Pictured (from left to right) Granddaughter of Tim Watkins, Watts community members and Oliverio Ortiz of Mudtown Farms. (Photos Courtesy of Rahzizi Ishakarah)
By Judy Shields
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 02/03/2023
Actor and Filmmaker Raphael Sbarge Chronicles Opening of Los Angeles Urban Garden MudTown Farms in New Docuseries – ‘10 Days in Watts’ Airing on PBS SoCal and KCET As a Highlight of Black History Month
The Legacy and History of Watts Informs the Present, Showcasing the Resilience of a Community Determined to Thrive
Select programming will also be available to stream on PBS.org and the free PBS App. Members of PBS SoCal | KCET get extended access through PBS Passport.
PBS SoCal and KCET, Southern California’s flagship PBS stations, announced the broadcast premiere of 10 DAYS IN WATTS from actor and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon a Time, Murder in the First). An urban garden called MudTown Farms is about to open in the Los Angeles community of Watts, built and nurtured by dedicated residents who see more than economic hardship, social inequality and environmental racism in their future.
The series chronicles three generations of activists in the Watkins family, as well as students, farmers, and community leaders committed to healing past social injustices.
The first two 30-minute episodes will premiere locally in Southern California on Sunday, February 12 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCET with the final two episodes on Sunday, February 19 at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCET.
All four episodes will also premiere back-to-back on Thursday, February 23 beginning at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal and will be available for streaming on the free PBS app as well as www.pbssocal.org/tendaysinwatts as well as www.kcet.org/tendaysinwatts
The Hollywood Times had the opportunity to talk with filmmaker Raphael Sbarge about the upcoming Docuseries ‘10 Days in Watts’.
Enjoy our conversation:
“I had the opportunity to watch the upcoming 4 episodes and they are all outstanding, with truthful and informative interviews of real people who talk about their hometown of Watts, LA County. This program is really worth your time and effort to watch and learn about a town who struggles more than most of us are aware of.” Judy Shields, The Hollywood Times
A project of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC), MudTown Farms was conceived to be an agriculture park with open space for community gardens, orchards, and reading gardens including a community center for teaching, training, and events. While the journey to open the farm has been beset with delays and cost overruns, the series begins ten days out from the Farm’s opening. At the center of this journey is Tim Watkins, the President of the WLCAC, who shares a vision of a family’s dedication to their beloved community. As the farm moves towards its opening, a patchwork mosaic of resilience emerges, focused on honoring its citizens, and determined to see the next generation thrive.
Produced by Raphael Sbarge’s Wishing Well Entertainment, he shared “We were given an opportunity to speak with residents, many of whom had spent their lives in Watts. They shared their journey– stories filled with complex and difficult experiences, but who also expressed genuine gratitude that someone would be interested in hearing their stories. What I discovered was that the community was filled with extraordinary individuals, all committed to helping others, despite the many challenges they had faced. We gathered those stories that were shared with us in audio interviews, and then filmed over ten days leading up to the opening of Mudtown Farms (and then a few days after). The farm’s very existence is rooted in a legacy story, and its significance within the community, tells a story within a story of ordinary heroes.”
What the Trailer:
Episodes of 10 DAYS IN WATTS will premiere as follows (subject to change):
“Legacy” – Sun., Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. on KCET and Thurs., Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal
MudTown Farms, an urban garden twelve years in the making, is ten days from opening in the Los Angeles community of Watts. Tim Watkins, President of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC), shares his vision of a family’s dedication to their beloved community. The WLCAC, a community Center with a powerful legacy, has done much for this underserved community for almost 60 years with the mission “To improve the lives of the citizens of Watts.”
“We Are Taught to Survive” -Sun., Feb. 12 at 8:30 p.m. on KCET and Thurs., Feb. 23 at 8:30 p.m. on PBS SoCal
A week from opening, the farm faces challenges, deadlines, and cost overruns, but Tim Watkins and the team press on. We also meet several community leaders, including Janine Watkins, speaking about their varied experiences growing up in the Watts community, the influence of Black History, the need for Latino voices and a common thread shared between them embodied by the acronym for Watts: “We Are Taught To Survive.”
“Watts Pride” – Sun., Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. on KCET and Thurs., Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal
With four days until the opening of MudTown, the next generation of community leaders are introduced as the effects of environmental racism are explored. Perspectives are shared from local residents and community leaders that includes Michael Krikorian, a renowned journalist who has covered Watts for decades and Johanna Rodriguez, a Watts resident on the Mayor’s task force. The episode also features poet Oshea Luga at the Watts Coffee House, a renowned arts community center in the heart of Watts.
“A Garden Grows in Watts” – Sun., Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. on KCET and Thurs., Feb. 23 at 9:30 p.m. on PBS SoCal
MudTown Farms opens after twelve years and the community comes out to celebrate. For Tim Watkins and family, a new day begins, and the torch is passed from father to son. The community provides feedback on the urban garden’s opening, including perspectives from a pastor, an 18-year-old double amputee headed to college, and a crisis intervention specialist.
Find more content at kcet.org related to issues surrounding the community of Watts— including those regarding food insecurity, affordable housing, history, arts and culture — as well as content related to urban gardening.
Join the conversation on social media using #10daysinwatts and @kcet, @pbssocal
About PBS SOCAL and KCET
PBS SoCal and KCET are both part of the donor-supported community institution, the Public Media Group of Southern California. PBS SoCal is the flagship PBS station for diverse people across California and delivers content and experiences that inspire, inform and educate. PBS SoCal offers the full slate of beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, and a broad library of documentary films with works from Ken Burns; as well as educational content including PBS KIDS programs like DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and CURIOUS GEORGE. KCET showcases the best of PBS and is a leading source for arts, culture, and news in Southern California. Through innovative storytelling, KCET explores and expresses our dynamic local communities helping residents understand and connect with the region’s diverse communities and ideas. For additional information about both KCET and PBS SoCal productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org and pbssocal.org KCET Originals and PBS programming are available to stream on the FREE PBS App on iOS and Android devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast. KCET is also available to watch live on YouTube TV.