Local Artists’ Brainchild Has Come to Life As Ziggy’s Arts Adventure, a New Kids Show on LPB

Photo courtesy of Clay Achee & LPB

What happens when a 9-year-old alien hears Chuck Berry and decides to come to earth and learn about art? You get Ziggy’s Arts Adventure, the new locally produced children’s show from Louisiana Public Broadcasting that is now streaming online!

Ziggy’s Arts Adventure is a nine-episode series about a curious, green alien who comes from a planet that does not need the arts because everyone communicates telepathically through “emoticles.” Ziggy knows that he’s a little different and, when hears music for the first time, discovers a new way of expressing emotion. Eager to learn more, he builds a rocket ship to earth and crash-lands in a Louisiana junkyard where a friendly group of musicians, known as The Junkyard Band, take him in and teaches him about art.

The concept for the show, developed by artist Clay Achee and his wife Kirsten Martinez, has been ten years in the making. The show got its start on YouTube. From there, a friend put them in touch with Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).

“My wife and I have a company called Beyond the Garage; we make and sell art,” Achee said. “I made puppets and Kirsten made hula hoops. We developed this show to teach kids about art and, when a friend of mine started working for LPB, he suggested we apply to try to get the show picked up.”

In November 2020, Achee got the greenlight for Ziggy’s Arts Adventure and the show went into production. 

The concept of the show is to teach kids about the arts in a fun way.

Achee said, “We want the show to be fun and educational. When making the show, our point is kids are like Ziggy: they’re new here and they’re learning about the world around them.”

Every episode includes a Louisiana artist who teaches Ziggy and the Junkyard Band about different kinds of art such as dancing, music, poetry, theater, and more. Local guests include dancer Anna Schwab, jazz musician John Gray, and poet Ava Haymon.

Achee wrote all nine episodes with the help of education consultant, Elizabeth Foos.

Photo courtesy of Clay Achee & LPB

“Elizabeth brought the educational know-how to the writing,” he said.

The show itself is very much a Louisiana production- it’s set in Louisiana and was shot at LPB Studios in Baton Rouge. Six sets were custom-built for the production and Achee made all of the puppets for the show himself. The cast and crew, including the puppeteers, are all from Louisiana. 

“We employ local actors and musicians,” Achee explained. “Liam Catchings wrote the music for the show; our puppeteers are locals who come from an acting background.”

As for the show’s future, Achee hopes this is only the beginning of Ziggy’s adventure. He said he would love for the show to get picked up by PBS for a full-run.

“We’re excited to see how far this will take us,” he said.

Ziggy’s Arts Adventure is currently streaming, one episode a week, on the Louisiana Public Broadcasting website. New episodes are released every Monday at 9:00 a.m.

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