Pamela Sherrod Anderson

Past Board Chair

Pamela Sherrod Anderson, founder of Graceworks Theater and Film Productions LLC, is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, playwright, educator and journalist.

Her film projects have received funding from Independent Television (ITVS), the Illinois Humanities Council, Illinois Arts Council, Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Zonta International. They also garnered the support of individual investors. Additonally, her projects have been chosen for fiscal sponsorship by Chicago Filmmakers.

Pamela’s films have been shown at festivals across the country, national teacher conferences co-sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and school districts from Connecticut to California. They have been selected for the City of Chicago’s Movies in the Parks program and the Best of the Black Harvest Film Festival.

Her documentary, The G Force, which tells the story of grandparents stepping up to raise their children’s children, made its debut in the 2018 Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago. Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper gave it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Pamela pitched The G Force as a story idea in Kartemquin Film’s and Community Film Workshop’s Diverse Voices in Documentary program in 2013.

Pamela’s previous documentary The Curators of Dixon School won the Black Harvest Film Festival Best Feature Audience Award in 2012. The film, which received a three-star review from film critic Roger Ebert, was featured on National Public Radio, Fox-TV, CBS-TV and the Huffington Post. The Curators of Dixon School is known now as Hallways of Hope and distributed on

Her research on White House correspondent Ethel Payne is included in the Emmy-award winning PBS documentary: Paper Trail: The First 100 Years of the Chicago Defender.

As an educator, she is an adjunct professor at DePaul University, where she has taught Documentary Producing, Film Distribution and Exhibition, Feature Writing, Introduction to Media and Journalism, and developed a Special Topics Course on Race and Community Conflict.

Encouraging teen girls of color to see the power of their experiences and community as story, she has mentored and co-created curriculum on story development and analysis for the DePaul/Chicago Housing Authority Teen Filmmaking Summer Program.

She has also taught Preproduction, Development and Film Production at Chicago’s Columbia College in the Cinema Art + Science Department and a Creativity Workshop on the building blocks of story with award-winning jazz musician Orbert Davis at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Pamela was honored at the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Carl Sandburg Literary Awards in October 2012.

As a journalist, she has been an editor and staff writer at the Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Lansing (MI) State Journal, and a contributing writer to Essence Magazine and to the anthology Black Women’s Health: Speaking for Ourselves.

She has written and directed stage plays and screenplays, including the feature script Natchez, which won an America’s Best Writers Foundation award from filmmaker Oliver Stone.

Pamela wrote, directed and produced the short film Getting Directions, which was an official (2006) selection at the Golden Gate Fiction & Documentary Festival in the category of art direction. It was also a Chicago Short Film Festival selection and part of the short-program broadcast on Brooklyn Cable Access Television (BCAT). It screened at Reel Sisters Film Festival in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Arts Council International Film & Video Festival, the Annual Women of African Descent Film Festival and at Le Kadjinol Theater in Dakar, Senegal.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. Pamela has completed professional fellowships at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Multicultural Management Program and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

She has served on the advisory board for Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Communication and on the Chicago Tribune/McCormick grant advisory committee.

Pamela is a proud product of Chicago’s South Side and is just as proud of her family’s Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi roots.