Making Good Ideas Come Alive

We are a simple show, not "highfalutin," with a minium of bells and whistles.  The core of our mission is to make humanistic ideas come alive for the broader public.  We place human dialogue at the center of our work, in the same way Martin Buber (the great philsopher and theologian) believed in the sacredness of the "I-Thou" encounter.  Which doesn't mean we don't like to have fun and enjoy a few laughs!  We believe intellectual discourse can also be engaging...and even entertaining.  Host John Bredin, an educator who hails from a show busines family, has just the right knack for this.  His wife and co-producer Claudia Canasto, a Colombian born scientist who is also deeply spiritual, is the perfect counterpart to this unique, "multicultural couple" TV show.  

Stemming the Tide of Ignorance

Public Voice Salon is situated at a vital intersection in the history of two fields: media and education.  Having studied Broadcasting in 1984, and education a decade later at NYU, host John Bredin is uniquely qualified for this mission; together with his scientist partner Claudia Canasto.  The goal of our show is to mitigate the "dumbing down" in society pointed out by many social scientists.  We take inspiration from famous media pioneers like David Susskind, Richard Heffner, Bill Moyers, and the original "Tonight Show" host Steven Allen who, in 1989, wrote a book called "Dumbth: the Lost Art of Thinking."  Both entertaining and  intellectual, we're a Socratic seminar ready for prime time.



Our Story

Run by a Husband-and-Wife Team

Many people ask John & Claudia with a tone of astonishment: How do you find your amazing guests?

The answer is simple: they live their lives.  Residing in the NYC metro area, rich with diverse cultural opportunities, they attend a variety of lectures, films, plays and art openings.  If a person, work, or idea intrigues them, they may discuss it over breakfast:

"Should we do a show on this?"

While John's background knowledge is from education and the humanities, Claudia brings expertise in science.  He's a gringo from New Jersey and she's a latina from Colombia!  Together, their path is spiritual: use media to educate for a more just, loving, and peaceful world. 

A humane and loving spirit is palpable in their shows. 

Show Business Roots

Host John Bredin has a magic link to Blanche Walsh: a great actress who was his grandmother's dear second mother.  Walsh played a key role in the Birth of Hollywood, and helped create the idea of a movie star. 

She was also the original advocate of an American National Theater (created with her friend Mark Twain) to help unify the country with great art.

Public Voice Salon continues this civic spirit to educate and uplift average citizens through culture.

In 2014, John and Claudia befriended Joe Franklin, inventor of the TV talk show.  Joe was the first to feature such iconic stars as Al Pacino, Barbara Streisand, and Elvis Presley on TV. 

Joe's praise of their work strenghthend John and Claudia's own mission to "reimagine the talk show" as a space for substantive cultural dialogue.

The Humanities: as Seen on TV

In the 1960s, a time of great hope for a better world, one in five college students studied the humanities.  Today that number is a mere one in twenty.  "Busines" is now the most popular college major.

Yet we believe the humanities (literature, philosophy, history) matter more today than ever.  In addition to science, we need a rich humanistic curriculum that nurtures imagination, empathy, hope, and critical thinking.  And that helps people communicate better.

We invite champions of the humanties to share the magic of their creative work with the world.  Past guests include literary critic Harold Bloom, intellectual historian Thomas Bender, education philosopher Nel Noddings, memoirst Vivian Gornick, film critic Molly Haskell, and Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro. 

So do your mind a favor and watch our free public "curriculum" on You Tube.

A Media to Transform Education

As I write this, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc.  Never before has our human vulnerablity been so obvious, nor our need to cooperate on an international level.

One potential "silver lining" in the dark cloud of this crisis may be a rising planetary resolve to transform education so it nurtures a more just, loving, healthy,  and peaceful world.  We want to help lead this effort. 

Our host John Bredin is not a generic media personality, but a teacher, thinker, and author of 15 books.  His essays have appeared in New York Press, Brooklyn Rail, and Huffington Post.  

With his loving wife Claudia Canasto, their goal is to search the world for the best minds who need to be heard--now more than ever--to change the world.  Try to imagine us as an innovative new University of Hope.

Watch and Learn

We urge you to browse through our You Tube episodes to see which topics or guests spark your intellectual curiosity.  Watch our show alone or with others, including your students if you’re a teacher.  Afterward, you can have a dialogue about what you learned. 

For obvious reasons, this works especially well in an online teaching and learning format.

John and Claudia, the producers of Public Voice Salon, are always open to your feedback.  Feel free to email them your thoughts and ideas for future guests or topics!