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Performance Dates
January 27, 2023 7:00 PM
PNC Theatre

Ticket Prices
$35 - $73

Photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale shares her personal odyssey—from documenting the heartbreaking realities of war to witnessing the inspiring power of an individual to make a difference. Her work has taken her to more than 100 countries. She’s lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of living the story.”  

Early in her career, Vitale documented the worst conflicts unfolding across the planet–from the war in Kosovo to the abiding conflict between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. More recently, she has turned her lens to wildlife stories, exploring the increasingly complex relationships between humans, wildlife, and this abundant but fragile planet we call home. Her coverage of Kenya’s first indigenous-owned and run elephant sanctuary earned her World Press Photo recognition in 2018. The October 2019 cover story of National Geographic featured Vitale’s tender image of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino, and the heroic efforts of the local people to save a species. And in China, she was given unprecedented access to document the efforts to breed pandas and release them back into the wild.   

Join her as she shares the incredible images and adventures that have transformed her into a celebrated global storyteller, photographer, and filmmaker. 


More about Ami Vitale

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer, writer and documentary filmmaker Ami Vitale has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.”  

She has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and to the enduring power of the human spirit. After more than a decade covering conflict, Vitale couldn’t help but notice that the less sensational—but equally true—stories were often not getting told: the wedding happening around the corner from the revolution, triumphs amidst seemingly endless devastation. As a result, she committed herself to seeking out the stories within and around “the story.” Her belief that “you can’t talk about humanity without talking about nature” led her to chronicle her journey from documenting warzones to turning her lens to compelling wildlife stories, such as returning critically endangered, captive-born species like the giant pandas back to the wild, and efforts to save the last two living northern white rhinos from extinction.   

Instyle magazine named Vitale one of fifty Badass Women, a series celebrating women who show up, speak up, and get things done. She appeared alongside a group of incredible women including Jane Goodall, Christiane Amanpour, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been named Magazine Photographer of the Year in the International Photographer of the Year prize, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, and named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, among others. She is a six-time recipient of World Press Photos. 

Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She published a best-selling book, Panda Love, on the secret lives of pandas. Vitale is the founder and Executive Director of Vital Impacts, whose mission is to support grassroots organizations that are protecting people, wildlife, and habitats. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is on the board of the Photographers Advisory Council for National Geographic and on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for The Alexia Grants. 

Currently based in Montana, Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the world. 


Presented in partnership with Point Park's Center for Media Innovation as part of The Media Innovators Speaker Series welcomes media changemakers and leaders in the field who have made significant contributions to journalism, storytelling, and free expression. 

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