PBS Documentary

"Across the Aisle" to air on WCVE and WHTJ
Sep 13 2010 - 4:52pm

The 2008 public television documentary "Across the Aisle" will be broadcast on Thursday, Sept. 16th at 9:00pm on WCVE and WHTJ public television stations in Richmond and Charlottesville and again on Tuesday, Sept. 21st at 9:00pm on WCVE Richmond. The documentary follows the Sorensen Institute's Political Leaders Program Class of 2007 during its 10-month program across Virginia. The broadcast comes as the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership is recruiting applicants for the 2011 Political Leaders Program Class as well as the 2011 Candidate Training Program. Applications for both programs are being accepted at the Sorensen Institute's website until 5:00pm on Nov. 8th. For more information, visit www.sorenseninstitute.org.

The documentary was produced courtesy of a $100,000 gift from Albemarle County resident Fred Scott. Asked about the upcoming broadcast, Scott  said, "Combine the best of Public Television leadership and producer/directorship skills with great academic leadership and a documentary is born. John Casteen, former President of UVA, took only a few minutes to understand and approve our Charlottesville PBS station manager's idea to produce "Across The Aisle," the story of a year-long Sorensen class. Editorial restrictions? None. We have been impressed by producer Paul Roberts' work and we trust our University's reputation to him." Scott added, "For me, watching a gem of an idea...one that began in a quiet conversation on my front porch...develop into a full blown documentary that 'gets it right' about Sorensen, has been a joyous journey." 

"Across the Aisle" Scheduled for Central Va Broadcasts
Jan 12 2009 - 12:01pm

The PBS documentary "Across the Aisle," about the Sorensen Institute's Political Leaders Program, will be broadcast throughout Central Virginia on Comcast Channel 14 this coming Wednesday, January 14 at 3pm and next Sunday, January 18 at 4pm.

2008: The Year in Pictures
Dec 16 2008 - 3:12pm
please install flash

This has been an unforgettable year for the Sorensen Institute—the 15th anniversary of our founding. We hope you enjoy this collection of photos from throughout this special year. (Press the arrow to play the slideshow and click here to see a larger version of the photos)

BREAKING: ACPS to Broadcast Across the Aisle
Oct 31 2008 - 2:48pm

THIS JUST IN: Alexandria City Public Schools Television has announced that it will broadcast "Across the Aisle" beginning today, October 31, and running through Wednesday, November 5 at 9am and 8pm each day. Here is the press release in full:

In these times of nasty election campaigns and bitter partisanship in government, is there any hope that Americans can come together politically?  It appears that the best model for returning civility to our nation’s political process might be found in Charlottesville, at the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.
ACROSS THE AISLE follows members of a highly selective class of adult students from across the Commonwealth to track their personal and political transformations during a yearlong training program geared for public servants, activists, and lobbyists.  The documentary focuses on seven of the 35 citizen leaders accepted into the 2007 training program.
Class members come face to face with their personal biases and political limitations by arguing against their own positions, breaking down political stereotypes, spending real time with their opponents, balancing a state budget, and touring state-run facilities to learn a new and highly functional approach to politics.
ACROSS THE AISLE is a poignant and personal story that reveals a new model for political leadership, in which the most powerful tools are civility, trust, and respect.
ACROSS THE AISLE may be viewed on ACPS-TV, channel 71 on cable in Alexandria, from October 31 to November 5 at 9:00 a.m. and at 8:00 p.m. daily.

"Across the Aisle" to be Broadcast in Hampton Roads
Oct 6 2008 - 9:19am

Across the Aisle— the PBS documentary about the Sorensen Institute's Political Leaders Program Class of 2007—will be broadcast every day this week (October 5-11) at 9pm on the City of Norfolk's Neighborhood Network, Channel 48. Check it out live in that area or watch it live online at that time.

"Across the Aisle" Premieres May 28 on Television
May 28 2008 - 12:03pm














The new PBS documentary about the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership—"Across the Aisle"— will enjoy its television broadcast premiere tonight in the Richmond and Charlottesville markets.

The 90-minute documentary, which explores the experiences of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2007, will air tonight at 8pm on WHTJ in Charlottesville and on WCVE in Richmond.

The program will be rebroadcast on June 4 at 10pm on these stations as well.

Other broadcast dates throughout Virginia and around the nation have yet to be scheduled.

DVDs of the documentary will be available to purchase beginning in July.

After viewing the documentary, we invite you to share your reactions with us. Please send your thoughts about the documentary to Coy Barefoot. We'll look forward to hearing from you.

We also want to take this opportunity once again to thank long-time Sorensen supporter and former member of the State Advisory Board, philanthropist Fred Scott, for his leadership and vision. Without Fred's generous financial and enthusiastic support of this project, it would not have happened. Thank you, Fred.

Sorensen's Bob Gibson Authors Commentary in RTD
May 27 2008 - 9:55pm


Bob Gibson, Sorensen's new Executive Director, is the author of a commentary that was published this past Sunday in the Richmond Times Dispatch: We Can Train Political Leaders to Work 'Across the Aisle.'

Bob writes about the mission of the Sorensen Institute and the new PBS documentary "Across the Aisle" which captures the Sorensen experience so well.

"Across the Aisle" will enjoy its broadcast premiere on Wednesday night, May 28 in Charlottesville and Richmond.

PODCAST: WHTJ's D.J. Crotteau and "Across the Aisle"
May 27 2008 - 11:07am

D.J. Crotteau, Executive Producer and Station Manger at WHTJ-PBS in Charlottesville, was a recent guest on "Charlottesville—Right Now! with Coy Barefoot" to discuss "Across the Aisle," a new documentary about the Sorensen Institute that will premiere tomorrow, Wednesday May 28, at 8pm in Richmond and Charlottesville.

PLP 07 Alumni Preview PBS Documentary
May 19 2008 - 11:32am


Graduates of the Political Leaders Program Class of 2007 gathered in Norfolk this past Friday night to preview "Across the Aisle," the new PBS documentary about the Sorensen Institute. This caps off four such preview parties that were held around Virginia during the last two weeks. The documentary will premiere in Richmond and Charlottesville one week from Wednesday—May 28 at 8pm.

From left to right: Ann Flandermeyer, Sean Holihan, Brenda Haegley, Diane Kaufman, and Grant Tate.



Roanoke Times Editorial Praises Work of Sorensen Institute
May 6 2008 - 9:36am

An editorial in today's edition of the Roanoke Times praises the work of the Sorensen Institute. Titled, Civil Politics Shouldn't be an Oxymoron, the editorial reads in part,

By bringing together those with differing ideologies into the same classes, the institute has helped future leaders see issues from multiple perspectives...Americans deserve substantive campaigns. They deserve candidates who debate ideas rather than tear down their opponents with misleading attacks and slimey tactics. Sorensen has been doing what it can. Perhaps this PBS documentary, which will air in Charlottesville and Richmond later in the month and, we hope, across the nation later, will broaden the institute's reach.

Click here to read the full editorial.