Vision Maker Media Out in the Field

Washington, D.c.

Vision maker media staff visit washington, d.c.

Article by Gregg Jablonski, Director of Accounting & Finance | Photos provided by Francene Blythe-Lewis, Executive Director

Vision Maker Media (VMM) Executive Director Francene Blythe-Lewis and Director of Accounting & Finance Gregg Jablonski attended the American Public Television Stations (APTS) Public Media Summit held in person for the first time since 2019, on Monday, February 27 – March 1, 2023 in Washington, D.C. The theme of the Public Media Summit was “Inventing the Future.” 

Much of the discussions of the conference relating to “Inventing the Future” centered on broadcasting technological advances that are on the horizon, including the upcoming transition to NextGen TV and planning for the Rollout of Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0.  

ATSC 3.0 is the next generation terrestrial broadcast system designed from the ground up to improve the television viewing experience with higher audio and video quality, improved compression efficiency, robust transmission for reception on both fixed and mobile devices, and more accessibility, personalization and interactivity. 

Also for the first time since the pandemic began, the National Multi-Cultural Alliance (NMCA) met in the offices of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB is Vision Maker Media’s primary funder. VMM is a member of the NMCA with fellow alliance members: Black Public Media, Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, and Pacific Islanders in Communications. This meeting was the first opportunity for alliance members to meet in person. The group discussed the continued need to make a clear case for how we all do our work, and how we are well-situated to be a force for innovation, impact, and effectiveness in providing diverse, authentic, and impactful content. Much of the discussion with the NMCA centered on the alliance’s plan to develop a strategic plan and work in partnership to develop and deliver future film maker training. 

VMM was invited to the offices of several congressional proponents of Public Media and the work of Vision Maker Media. One-on-one discussions were held with congressional representatives of the states of Hawaii, Wisconsin and Texas. Vision Maker Media representatives were also invited to the Nebraska Congressional Delegation breakfast where all five Nebraska representatives were present. Francene introduced the work of Vision Maker Media to the representatives and the audience of well over 100.  

Late Wednesday evening Francene and Gregg and approximately 40 others were treated to a private tour of the Nation’s Capital by Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District Representative Mike Flood. The highlight of the tour was enjoying the beauty of the Standing Bear statue located in the United States Capital’s National Statuary Hall, which stands over nine-feet tall. The statue symbolizes Standing Bear as he might have looked at his trial. Representative Flood claimed that Standing Bear’s statue is the most popular statue in the capital especially with the younger visitors. 

Then, in celebration of World Wildlife Day March 3rd, Francene attended “Nourishing The Planet Through Film,” hosted by Jackson Wild and the “UN World Wildlife Day 2023” at National Geographic. There, Ms. Deb Halaand (Laguna Pueblo), US Secretary of the Interior, was one of the guest speakers. 

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.