AOL and PBS today launched Makers: Women Who Make America, a multi-platform initiative that aims to become the largest-ever and most dynamic collection of women’s stories.
The site is an AOL-developed interactive video platform with a partner iPad app which will be expanded weekly throughout 2012 and beyond. PBS will also launch a companion site at pbs.org/Makers, featuring selected stories and information on the related documentary that the network will premiere in 2013.
Makers draws on archival and narrative material to convey their exceptional achievements and their impact on generations to come. Many of the women so far included are famous, but all of them are pioneers or heroes along many different paths of life.
“AOL wants to be known for groundbreaking firsts in the digital media industry, and we are thrilled to be partnering with PBS as they stand alone in their unparalleled ability to educate the world on the most important movements of our time,” said Tim Armstrong, chairman & CEO of AOL. “Partnering together to bring Makers to life is exactly the type of future-forward programming we believe in.”
The project is founded by filmmaker Dyllan McGee. Executive producers are Dyllan McGee, Betsy West and Peter Kunhardt, and Dalton Delan, executive producer for public broadcaster WETA. The documentary is produced by Kunhardt McGee Productions, Storyville Films and WETA Washington DC, in association with Ark Media. Foundation funding is provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Ford Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Rice Family Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation and others. The founding sponsor is Unilever’s Simple brand of facial skincare products.
“By spotlighting some of the most inspirational women in our nation’s history, Makers will tell the comprehensive story of how women have advanced in America during the last half century. I hope that the Makers project will become the seminal record of women’s achievement, and inspire a new generation of leaders,” said Paula A. Kerger, president and CEO of PBS. “PBS and our member stations are proud to support this celebration and dialogue about the role of women in our society.”
A few of the famous and previously unrecognized women so far included in the online and broadcast project are construction company CEO and Colorado Rockies owner Linda Alvarado, firefighter Brenda Berkman, author Judy Blume, comedian Carol Burnett, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, broadcast journalist Katie Couric, comedian and television personality Ellen DeGeneres, politician Geraldine Ferraro, athlete Billie Jean King, artist Maya Lin, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, educator and StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, artist Faith Ringgold, politician Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, social activist and Women for Women co-founder Zainab Salbi, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, lawyer and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, social and political activist Gloria Steinem, business magnate Martha Stewart, fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and journalist and television personality Barbara Walters.