Eleanor Boyer



Eleanor Clay Boyer (née: Anderson) was born in Houston, Texas. Boyer graduated from Lamar High School in 1956 and completed a Bachelors of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in 1960. Afterwards, she completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Iowa in 1963. Boyer was Instructor in Art in the Department of Art at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas from 1963 to 1965.  After moving to Chicago in 1965, she  completed post-graduate courses in art history at the University of Chicago and took courses in the history of film at Northwestern University.

Boyer came to video in the mid-1970’s, when portable video first became available to individuals outside of the broadcast profession.  Between 1975 and 1987, as an independent video producer working in conjunction with Chicago area women’s organizations such as the Loop YWCA, Mujeres Latinas en Accion, and Midwest women’s Center, she made educational and documentary videotapes on women’s issues including violence against women, women and the justice system, women’s health, women in sports and women in the arts. Her focus was on promoting individual and institutional change by educating on the issues affecting women, by showing the realities of women’s lives and by providing alternatives to female stereotypes in the media.

Boyer was among the initial members of the Chicago Videomakers Coalition,  a grass-roots organization  formed in 1977 to increase the level of co-operation and technical standards among  independent video makers through the sharing of knowledge and production experience.  The role of the Videomakers Coalition was largely superseded with the establishment of the Chicago Editing Center in 1979 (later named Center for New Television), a non-profit regional arts center which provided high-quality video editing equipment, technical workshops and exhibition space for video makers.  Boyer was an active member and served for eight years on the Board of Directors of the Center for New Television whose mission was to facilitate the making of innovative independent video and foster the use of television by community institutions for socially useful purposes. 

From 1987 to 2003 Boyer collaborated with her husband, Wayne Boyer.  They maintained a film and video production studio in Evanston, Illinois. The majority of their clients were non-profit cultural and social organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern University, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Their productions have been widely distributed and recognized with awards.


Instructor, Television Department, Columbia College Chicago, 1984-1988
Board of Directors, Center for New Television, Chicago, 1983-89; 1979-1981
Treasurer, Chicago Videomakers Coalition, 1977-1980
Member/director (volunteer), Loop YWCA Women’s Video Project, Chicago, 1974-1980
Board of Directors, Center Cinema Cooperative, Chicago, 1971-1973

Presenter, “Virtual Talk with Video Artists Series”, Media Burn Archive, July 16, 2020
Presenter, Screening & Conversation: Film in Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Sept. 13, 2018
Moderator, Cable & the Performing Arts, Nat’l Federation of Local Cable Programmers, Evanston, 1984
Co-organizer and Presenter, Cable TV and the Arts Conference, Evanston, 1983
Instructor, Video Production Workshop, Northwestern University, 1982
Co-curator, Modern Screen: Video by Chicago Women, Some Girls Gallery, Chicago, 1981
Lecturer, New Media Workshop Series, Countryside Art Center, Arlington Heights, IL, 1981
Co-organizer and Curator, Cable Fair: Community TV, a 90-minute show of videotapes presented in three Chicago-area communities, 1981
Co-curator, Women’s Films and Videos, Image Union, WTTW-TV(PBS), Chicago, 1979
Guest, W. Suburban Forum “Video for Women”, WBMX radio, Oak Park, IL, Mar 3, 1976
Instructor, Video Workshop, Loop Center YWCA, 1976-1977

Our complete collection of Eleanor’s work can be found here.

Subjects: Feminism, Women’s Rights, YWCA, Labor

Dates: 1974-1987

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