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Calvin's Inner Compass Shifts Timeslot
posted April 20, 2007

Inner Compass, the award-winning televison show shot on the Calvin College campus, is moving to a new timeslot and the first show to air then will feature former January Series director June Hamersma.

Inner CompassInner Compass airs in Grand Rapids on WGVU TV, the area's PBS affiliate. It will shift to a 1 pm timeslot on April 29, an episode that will take viewers on an inside tour of the January Series, probably the area's best-known and best-attended lecture series.

Jazmyne Fuentes, producer of Inner Compass, says the upcoming show promises to help viewers understand both the Series and Hamersma's critical role in growing the annual event from a sleepy series that drew some 100 people a day to a much-anticipated 15 days each January that packs 1,400 into the Fine Arts Center -- plus online listeners.

Inner Compass has been airing weekly throughout southwest Michigan on local PBS station WGVU-TV since 2000. The half-hour interview show focuses on how people make their decisions about ethical, religious, and social justice issues. Guests include authors, activists, religious leaders, and other engaging thinkers from around the world, as well as active members of the western Michigan community.

Recent topics have included supporting local businesses, West Michigan race relations, and suburban Christianity. Upcoming episodes will cover such topics as mothering a soldier (May 13) and prisoners re-entering society (May 20).

Fuentes says the January Series and Inner Compass share some similar traits.

"Inner Compass is unique in its engaging dialogue with people of all and no faiths," she says. "Without asking beforehand about guests’ religious background, the hosts explore the beliefs and values of guests regarding the topic they care deeply about. This open invitation for philosophical engagement has also been a favorite aspect of the January Series."

Indeed, in her interview with Inner Compass host Shirley Hoogstra, Hamersma says simply: "I wanted to bring the very best speakers or performers for the community, for one hour, to maybe listen to something they didn’t agree with or hadn’t thought about."

As for Hamersma's special trick for luring lecturers of the highest caliber to West Michigan? For that, says Fuentes, you’ll have to watch the episode.

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