Friends of THIRTEEN 50th Anniversary Gala

Posted: November 2, 2017

Friends of THIRTEEN 50th Anniversary Gala

Celebration Luncheon to Take Place on November 1, 2017


The Friends of THIRTEEN will mark its 50th Anniversary as ambassadors for public broadcasting in the New York community with a celebration at the Metropolitan Club on November 1, 2017. Celebrating flagship PBS station THIRTEEN and the Friends’ early years, the gala luncheon will revisit landmark moments and accomplishments through 50 years of WNET’s history. Veteran journalist Bill Moyers will be honored for his lasting contributions to public television. The Knights, a collective of adventurous musicians, dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music, and artistic directors Colin and Eric Jacobsen will perform.

The event will also commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which established the model for federal support for public media. The Honorable Joseph A. Califano, Jr. will be recognized for his role in drafting the bill.

Program Host:

  • Jack Ford, MetroFocus co-host

Notable attendees:

  • Neal Shapiro, President & CEO of WNET
  • Patrick Butler, President & CEO of APTS
  • The Honorable Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
  • Mae Wong Miller, Chairman Friends of Thirteen, Inc.
  • Dorothy Pacella, Executive Director Friends of Thirteen, Inc.
  • Rosalind P. Walter, WNET Trustee and longtime supporter of the Friends
  • Jane Williams, WNET Trustee and Chair of the Education Committee
  • Paula Zahn, WNET Trustee and co-host of NYC-ARTS

Executive Quote:

“Thank you for your dedicated support for THIRTEEN for the past 50 years of innovation, inspiration and imagination,” said Neal Shapiro, President & CEO of WNET. “It took enormous foresight for the founders of this grassroots organization to see that we would need the passion of viewers and community members to provide an extra boost as we found our home in the homes of millions in the tri-state area.”

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Proceeds from the event will be earmarked for the Friends of THIRTEEN to enhance the Friends of THIRTEEN’s commitment to innovative community engagement
  • Jane Williams and Rosalind P. Walter are honorary co-chairs
  • MetroFocus co-host Jack Ford will moderate a sit-down interview with Bill Moyers and The Honorable Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
  • NYC-ARTS co-host Paula Zahn will introduce the performance by The Knights

About Friends of THIRTEEN:

Friends of THIRTEEN, Inc. is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors who provide community liaison for THIRTEEN by strengthening local partnerships, encouraging youth involvement with public media, developing and producing local initiatives, hosting events and expanding grassroots awareness of THIRTEEN’s education resources and quality programming in the New York metropolitan region.


About WNET
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: