Mary Lou Bigelow is producer-host of the Mary Lou Bigelow Show – Afghanistan Series and The Global Connection series.
Bigelow launched The Global Connection at the Winchester, Mass. community access studio TV-19 in 1995. which aired weekly from 1995 through 1997. Some well-known guests on the series included Professor John Kenneth Galbraith in his Cambridge, Mass. home, U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy in his Boston, Mass. office, UPI’s White House Bureau Chief Helen Thomas in the West Wing of the White House, and Professor (and author) Lester Thurow.
Any TV program requires the dedication and hard work of many volunteers to see it through to fruition. The Global Connection was fortunate to have a great team of crew members that included Henry Szafarz, Bernard Eyden, Mert Ober, Ernest Hickin, Irina Todd, Stephanie Koulet and Andrew Spieler.
After a four-year hiatus, in year 2000, Bigelow guest-hosted a show for seniors called Golden Opportunities at the Arlington (Mass.) Studio Channel 8 for her dear friend and creator of the show – Harry Barber, who passed away in 2001. His wife Bea Barber now hosts the show for Executive Producer Council on Aging Executive Director John Jope.
In March 2001, Bigelow resurrected her show under the name of The Mary Lou Bigelow show in Arlington. The program focused on a myriad of local and international issues.
On September 11, 2001, Bigelow videotaped a special show on Word War !! for a series on the 20th Century and immediately after that, she launched her Afghanistan Series in order to give the “other side of the story” to counterbalance the unflattering images of the Afghan people as depicted on mainstream TV. She wanted to give a “voice and face” to the proud Afghans and to the country where she lived from 1968 to 1972. To date, she has completed 61 Afghanistan Series episodes.
On March 5, 2002, she presented an event called The Soul of Afghanistan at the McCall Middle School in Winchester, Mass. Sponsored by the Friends of the Winchester Library, the Winchester Multicultural Network, the League of Women Voters, the Rotary Clubs of Winchester and Arlington, Winchester’s Interfaith Council and the good heart of a Winchester lady, who wanted to remain anonymous.
The event was videotaped under the direction of Marsha Browne. Crewmembers included Adam Dusenberry, Courtney Bowman, Jeff Munro, Dennis Heslet and Patti Glass. Executive Producer Mary Lou Bigelow moderated the event.
The Afghanistan Series took First Place nationally at the 2002 Hometown Video Festival of Alliance for Community Media (ACM). Awards were presented in Houston Texas in August 2002.
Mary Lou Bigelow (Executive Producer and Creator) and Marsha L. Browne (Co-producer and Director)
In September of that year, the Mary Lou Bigelow show received two First Place and two Second Place awards at the Northeast Region Video Festival of ACM.
During that same month, Mary Lou returned to her adopted country–Afghanistan to search for her Afghan friends Khyoom and Rajab and to attend the Reconstruction Conference of Kabul City held September 21 to 24.
After six weeks of filming in Kabul she returned to the United States armed with 50 hours of digital video footage for her shows.
In collaboration with Adam Dusenberry of Winchester Community Access and Media, she completed a new opening for the Afghanistan Series on Final Cut Pro 3 in the WinCAM edit suite.
Some of her exclusive interviews while in Kabul include Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah; His Royal Highness General Sardar Abdul Wali in the Royal Palace and Ambassador to Australia H.E. Mahmoud Saikal.
Two shows featuring author and scholar on Central Asia Neamat Nojumi were recently videotaped at the WinCAM studio. Crew included Directors Stephen Ranieri and Courtney Bowman, Elizabeth Bennett, Richard Cusolito, Nick Lee and David Plantamura.
Bigelow’s resurrected program, The Global Connection Series, continues its in-depth search for the essence of the global family and the search for peace.
Kudos go to the staffs of WinCAM and Arlington Studios without whose encouragement and guidance these shows would never have come to fruition. In alphabetical order are Don Cronin, Adam Dusenberry, Dennis Heslet, Jeff Munro and Mark Apostalon. Thank you all.
Mary Lou Bigelow was founder-editor of Economic Development, a special supplement to Banker and Tradesman newspaper from 1990 to 1995. She was named Massachusetts and New England Media Advocate for Small Business by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1995. In 1993 she was an invited guest at the World Economic Forum’s Europe-East Asia Meetings held in Hong Kong. That year she returned to Hong Kong and Guangdong with the Massachusetts Trade Mission, led by Governor A. Paul Cellucci.