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A new citywide music festival in 2021 will replace the Blues Fest, pictured, Jazz Fest and Gospel Fest with one night honoring each music tradition. (Courtesy Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, a plan takes shape for a number of Chicago events this summer and fall, the “latest step in our mission to fully restore a sense of normalcy within our city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

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Storyteller Priya Shya speaks with WTTW News about Collaboraction’s “Family Tree Stories.”

Thanks to support from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago theater company Collaboraction is exploring the impact of oral history, one story at a time. We learn about the group’s newest project, “Family Tree Stories,” and how it’s working to unite the city through storytelling.

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Audience members enter Symphony Center on opening night of Verdi’s “Aida” on June 21, 2019. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association has just announced that beginning May 27, and running through June 13, the CSO will perform its first concerts for a live audience since March 2020.

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The Chicago History Museum (WTTW News)

After helming the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville for many years, the South Side native has returned to the city to lead the Chicago History Museum. Donald Lassere joins us to talk about expanding the museum’s mission to all of Chicago. 

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“It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior.”

This month’s Black Voices Book Club selection traces the civil rights trail blazed by Dr. C.T. Vivian. We discuss Vivian’s legacy with Steve Fiffer, the co-author of “It’s in the Action: Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior.”

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Many murals were painted in the wake of protests in Chicago over the summer of 2020. (WTTW News)

Themes of justice, pride and community have blossomed in murals along Chicago’s streets and storefronts, creating a constantly evolving and thought-provoking backdrop to a tumultuous year.

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In this Jan. 24, 1988 file photo, actress Olympia Dukakis, winner of a Golden Globe for “Best Performance in a Supporting Role” and Cher, winner of the “Best Performance by an Actress in a musical or comedy,” hold the awards they received for performances in the hit movie “Moonstruck” at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (AP Photo / Reed Saxon, File)

The veteran stage and screen actress whose flair for maternal roles helped her win an Oscar as Cher’s mother in the romantic comedy “Moonstruck,” has died. She was 89.

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(WTTW News)

The NFL Draft gets underway Thursday evening and after a disappointing and deflating end to last season Bears fans are hoping for some game-ready reinforcements. 

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Billy Branch’s talent led him to play professionally for Blues legend Willie Dixon and the Chicago Blues All-Stars for six years. (WTTW News)

He has been playing the mouth harp since he bought his very first one at age 11 for just $1. But he’s not just a musician. We talk with Billy Branch about his mission to give blues the recognition it deserves.

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Researchers from the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts examine works in the National Museum of Mexican Art to learn more about their history, April 23, 2021. (Marc Vitali / WTTW News)

Scientists are exploring centuries-old paintings from colonial-era Mexico, searching for clues to find out more about the artwork. We visit the National Museum of Mexican Art for a meet-up of art and science.

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Megan Pachecano is Beatriz and Daniel Montenegro is Giovani in the Chicago Opera Theater production of Daniel Catan’s “La hira de Rappaccini” (“Rappaccini’s Daughter”). (Photo: Justin Barbin)

With most traditional theater spaces off-limits and Zoom an increasingly annoying way to have to watch anything, two Chicago opera companies have demonstrated in radically different ways that “all the world is a stage” — or can be turned into one.

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A mural in Chicago’s South Loop. (WTTW News)

Arts 77, a new citywide arts recovery and reopening plan named with a nod to Chicago’s 77 community areas, will work to support local artists and organizations, a sector “decimated by the global pandemic,” according to an official.

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Kim Williams, left, and Jose Williams appear on “Black Voices” via Zoom on April 25, 2021. (WTTW News)

Our trip down memory lane with the WTTW program “Our People” from the late 1960s and early ‘70s brought back memories for one former Chicagoan. Here is his story.

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An Academy Awards crew member looks over a background element for the red carpet at Union Station, one of the locations for Sunday’s 93rd Academy Awards, Saturday, April 24, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

The 93rd Academy Awards will begin at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. There will be no host, no audience, nor face masks for nominees attending the ceremony at Los Angeles’ Union Station — this year’s hub for a show usually broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. 

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At about 59th Street, just north of where the Skyway splits off from the Dan Ryan, motorists pass beneath a bridge that carries the Green Line seemingly way, way up in the air. (WTTW News)

On Chicago’s South Side, there’s a bridge spanning the Dan Ryan expressway that looks more like a Disney World monorail than part of a working CTA train line.

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Bisa Butler. “Southside Sunday Morning,” 2018. Private collection. © Bisa Butler. (Photo by Margaret Fox)

History, music and photography are all stitched together in a show at the Art Institute of Chicago. We visit the pandemic-delayed exhibition “Bisa Butler: Portraits” to get the story behind these Technicolor textiles.