“The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles” by Faith Ringgold, 1991.

February marks Black History Month and cultural institutions around Chicago are hosting events celebrating the city’s art and culture scene. Here are a few events you should check out.

“Illinoise” runs at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier though Feb. 18. (Matt Murphy)

Perhaps the most anticipated show in Chicago this winter, “Illinoise” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater promises “a new kind of musical.” Dance and stories are woven into songs written by Sufjan Stevens from his beloved 2005 album “Illinois.”

Common talks about his new book “And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self” in an interview that aired on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on Jan. 31, 2024. (WTTW News)

Rapper, actor and activist Common was in Chicago this week to talk about his latest book, “And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self.” The Chicago native sat down with WTTW News to talk about the book and some of his activism.

 The moon covers the sun during a solar eclipse in Piedra del Aguila, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo / Natacha Pisarenko)

The alignment of sun, earth and moon will plunge the city into darkness, and as long as the maddeningly unpredictable Northeast Ohio weather cooperates, people will view a spectacle that lasts just under four minutes but occurs only three times in a 638-year span above the city.

The company of “Champion” on the Lyric Opera stage. (Michael Brosilow)

It is an absolute knockout — both literally and figuratively. And that is the most concise way to describe “Champion,” the physically, emotionally and musically stunning work now on the Lyric Opera stage, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

Chita Rivera arrives at the 72nd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 10, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision / AP, File)

Chita Rivera first gained wide notice in 1957 as Anita in the original production of ”West Side Story” and was still dancing on Broadway with her trademark energy a half-century later in 2015’s “The Visit.”

Attendees gather around the drawings of five Prison+Neighborhood Arts/Education Project participants. The organization had a grand opening of its gallery and community space, Walls Turned Sideways, 2717 W. Madison St., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Blair Paddock / WTTW News)

The West Side gallery is in line with work the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project has been doing for over a decade: connecting teaching artists and scholars to incarcerated students through classes, workshops and lectures.

Rick Telander appears on the Jan. 29, 2024, episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander certainly waxes poetic when lamenting the fates of our oft-underperforming sports franchises. But now he’s turned his literary and wordsmith abilities to poetry in a new book called “Sweet Dreams: Poems and Paintings for the Child Abed.”

This stretch of hand-laid brick, completed as part of the once-grand U.S. Route 66 westward from Chicago to California, is preserved near the central Illinois town of Auburn. (Carol M. Highsmith)

“Route 66 was the first great American road trip,” said Amy Webb with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The trust is crowdsourcing Americans’ stories, memories and photos of the famous road that connected the Midwest to the West.

La Josie in the West Loop serves modern Mexican cuisine. (Emily Soto / WTTW News)

Chicago Restaurant Week is dishing out examples of the city’s diverse and delicious culinary scene. The 17-day celebration invites diners to get out and try new eateries, with specialized menus at more than 400 restaurants across the city.

(Courtesy of SKATE for Girls Instagram)

SKATE for Girls, or Solving Kinesthetically and Transforming Education for Girls, aims to increase young girls’ interest in STEM fields and make figure skating more accessible.

Teresa Castillo as Clorinda, Joshua Hopkins as Dandini, and Sophia Maekawa as Tisbe in “Cinderella” at the Lyric Opera House. (Michael Brosilow)

There is something about the Cinderella story that never fails to delight. And it might just be that those with a good heart and a true understanding of love will invariably triumph over those who are greedy and hungry for social superiority, writes WTTW News theater critic Hedy Weiss.

The Kiddieland Amusement Park sign at the Melrose Park Public Library, 801 N. Broadway in Melrose Park. (Marc Vitali / WTTW News)

“If we didn’t take it, it would’ve gone to the scrap heap,” Gary Marine, Melrose Park’s director of public works, said of the historic Kiddieland sign that now lives in the Melrose Park Public Library parking lot.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Cillian Murphy in a scene from "Oppenheimer." (Universal Pictures via AP)

Christopher Nolan’s three-hour opus, viewed as the best picture frontrunner, received nods for best picture; Nolan’s direction; acting nominations for Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr. and Emily Blunt; and multiple honors for the sweeping craft of the J. Robert Oppenheimer drama. 

The current home of the Chicago White Sox, Guaranteed Rate Field, is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

Discussions are being held with developers and city officials on an early plan to bring a new Chicago White Sox stadium to vacant land known as The 78 south of the Loop. 

(Ryne Sandberg via Instagram)

Ryne Sandberg, a Chicago Cubs legend and Hall of Famer, announced that he is battling metastatic prostate cancer.