Project: A trans-media platform allowing audiences to virtually experience historical events.
Barbara Allen could sit for hours listening to relatives and neighbors recount their lives, discuss current events and even gossip. She was captivated by storytelling. Her first documentary, about how interracial children perceived themselves, won praise from her film teacher and classmates — and launched her into journalism. In 1975, she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications/film and TV at Columbia College in Chicago. She worked as an editor for NBC stations in New York and Chicago before becoming a producer at Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW-TV, where she has worked since 1979. Allen’s commitment to telling stories from multicultural perspectives led her in 1991 to found the nonprofit Middle Passage Productions. Her documentary, DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis, won several awards, including two regional Emmys in 2011 and a Best Documentary Award at the 2010 Nashville International Black Film Festival.