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Shawn Allee

Shawn Allee

Curious City Editor

Shawn Allee is the editor for Curious City, a production team at WBEZ that answers the public’s questions about Chicago, the region and its people. He edits whatever the minds of Curious City producers, reporters other contributors might dream up. When he’s not telling farm-related stories about his youth in Iowa, his favorite thing to say is: “Follow your heart, then get an edit.” His own radio work landed him on NPR’s On The Media, All Things Considered, This American Life, Marketplace and other public radio outlets. With help from editors too numerous to mention, Shawn’s investigations earned him top honors from the Illinois Associated Press, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

He earned a B.A. in anthropology and comparative religion from Cornell College, Iowa, as well as master’s degrees from The University of Chicago’s Divinity School and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

He regrets nothing. Shawn digs taking photographs, especially of his wife, his cats and his Chicago neighborhood. They will, however, be kept off the Internet. That is, until the time is just right.

Recent Stories

Curious City

The legacy of Michael Jordan in Chicago

The city rode high when ‘His Airness’ played for the Bulls. But what did he leave behind?

Curious City

The red X: Myths and meaning

The signs, placed on some of Chicago’s most dangerous vacant buildings, are meant to save lives — but is everyone getting the message? 

Curious City

Chicago's oh-so curious past

Tales of Victorian-era sexuality, seedy motels, missiles and doughnuts inspired by your curiosity!

Curious City

Chicago's forgotten zoo

A video profile of a West Side zoo comes together with help from a historian and the ghost of an urban bear.

WBEZ Blogs

The off-limit parts of Navy Pier offer spectacular views

We asked Navy Pier to take us into a part of the tourist destination often overlooked, but is in almost every postcard: the twin observation towers at the end of the pier. 


Did you have trouble voting, long waits? Tell us.

Did you experience any voting irregularities at the polls? If so, we want to know. We’re gathering reports from Chicago voters who experienced anything out of the ordinary—from receiving two ballots, to jamming machines, to not checking IDs—on Election Day. Help us document what went wrong, so we can help make it right next time.

Curious City

Curious City podcast: What’s the sound of a great question?

You asked, we listened. We’ve now rolled your questions, our region’s enigmas, our reporters’ updates and some answers into a quick audio buffet. Now … another question: Whaddya think?


Ben Painter

Ben of Minneapolis says "everything that you do is recorded to the last little bit and overanalyzed." Calls arrests of protesters "a disgrace."

WBEZ Blogs

Get to know your protester: Zakiyyah Muhammad

Locals have a strong presence in this weekend's protests and, sometimes, the rallies concern local issues in the first place. 


NATO, come stuff your face here!

So, if a band of NATO summit attendees should wander out of the security zone, where would you send them to eat? 

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