Nine Network to host first gala to mark 2017 Pioneer Spirit Celebration

Last Updated by Dale Fisher on

Ken Burns to serve as keynote speaker with proceeds to benefit the Nine Network’s capacity building campaign

St. Louis, MO — April 28, 2017 — On Saturday, September 9 the Nine Network will host the Pioneer Spirit gala with the theme of “Celebrating our Past. Inspiring our Future.” Joining the celebration, which will also pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, will be acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.

Burns will serve as keynote speaker at the event and discuss his latest work, the documentary series The Vietnam War, as well as the role public broadcasting plays in American civic life.

The gala will be both a look back at the history of the Nine Network and an imagining of its place in the future of the St. Louis region. From early 1950s when the idea for an educational television station was being envisioned for the first time, to the Nine Network’s present focus on fostering community engagement through local programming, guests will move through an immersive retelling of the station’s storied past and be invited to imagine its future.

Gala co-chairs include Nine Network board members Maxine Clark, CEO of the Clark-Fox Family Foundation and founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, community volunteer Kim Olson and Pat Sly, former executive vice president of Emerson, as well as Jack Galmiche, president and CEO of the Nine Network.

“To pay appropriate tribute to the outstanding content and engagement of the Nine Network, the visit of Ken and Lynn, to the Public Broadcasting Act’s 50th anniversary, to the momentum of our campaign, we wanted to make this an extra special evening,” Galmiche said. “And we anticipate this gala will be a night to remember.”

Gala sponsors include the Centene Corporation, the Steward Family Foundation, Dan and Connie Burkhardt and The Boeing Company. For ticket and event information visit, and for information about sponsorship and table opportunities, contact Angie Carr at 314-512-9021 or

About the Nine Network Capacity Building Campaign

Now in the final phase of only the second campaign in the Nine Network’s 60 plus-year history, the Pioneer Sprit Gala will act as a cornerstone of support for the effort. With a total goal of $50 million, community support will help to fully realize Nine’s mission and vision for the St. Louis region: To strengthen Nine’s ability to be a force for positive change and raise visibility for the region’s achievements, to harness rapidly changing digital technology to create content for the public good, and to build financial reserves for long-term sustainability and safeguarding of a tradition of excellence.

About the Nine Network of Public Media

The Nine Network is dedicated to engaging our community in the things that matter most, including arts, economy, education, environment, health, and science. Local PBS stations like the Nine Network exist to educate, inspire and connect their viewers to what ignites the spirit of possibility. Nine Network's rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954. One of the nation's most watched public television stations, the Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine's platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites.




For More Information Contact:

Matt Huelskamp
Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
(314) 512-9117