How We Got to ‘Sesame Street’ with ‘Street Gang’ Director Marilyn Agrelo

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Oscar The Grouch and Carroll Spinney
Oscar The Grouch and the late Carroll Spinney, his puppeteer, are featured in the new documentary 'Street Gang.' (Luke Geissbühler)

More than a half-century ago, “Sesame Street” debuted on TV screens. Explicitly designed to close the learning gap for kids from low-income families by teaching the alphabet, numbers and other preschool basics, the show also tackled social-emotional skills, like dealing with grief and conflict. In her new documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street,” director Marilyn Agrelo uncovers the show’s radical origin story, using interviews and archival footage to trace the show’s first decade on air. We’ll talk with Agrelo about the enduring legacy of “Sesame Street.”


Marilyn Agrelo, director, “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street," “Mad Hot Ballroom” and “An Invisible Sign"