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WCET-TV Hosts 'CET Is ME' Block Party In Station Parking Lot This Weekend

C.F. Payne's The Singing Mural on the south side of WCET-TV overlooks the parking lot.
J. Miles Wolf
C.F. Payne's The Singing Mural on the south side of WCET-TV overlooks the parking lot.

Brave Berlin to illuminate "The Singing Mural" on Crosley Telecommunications Building during the three-night event.

Updated: September 21, 2021 at 1:59 PM EDT
WCET-TV's new "CET is ME" is now free!

The station's managers announced Tuesday afternoon that they've dropped the $10 admission for their new event this weekend, a block party in the WCET-TV parking lot.

"Thanks to the event's sponsors, 'CET is ME' is now free and tickets are not required. Donations will be graciously accepted," says Kellie May, CET manager of communications and digital initiatives.

After the Action Auction fundraiser, the WCET-TV staff and supporters are ready to party.

And you're invited.

The first "CET Is Me" outdoor celebration will be held this weekend, Thursday-Saturday Sept. 23-25 in the WCET-TV parking lot under C.F. Payne's iconic "The Singing Mural" at 1223 Central Parkway. It's a salute – and thank you – to Dr. O'dell Owens, who chaired the Action Auction Sept. 8-11 for a record 11th year.

"This is a one-of-a-kind event that will celebrate Dr. O’dell Owens and bring our community together in a safe way during a time when so many of us feel isolated and separated from each other," says Mary MacDowell, WCET-TV's events manager.

"PBS has always been a place for people from all walks of life and we’re looking forward to coming together to celebrate Our neighborhood, the impact of Dr. Owens and the role PBS has played in so many lives,” she said in a CET statement.

Opening night on Thursday will be a 7 p.m. VIP party honoring Owens. Tickets are available for a $100 donation at CETconnect.

Admission for Friday and Saturday is free.

Party-goers will mingle with PBS characters while listening to musical performances by the Cincinnati Boy Choir (Thursday), the Soul Pocket Band (Friday) and DJ Elementz (Saturday).

The highlight of each night will be the world premiere of " 'The Singing Mural' coming to life" in a light projection show by Brave Berlin, of BLINK and Lumonocity fame.

Dr. O'dell Owens speaks at WCET-TV's mural dedication ceremony in the large Channel 48 studio on Aug. 12, 2021.
Ronny Salerno
Dr. O'dell Owens speaks at WCET-TV's mural dedication ceremony in the large Channel 48 studio on Aug. 12, 2021.

The 7-11 p.m. block party features food trucks, beer and wine, photo opportunities, PBS characters and "The Singing Mural" coming to life "throughout the evening," according to the station's website.

The event will take place rain or shine.

Renowned Cincinnati illustratorC.F. Payne drew "The Singing Mural" in 2012 for Artworks featuring Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel; PBS children's host Fred Rogers; Cincinnati arts patron Patricia Corbett; Cincinnati broadcasting icon Ruth Lyons; Mr. Redlegs; Sesame Street's Grover; opera singers Beverly Sills and Leontyne Price; Cincinnati Police Officer Al Staples; musicians Elton John and Cab Calloway; the Phantom of the Opera; Madame Butterfly; Pagliacci; Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker; and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Owens, a Cincinnati native, recently retired as president and CEO of Interact for Health. He had previously served as Hamilton County coroner; Cincinnati State Technical and Community College president; and Cincinnati Health Department medical director. He also established the in-vitro fertilization program at UC's Medical Center.

Owens was honored Aug. 12 with the muralon the east side of the Crosley Telecommunications Center, which houses WCET-TV, WVXU-FM and WGUC-FM. The Singing Mural is around the corner, on the south side of the building, overlooking a parking lot along 12th Street.

Says the CETconnect website:

"Join us as we celebrate the many unique and original aspects and qualities of CET and PBS as well as the impact of Dr. O’dell Owens with an Our Neighborhood Block Party and outdoor experience that utilizes our building as the canvas. Our outdoor gathering will amplify the idea of CET is ME by animating the exterior with light, color and projection, connecting to the community, the neighborhood and CET like never before with the help of our friends at Brave Berlin."

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.