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An Evening With Sheila Johnson was a live-to-tape, one-on-one interview with entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson conducted by veteran PBS-TV news journalist Gwen Ifill. Taped on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at The Art Institute of Chicago, the program featured performances by Susan Starrett, Everett Greene, Joan Collaso and Kindred The Family Soul. An Evening With Sheila Johnson was the twenty-third program in The HistoryMakers’ signature An Evening With… series.

Throughout the evening, Ifill guided Johnson through significant moments of personal and professional transformation. Beginning with Johnson’s time as a music educator, the interview moved into a conversation about Black Entertainment Television (BET) - its founding, expansion, and ultimate sale to Viacom - before transitioning to Johnson’s later entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. An Evening With Sheila Johnson spotlighted Johnson’s numerous accomplishments in the realms of music, media, sports and hospitality.


Toyota Motor Sales USA


Commonwealth Edison CompanyComcast Corporation, NBC5, Telemundo Chicago


Discover Financial ServicesAbbott LaboratoriesToni Cook Bush & Dwight BushPricewaterhouseCoopersEnterprise Holdings, Inc.George & Laura BilicicGCM GrosvenorAmerican AirlinesHyatt Hotels CorporationAARP


  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Ariel Investments, LLC
  • The Best Portion Foundation
  • William Blair
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • General Electric
  • Ralph Evinrude Foundation, Inc.
  • Cheryl & Eric Whitaker


  • Adela Cepeda
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Denise & Gary Gardner
  • McCormick Foundation
  • Nicor Gas
  • Sheila G. Talton

Honorary Chair

  • Michelle T. Boone



  • Anne R. Pramaggiore

Event Co-Chairs

  • George & Laura Bilicic
  • Shannon Schuyler
  • Susan Sher
  • B. Joseph & Mary White

Benefit Committee

  • Adela Cepeda
  • Alfreda Bradley-Coar & David Coar
  • David L. Cohen
  • Lester N. Coney
  • Cheryle Jackson
  • Charisse R. Lillie
  • Virginia F. Oviedo
  • Al B. Reid & Cheri Reid
  • Tyronne Stoudemire
  • Sheila G. Talton
  • Drs. Cheryl & Eric Whitaker

Date and Time

Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
United States