Dedicated to
Our Mission

Our mission and vision

Vision Maker Media’s mission is empowering and engaging Native people to share stories.

We envision a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate.

Photo from "What Was Ours"
Image from What Was Ours

PUBLIC MEDIA BY & ABOUT NATIVE AMERICANS

What began as a film archive to conserve and document Native American stories, transformed into the nation’s leader in content by and about Indigenous people for public broadcasting. Vision Maker Media works with Native producers to develop, produce, and distribute programs to educate audiences. We empower Native youth to grow up with stories that represent their backgrounds and with figures that embody their culture. Vision Maker Media generates important public conversations about present-day Native issues and sheds a long-overdue light on the foundation of American history through Native American stories.

What We Do
Explore What We Do At
Vision Maker Media

Our Values

Image from Under the Battle Tipi
45th Icon FINAL

THE PREMIER SOURCE OF PUBLIC MEDIA BY AND ABOUT NATIVE AMERICANS FOR OVER 45 YEARS.
Vision Maker Media’s mission is empowering and engaging Native American people to share their stories. We envision a world healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. We work with VMM funded producers to develop, produce and distribute programs for all public media. VMM supports training to increase the number of Native Americans and Alaska Natives producing public broadcasting programs.

We bring Indigenous storytelling to your home through community-based digital events, social media feeds and online film programs.

Our Team

Staff Members

Francene Blythe-Lewis

Executive Director

(Diné, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Eastern Band Cherokee)

Georgiana Lee

Director of Programs & Projects

(Navajo/Dine)

Dawn Amory

Director of Development &
Communications

Gregg Jablonski

Director of Accounting & Finance

Kris Stanley

Project Coordinator

Alana Stone

Project Manager

(Sicangu Lakota)

Brittany Grove

Contracts & Accounting Associate

Ann Mckeighan

Administrative Project Coordinator

Board of Directors

Joely Proudfit

Chair

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Franz Joachim

Secretary

RANDAL P. HANSEN​

Treasurer

Mary Kathryn Nagle

Paul Hunton

La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow

Elizabeth Weatherford

Kate Beane

Our Work

Nuturing Youth

We nurture the next generation of storytellers through partnerships with sustainable Native youth media training programs.

Mentorship & Funding

We provide Native filmmakers with professional workshops, funding, internships and mentorship programs.

Education

We help educators effectively cover present-day and historical Native
topics through free viewer discussion guides.

FOR OVER 45 YEARS
We've Educated
The Nation

Vision Maker Media fans and media consumers spread vastly across the United States and even worldwide, reaching younger and older audiences alike. Distinctive Native American tribes, cultures, histories and stories can be found everywhere and can be enjoyed by all age groups.

Native American and Alaska Native Films

Explore What We Do At
Vision Maker Media

Learn why Native representation in the media is vitally important.
See the positive impact we’re making for our filmmakers in your community.

News & Updates

Explore film updates, learn more about modern-day Native culture, go behind the scenes with the filmmakers, and keep up with the latest and greatest at Vision Maker Media.

Francene Blythe-Lewis

Executive Director

Diné, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Eastern Band Cherokee

“The visionary”

Role: Francene oversees and directs the entire staff at Vision Maker Media. She keeps her team moving towards our mission to propel VMM to the forefront of storytelling, innovation and creative thinking. An advocate for supporting Native American filmmakers and Native American media, she believes the most important aspects of Native and Indigenous stories are rooted throughout the millennia of time.

Executive Director Francene Blythe-Lewis

Georgiana Lee

Director of Programs & Projects

Navajo/Diné

“Smiles a Lot”

Role: Georgiana “George” Lee  worked for Vision Maker Media from 2009 – 2017 as the Assistant Director. She’s back and ready to continue helping filmmakers navigate the public media system to achieve a successful national broadcast on PBS. George’s experience includes producer, location manager, and unit production manager with the New Mexico Filmmakers Intensive and has worked with many filmmakers over the years.

Director of Programs and Projects Georgiana Lee

Dawn Amory

Director of Development & Communications

“Ol' Reliable”

Role: Dawn is the master of her fundraising domain. No matter the project, deadline, or impossibility, Dawn will find someway to get it done. You’ll often find Dawn in Alyssa’s office, chatting about her furbaby and dreaming up new marketing and development campaigns.

