2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient



Tracy Heather Strain smiles wearing black glasses and a geometric-patterned blouse.Tracy Heather Strain, a two-time Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, explores stories about the ways diverse peoples have experienced life in the U.S. In 2019 she won an NAACP Image Award for Motion Picture Directing for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and aired on American Masters

Her directing debut, Bright Like a Sun and The Dream Keepers, in Blackside’s series I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts, “leaps off the screen” noted The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter praised her first film for American Experience, Building the Alaska Highway, as “dynamic” and “truly great storytelling.” Other credits include Race: The Power of an Illusion and Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

Tracy’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Brother Thomas Fund at The Boston Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, CPB/PBS Producers Academy, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Black Public Media, Ford Foundation, ITVS, and Color of Film Collaborative. 

She also teaches documentary filmmaking at Wesleyan University. 


There was a time in the US when African-descended people were more likely to know how to swim than the European-descended. Survival Floating explores how African Americans became disconnected from their aquatic heritage in a personal meditation, incorporating the challenges and opportunities of mid-20th century Black suburban life.