Press Release

September 19 2023

American Documentary’s Fall Gala Will Fête GBH’s Jon Abbott in a Celebration of Diverse Storytelling


New York, N.Y. — September 19, 2023 — American Documentary (AmDoc) announced today that it will honor Jon Abbott, Special Advisor to GBH Boston, in recognition of his longtime advocacy for public service nationwide at the AmDoc gala taking place November 7. The gala will celebrate AmDoc's commitment to independent storytellers, sharing bold and unique perspectives with public media audiences, and building engagement with communities across the United States through the event's theme Embracing Diversity in American Storytelling. AmDoc will also honor an exemplary nonfiction filmmaker for their contributions to the field. The filmmaker honoree will be announced in early October.

AmDoc’s annual gala happens during an exciting season marked by industry acclaim for programming, key staff promotions and leadership accolades. The event will feature immersive experiences about its award winning series America ReFramed, POV and POV Shorts as well as POV Engage. Guests will include AmDoc filmmakers - present and past, industry peers, funders and champions, and public media supporters. The centerpiece awards ceremony will honor Mr. Abbott as the recipient of the 2023 Trailblazer award for his distinguished service in public media, for championing diverse and inclusive programming and his ongoing support of American Documentary.

Jon Abbott Photo.jpg
Jon Abbott

Jon Abbott has been a leading advocate for public service media nationwide for over forty years and until 2022, served as President and CEO of GBH Boston, PBS' single largest producer of content. He worked in close collaboration with PBS and colleagues across the country to extend public service media's reach at stations such as KQED and spearheaded the launch of two new national services Create and WORLD, both co-created with WNET/Thirteen. These key endeavors enhanced support and presentation of independent documentary work to national audiences. He has served on numerous public media boards, including PBS, American Public Television (APT), American Documentary | POV, and PRX.

Jon Abbott’s leadership and advocacy for nationwide public media exemplifies PBS’s mission to create programming that inspires and informs, to center education and use technology to expand reach across the audience spectrum. We are happy to award him for his longstanding commitment to public media and fortunate to be able to celebrate with him at our gala,” said Erika Dilday, executive director of American Documentary and executive producer of POV.

“Documentary filmmaking offers us a wider, deeper lens on the world we share together. At a time when connection, compassion and understanding are more important than ever, I have been grateful to work in support of many of the most talented and dedicated storytellers, and stories, of our time, “ said Mr. Abbott.

Over the course of the evening, attendees will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with staff and guests from the community while also learning about how AmDoc’s signature programming – POV, POV Shorts and America ReFramed – has adapted over the years while looking toward the future. Within the landscape of non-fiction filmmaking, American Documentary remains a potent curatorial force in broadcast television and demonstrates the transformative power of documentary film.

POV Engage provides access to films, resources and discussion guides to elevate the reach of documentary films critical to understanding the issues of our time. Guests will have the opportunity to become more familiar with the POV Engage team who, through their expansive Community Network, have facilitated events and partnerships around the country bringing audiences together in the spirit of civil public discourse.

The gala’s celebration theme will be front and center throughout the night with an opening VIP cocktail reception, awards presentation, and interactive activities with the AmDoc vibrant community.

Event and Tickets Information:

Date: Tuesday November 7, 2023

Time: 6:30 - 10:00 pm

Venue: 26 Bridge, Brooklyn, NY

Tickets here

Event page here

For more information please contact


About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Chasing the Dream and Peril and Promise public media initiatives of The WNET Group, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

POV Shorts is known for its curation and for broadcasting award-winning titles, including: 2022 News & Documentary Emmy nominated, Oscar® shortlisted, and IDA Documentary Awards winner, A Broken House; A Night at the Garden, which received an Academy Award nomination; Emmy® nominated Earthrise, Water Warriors, The Changing Same; Emmy® winner The Love Bugs and Oscar® shortlisted Àguilas. The series won Best Short Form Series at the IDA Documentary Awards in 2020 and 2022, and was nominated in 2019 and 2021.

POV Shorts launched in 2018 as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. POV Shorts has almost 60 titles in its catalog. In addition, the strand works with major short-form digital distributors such as Field of Vision and has collaborated with The New York Times Op-Docs, Condé Nast and Chicken & Egg Pictures. POV Shorts films were official selections at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Hot Docs, DOC NYC, Palms Springs International ShortFest and True/False Film Festivals, among others.

About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise, Minding The Gap and Not Going Quietly, and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 46 Emmy Awards, 27 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About POV Shorts

POV Shorts launched in 2018 as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries.The series is known for its curation, and for broadcasting award-winning titles, including: Emmy® nominated Earthrise, Water Warriors, The Changing Same, Emmy® winner The Love Bugs and the Oscar® shortlisted A Broken House and Aguilas. It won Best Short Form Series at the IDA Documentary Awards in 2022 and 2020.

About America ReFramed

America ReFramed is a co-production of WORLD and American Documentary, Inc. The series curates a diverse selection of independent documentaries that brings to national audiences compelling stories which illuminate the changing contours of our ever-evolving country. Viewers will be immersed in stories that span the spectrum of American life, from the streets of towns big and small to its exurbs and country roads. The documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future.

America ReFramed received a Peabody Award for Deej and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for Class of ‘27. The series has earned several Christopher, GRACIE, Telly, National Native Media Awards, National Association of Gay & Journalists Awards, and Cine Golden Eagle Awards, as well as multiple nominations for Emmy, Independent Documentary Association and Imagen Awards.