American Visions produces documentaries of timeless beauty and lasting value, each reminding us of who we are and where we are going—each dedicated to telling a story that celebrates our shared American heritage.
American Visions’ productions are broadcast on public television nationwide, reaching millions of viewers. The work has earned Emmy and Hugo awards, been recognized by the New York and French International Film Festivals, and garnered support from such well-known organizations as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, among others. The documentaries draw on national talents and perspectives, including news anchors Tom Brokaw and Harry Smith, actors Cloris Leachman and Tom Hulce, journalist and expert on American Presidents, Hugh Sidey of Time, and political economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.
Whether it’s the four-part, award winning Scenic America series, the critically acclaimed Iowa-An American Portrait or the powerful Landslide: A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover, American Visions’ productions take us deep into the American landscape. They tell the stories of remarkable individual journeys, triumphs and downfalls, and always capture the uniquely enduring American spirit.
Under Tom Hedges’ leadership, American Visions has grown to national prominence. Thanks to his efforts, nearly all American Visions documentaries have been produced and aired in collaboration with public television. From the day his father first gave him a Super8 movie camera to today in his role as Executive Producer and Director, Tom has been honing his filmmaking skills, capturing the life and times of his friends, his family, and eventually his country.
Educated at Deerfield Academy, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Tom established the first film division at Stamats Communications, Inc. – the family business to which he, his father and his grandfather dedicated their careers. From the start, his documentaries have earned awards by taking viewers on rich and meaningful visual journeys. His commitment to noncommercial broadcasting continues to inspire audiences to share his desire to perpetuate America’s unique history and stunning natural landscapes.
Stevie Ballard started her career as a writer for American Visions, creating scripts that helped make the Scenic America series—as well as many other productions—memorable works of documentary art. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she brought with her an extensive background in market research. A professional woman of many talents, she soon discovered a passion for documentary filmmaking and immersed herself in all aspects of the filmmaking process: fundraising, budgeting, archival research, producing and promotion. Today, she is an indispensable member of the American Visions team, bringing a holistic approach to each production that ensures it will become quality programming for public television viewers.