Director of Development and Communications Dawn Amory

Gregg Jablonski

Director of Accounting & Finance

“Money Man”

Role: Gregg makes sure the budget is balanced, and keeps Vision Maker Media from getting in trouble (at least financially). Gregg likes to laugh while dealing with numbers but occasionally cries. Gregg enjoys his new Vision Maker Media friends.

Director of Accounting and Finance Gregg Jablonski

Kris Stanley

Project Coordinator

“New Guy”

Role: Before his current role at Vision Maker Media, Kris spent more than a decade in New York City working on productions. His previous jobs include editor for shows on the Food Network, art director for a comedy tour, assistant production manager, art department coordinator and behind the scenes photographer for various commercial projects.

Alana Stone

Project Manager

Sicangu Lakota

"Office Fashionista"

Role: Alana is the resident event planner and grant writing expert at Vision Maker Media. You can find her calmly and quietly juggling all the many moving parts for the next big event between sips of kombucha.

Project Manager Alana Stone

Brittany Grove

Contracts & Accounting Associate

“Data Conqueror”

Role: Brittany gathers the moving pieces to our teams’ products and productions. She’s all about a proactive process within an ever evolving workplace. Enjoys heavily caffeinated contract reviewing with creative financial thinking.

Contracts and Accounting Associate Brittany Grove

Ann McKeighan

Administrative Project Coordinator

"Detail Queen"

Role: Ann is the glue tying all the departments together, making sure no detail gets swept under the rug. From Shop Vision Maker management, to organizing filmmaker contracts, final proofreading, and even office birthday celebrations, Ann isn’t just the department assistant. She’s the department superhero.

Joely Proudfit

chair

Joely Proudfit (Luiseño), Ph.D., is the Director of California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center, CSUSM. Dr. Proudfit holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science with emphasis in public policy and American Indian studies from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in political science with emphasis in public law from California State University Long Beach. As the first member of her family to complete a high school diploma, she serves as a role model for native youth and encourages self-determination through knowledge and education.

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.

Franz Joachim

Secretary

Franz Joachim is the general manager and CEO of the New Mexico PBS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to that, he served as the content director at the station and was in charge of all content–local national, web-based and mobile for the station. From 1999 to 2010, Franz was the production manager at KNME Channel 5, managing all production technical and human resources for all local production. He also served as senior editor and television director at WUSF/WGCU, as studio supervisor at KUAT-TV and at KUAT Communications Group. His production credits include documentary work on Desert Reefs and Desert Speaks. He has nearly 23 years of world wide diving experience.

RANDAL P. HANSEN

Treasurer

Randal P. Hansen is treasurer for the Vision Maker Media board of directors, serving the organization for the past eight years. His experience in the nonprofit sector includes current positions as assistant general manager of administration and finance for the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission and University of Nebraska Television, and treasurer and assistant secretary for the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission and the NET Foundations for Television and Radio.

Mary Kathryn Nagle

Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault.

Paul Hunton

Paul Allen Hunton is the General Manager of Texas Tech Public Media. He is a 3 time regional Emmy winning director, the vice-chair of Texas PBS, sits on the board of the University License Association, and formerly on the Digital Media Advisory Council for PBS Digital, and the NETA Production Council. He has been at Texas Tech Public Media since 2011.

La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow

La quen náay, Haida/Tlingit, is from Ḵéex̱ʼ Kwáan (Kake), Alaska. She is an enrolled Tribal Citizen of the Organized Village of Kake. La quen náay received her BA (BFA Equivalency) from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and her law degree from Arizona State University College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Indian Law. Since coming to First Alaskans Institute, La quen náay has served as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center, Vice-President, and now serves as the President/CEO, providing a direct path for service to our Native peoples.

Elizabeth Weatherford

Elizabeth Weatherford is a Board member of Vision Maker Media, and the founder and emeritus director of the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and its Native American Film + Video Festival in New York City and Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe.

Kate Beane

Kate Beane is Flandreau Santee Sioux and Director of Native American Initiatives (NAI) at the Minnesota Historical Society.