2023 Vision Maker MEdia Highlights


Happy New Year Everyone from Executive Director, Francene Blythe-Lewis 

Welcome to 2024! I am enthusiastic about the year. Vision Maker Media Board of Directors and staff are proud of the work we accomplished in 2023. Here are three highlights,

May of 2023, we acknowledged Syd Beane (Flandreau Santee Sioux) filmmaker, historian, documentarian, and Dakota Elder in the Twin Cities, with the Frank Blythe Award for Media Excellence. The Frank Blythe Award for Media Excellence, named after VMM’s founding executive director, was created to recognize outstanding contributions by an individual or organization in creating opportunities engaging and empowering Native American and Alaska Native media makers.

Frank Blythe Award - Syd Beane

Photo by: Ne-Dah-Ness Greene

In all of 2023, we engaged with Native country and public media entities to improve our visibility by attending sixteen (16) different conferences and convenings in 2023. Our participation at these events helped develop stronger long-term partnerships. We also built VMM’s staff and team capacity, which will allow us to further build our reach and 2024 impact.

Youth can discover their own and different Native cultures through VMM’s YouTube channel. These 1-3 minutes short film streams started Christmas of 2022. The shorts are specifically geared for students K-8 and we have named this program, iNATIVE Shorts for Kids. We continue to upload on VMM’s YouTube channel with these shorts films and will be adding fun educational activities for kids and families to coincide with the film topics.

Check out the videos here:

At the end of each year, I like to imagine, plan, and visualize the upcoming year with positive aspirations, goals, and activities. VMM’s new voice leads us forward, “Together we are Vision Makers.”

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Program Coordinator

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.