New York, NY– October 6, 2022 – American Documentary | POV announced today the six recipients of its '2022 Our America: Documentaries in Dialogue' initiative. Through 'Our America' funding, POV mobilizes regional PBS stations and their neighboring community spaces to design locally-curated screening events around POV films and utilize companion educational resources, in order to inspire dialogue, community action, and mutual understanding around the most divisive social issues in modern-day America.
The 2022 grantees include education-focused organizations who serve adults with lower incomes at The Clemente Course in Humanities and people who have experienced living in prison at From Prison Cells to PhDs; second-year grantee Doc Savannah; Found Sound Nation, which uses music to connect people globally; and PBS station partners Georgia Public Broadcasting and Prairie Public Broadcasting, the program's first partner to reach public media audiences in North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, as well as parts of Montana and South Dakota. Previous programs have included partners in Flint, Michigan, Bisbee, Arizona, Roanoke, Virginia, Ft. Myers, FL, PBS Hawai'i and Alaska Public Media.
Now in its sixth year, 'Our America' was established by American Documentary | POV in the partisan aftermath of the 2016 US election. The initiative fosters conversation between PBS stations and viewers of different cultural backgrounds in order to find common ground in an ever changing social, economic, and political landscape.
Asad Muhammad, POV's Vice President, Impact and Engagement Strategy said, "'Our America' is a national engagement program that invokes a similar spirit of collaboration in which our filmmakers take on in their creative work. Our intention is to support our viewers and public television station communities with vital, non-fiction stories and intentional funding, all while highlighting local resources."
Participating stations and community groups each receive exclusive digital access to POV films, community and educational resources to accompany screenings and workshops, and up to $10,000 towards their engagement efforts. ‘Our America’ is made possible with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations.
For example, through their 10th anniversary One Beat initiative, grantee Found Sound Nation will host a series of free, public screenings, discussions, and performances in and around Taos, NM which address land, water and ecological justice issues including the POV films Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, Winter’s Yearning, and Delikado. Discussions and exchanges will feature One Beat artists and representatives from 10 participating community groups.
"'Our America' challenges us to question our assumptions and reveals what is possible when we come together to watch, listen, and speak up. The initiative is successful partly because our grantees lead it, and it continues to grow and expand each year primarily because we’re not setting the agenda," said Robert Salyer, POV's Manager of Outreach & Impact. "Our partners are using POV films to create opportunities for dialogue about what matters to them and doing that in creative and inspiring ways. We are grateful for the opportunity this initiative gives us to be in community together.”
Our America 2022 Grantees
The Clemente Course in Humanities provides a transformative educational experience for adults facing economic hardship and adverse circumstances. Clemente offers free college humanities courses to empower students to further their education and careers, become effective advocates for themselves and their families, and engage actively in the cultural and political lives of their communities. Clemente is based on the conviction that by studying the humanities, individuals who have been denied access to economic, cultural and social opportunities develop the critical, reflective and creative skills that empower them to work effectively toward improving their own lives and those of their families and communities.
DOC Savannah aims to serve nonfiction filmmakers and the communities of the Coastal Empire and the Low Country in Georgia and South Carolina as a resource to inform, entertain, enrich and inspire change through documentary film. We are an inclusive collective of artists working to support the future of the documentary storytelling form and build a network of nonfiction filmmakers in the South. This is the second year in a row that DOCSavannah is participating in "Our America."
Found Sound Nation (FSN) is a creative agency that uses music-making to connect people across cultural and societal divides. We believe that collaborative music creation is a deeply effective way to become aware of the beauty, trauma, and hidden potential in our communities. Our work emphasizes a mobile approach to creating and producing music, combining traditions of musique concréte, hip hop, audio journalism, and contemporary composition. For the last 10 years, FSN has partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Bang on a Can to produce OneBeat – a gathering place for the musical leaders of the 21st century – convening young professional musicians from around the globe through a constellation of programs to develop initiatives that use music as a tool for the betterment of our communities.
Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media) has a mission to create, produce and distribute high quality programs and services that educate, inform and entertain our audiences and enrich the quality of their lives. As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, GPB, has been creating content worth sharing for over 60 years. With nine television stations, 19 radio stations and multi-faceted digital and education divisions, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs about our state like "Georgia Outdoors," "Political Rewind" and more.
Prairie Public Broadcasting provides quality radio, television, and public media services that educate, involve, and inspire the people of the prairie region. Prairie Public Broadcasting offers a window on the world through national and regional television and radio programming; creates a forum for the most important issues facing our region with locally produced, topical programming; partners with others to foster education for all ages; and utilizes digital technology and web services to expand those valued services.
From Prison Cells to PhD provides mentoring and educational counseling to currently and formerly incarcerated men and women so that they may position themselves to start building their careers as. The organization helps inspire others with similar backgrounds to excel beyond what society and life circumstances have set to be the norm.
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 and Minding The Gap 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 PBS.org and the PBS Video 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 pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on social media.
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, Sage Foundation, 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.