Gardener of the Week
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Tom Spencer is the CEO of Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT.) iACT cultivates peace and respect through interfaith dialogue, service and celebration. Prior to being hired by iACT in 2008, Spencer served as a host and producer for KLRU-TV, Austin's Public Television station, for over 25 years.
Employed by KLRU from 1982 - 2008, Spencer served as a manager and producer of local and statewide public affairs programs, nationally distributed documentaries on art and architecture, and a wide variety of special projects. Throughout his association with KLRU he has also served as the primary host for the station's local programming.
Spencer has won many awards and honors for his work on television. A singular honor came in 1994 when he was appointed to a select task force by the President of PBS to reshape public affairs programming for the national system. More recently, his documentary, The Painted Churches of Texas: Echoes of the Homeland won the National Educational Television Association's award for Historical Documentary of the Year (2001.) In 2003, the Austin Chronicle named Austin Now as “Austin's Best New Television Program” as a part of its annual “Best of Austin Awards” issue, and in 2004 Spencer was chosen as “Best TV Moderator” by the same publication.
Since 1983 Spencer has also produced and hosted a weekly radio program on gardening for KLBJ-AM. He is the author of numerous articles and columns on gardening and landscape design. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including: The Good Life, Domain Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, and The Austin American-Statesman. An accomplished photographer, his work has appeared in galleries and has been published along with his written work.
His current projects include the internationally popular website, Soul of the Garden. winner of the first ever “Mouse and Trowel” award as the “Gardening Website of the Year” for 2007.
In his work with AAIM, Spencer is attempting to create a national model for inter-faith dialogue and empathy that is based on the simple premise of doing good – together.