to visit the television or radio studios where some of your favorite programs are produced? Have you ever wanted to catch a behind the scenes peek to see where it all happens? Whether you are visiting the Boston area or you already live here, this is your chance, and the best part, studio tours in the WGBH Brighton, Mass. headquarters are free!
“Produced in Boston, shared with the world” is the WGBH slogan and a badge of honor for being part of Boston’s vibrant cultural community. WGBH is the premier producer of content found on PBS network affiliate channels across the USA, and available online in many parts of the world. Did you know that over 40% of prime time PBS television shows are produced right here in Boston at WGBH? You likely will recognize at least one if not many of these prime time programs including: “Antiques Roadshow”, “Frontline”, “American Experience”, “Nova”, “Masterpiece” and “Masterpiece Mystery”. WGBH also produces many of the popular programs for children found on PBS including “Curious George”, “Arthur”, “Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman”, “Martha Speaks” and “Between the Lions”. For a full list, scroll down to the Television section on this list.
Free Public Tours: For the budget traveler or local resident, there are many free public tours every month, each Wednesday at 2 p.m. and on the first and third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. Studio tour FAQs will answer most of your questions.
The Tour Experience: Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and includes visits to the state of the art recording studios and control rooms for television and radio, Frasier Performance Studio, and the Yawkey Auditorium, where WGBH frequently offers a variety of events. Each trained docent will share highlights of WGBH history, architecture of the studios (which opened in 2007), highlights of the myriad of on-site events, services for the audio and visual impaired, and of course, of the broad list of award winning television and radio programs. Please note that tours are geared more to an adult audience. While you likely will not see Curious George or favorite children’s television characters, you never know who you might encounter!
Green Tours: Upon request, docents also will share highlights of the many green aspects incorporated into the construction and ongoing operation of the WGBH LEED-certified facilities, which have garnered much praise in local press.
Events Galore: WGBH does plan multiple special events each year (most of which include free admission) tailored specifically for children including the WGBH Fun Fest, as well as a wide variety of events for adult interests. Some examples include the Jazz in Performance series, the Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival, episode premiers of Downton Abbey and many other popular programs.
Classical New England Cartoon Festival: WGBH also sponsors multiple events each year around town, including the popular cartoon festival, where kids ‘of all ages can enjoy their favorite Warner Brothers cartoons set to classical music on a giant screen, along with live performances, beloved PBS children’s characters (including the Cat in the Hat, Ruff Ruffman, Curious George, Arthur, Clifford, Peep), and more.’
The digital mural: As you drive eastward on The Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90) through Brighton and into downtown Boston, you likely will see the WGBH digital mural affixed to the WGBH Headquarters at One Guest Street. Or you can always check out and learn more about today’s mural image online.
Whether you are interested in television or radio production, studio history or architecture, gaining an insider’s view to some of your favorite PBS television or NPR and PRI radio programs, a WGBH studio tour will educate, inspire and entertain you as you learn more about the WGBH Mission and all that WGBH has to offer. Plan your visit now!