Guest, Barbara Kensey

Guest Name: 
Barbara Kensey
Barbara Kensey
Guest Occupation: 
CEO of Kensey & Kensey Communications
Guest Biography: 

This month in Chicago, we lost a pioneer in the Cultural Heritage Tourism community and the broader Tourism arena, Barbara Kensey.   Barb was the CEO of Kensey & Kensey Communications an arts and culture guru. She loved music, theater, black heritage and tourism, merging all those loves in a career.   Maudlyne Ihejiirka reporter for the Chicago Sun Times newspaper, wrote a tribute article to her that described her perfectly. So much so that I have borrowed and paraphrased from that article that I might share it with you.

She had a rare understanding of and valuable insight into the significant space that African American Culture holds in the tourism industry. In many instances, even more so than the practitioners.

Her diverse client roster of her 30 year old firm, a broad range from local, national and international figures, to corporate, government and nonprofit groups, and her beloved arts and cultural institutions, spoke volumes about who she was.

For two decades, when Chicago's black arts and cultural institutions needed marketing help, they turned to Barbara Kensey.  She developed and conducted black heritage tours in Chicago, and for a long time was the official Hyde Park-Kenwood tour guide for the city of Chicago’s tourism office. A world traveler, her writings have appeared in national magazines, locally and in anthologies.

A veteran P.R. practitioner, a prolific writer, arts and culture consultant, she was a pioneer in the tourism industry. Ms. Kensey was founding publisher of “The Guide to Black Chicago/Access Black Chicago,” the first visitor’s and resource guide to the city’s black history, culture and entertainment.

She was extremely knowledgeable about the tourism area and was a guest and a valuable contributor on “Live From the Pullman National Monument”. Her appearance on the show was one of our most popular. She will be missed.

We thought it appropriate to honor that knowledge and commitment and re –run her guest appearance, on the show as a tribute to her.