Makers: Women in Space


Contacts: Naomi Walker, ITVS 773-677-9600
Secondary contact: Locsi Ferra, ITVS 415-356-8383 x 232


Chicago Screening To Feature Q&A With LAURA WHYTE, LAURA TROUILLE and LUCIANNE WALKOWICZ from Adler Planetarium Moderator: Brandis Friedman, Correspondent, Chicago Tonight/WTTW

(Chicago, IL)—Community Cinema, presented by WTTW and ITVS in partnership with Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is excited to offer an advance screening of MAKERS: Women In Space, tracing the history of women pioneers in the space program and featuring the next generation of women engineers, scientists, mathematicians and astronauts. Women In Space is one of six episodes in the MAKERS series that profiles theimpact women have had over the past 50 years in industries once largely closed to women—comedy, politics, space, war, business, and Hollywood. Through intimate interviews with trailblazing women known and unknown, viewerswill be given a rare glimpse—sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always candid—of what it was like to be pioneers in their fields.

“MAKERS is not just a media project, it is a movement,”  said Dyllan McGee, Founder and Executive Producer of MAKERS. “ Each documentary in this six-part series examines the impact of the women’s movement on six fields once largely closed to women. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media reports that since 1946, gender inequality on screen has remained largely unchanged and unchecked and our goal at MAKERS is to help change that statistic.”

DETAILS: WHAT: FREE screening of MAKERS: Women In Space, followed by a community discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing women in STEM fields.WHO:  Presenters: WTTW Channel 11, ITVS, Women & Girls Lead and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with Chicago Foundation for Women, Adler Planetarium and the Chicago Council on Science and Technology. WHEN: Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM WHERE: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., in the Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor. For more information, visit:

MAKERS: Women in Space traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. The hour also featuresthe next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers who continue to make small but significant steps forward.  Produced by Michael Epstein and Sara Wolitzky.  Directed by MichaelEpstein.  Narrated by Jodie Foster.

Panel Bios:

Laura Trouille, Astronomer, Northwestern University & Adler Planetarium Laura Trouille is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium and Northwestern University. She uses astronomical images to understand the role of supermassive black holes in galaxy evolution. Her education research is on incorporating computational thinking and modeling into high-school STEM classes. As a member of the American Astronomical Society Committee on the Status of Women, she contributes to the blog

Lucianne Walkowicz, Astronomer, Adler Planetaruim Lucianne Walkowicz is an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, and a 2012 TED Senior Fellow. She studies stars and how they influence a planet’s suitability as a host for alien life. She is also an artist and works in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound. Her website can be found at

Laura Whyte, Director, Citizen Science at Adler Planetarium The citizen science department at the Adler Planetarium is home to a development team who design and build Zooniverse websites – the worlds largest and most successful collection of citizen science projects. This team, who bring expertise in technology, education, science outreach and research, reach beyond the internet into the local community through school visits, youth programs and hack days events. As former astronomer, high school teacher, museum educator, and web developer, Dr. Whyte leads these initiatives and the opportunity they bring to engage a wider Chicago audience in actively doing science.


Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and a premiere resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers.  For more visit:


C2ST brings together Chicago’s scientific leaders—from academic institutions, corporations, museums, National laboratories and government—to provide a forum for the discussion of current issues of scientific interest. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, we aim to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology learning, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantity of R&D that takes place in their backyard.  For more visit:


Chicago Foundation for Women is a grantmaking organization dedicated to increasing resources and opportunities for women and girls in the greater Chicago area. To support our philanthropy, the Foundation promotes increased investment in women and girls, raises awareness about their issues and potential, and develops them as leaders and philanthropists.  For more visit:


The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.  For more visit:


WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content.  For more visit: ABOUT ITVS Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent

Lens on Monday nights at 10 p.m. on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought thousands of independently produced programs to American audiences.  For more visit


MAKERS is a landmark television and digital-video initiative that aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled. MAKERS is owned and operated by AOL. Founder and Executive Producer is Emmy award-winning filmmaker Dyllan McGee.


Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS) in partnership with localpublic television stations and community organizations, these in-person events and online social screenings bring community members together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time. For a complete lineup and more information about the Community Cinema series visit:


Women and girls everywhere are stepping into leadership roles, working to improve their communities, and innovating in science, the arts, business, and governance. Yet there is still much to do to deliver on the promise of equal access and opportunity for women and girls worldwide. Women and Girls Lead is a media initiative to support and sustain a growing movement to empower them, their communities, and future generations. For more information, visit


PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of childrenfrom pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

Leave a Reply