(Courtesy Neon Summer)

Patriotic tunes, DJs, outdoor go-karts, a plant swap and summer workouts usher in the holiday weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

(WTTW News)

How neighbors in some Chicago communities are stepping up to help students with remote learning when their parents can’t work from home.

Bethany Barbouti, left, and Jackie MacCartie opened Eco & the Flamingo this year in Lincoln Square. (Courtesy of Barbouti)

Starting a business during a pandemic sounds like a gamble, but it’s one that some intrepid entrepreneurs are willing to take. How they have adjusted their plans — and are moving forward.

Tyrell Jerry, a student at the Chicago High School for the Arts, performs at the first open mic held at a South Side community garden on Aug. 5, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

A community garden and farmers market in Auburn Gresham is now the venue of an open mic hosted for young Chicago artists. We go for a look to learn more.

A $2 million investment from the state pushed funding for an urban farming campus over the top, paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking. (Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity / Twitter)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced $2 million in state funds for the Green Era Urban Farming Campus, pushing financing for the project over the top and paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking in Auburn Gresham.  

Pastor Donovan Price (WTTW News)

Chicago police say Tuesday’s mass shooting is a chilling example of gang revenge and retaliation — a cycle that needs to end. They are pleading with witnesses for help, while residents deal with the trauma.

(WTTW News)

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Auburn Gresham neighborhood was considered a hot spot for cases of COVID-19. It has recently become a hot spot for some of the city's increasing violence, too.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces $11 million in investments in the South and West Sides on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Screenshot via Chicago Mayor’s Office / Facebook)

The Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub and the North Lawndale Surgical and Ambulatory Care Center will address structural disparities in health care, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at a livestreamed press briefing on Thursday, June 4, 2020. (Chicago Mayor’s Office / Facebook)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she supports neighbors being vigilant but that she won’t tolerate people taking up arms. “We’ve seen that end with tragic results across the country,” she said.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

One of Chicago’s most well-known and outspoken priests, the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church has spent years organizing anti-violence protests and measures around the city. 

The Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago. (WTTW News)

The South Side community forms the bulk of a zip code that has seen 664 cases of COVID-19. Yet there are no public testing sites within the area, and few health centers equipped to administer them.

The Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation (Quinn Myers / WTTW News)

Home to many seniors and essential workers, Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side has seen a disproportionately high rate of COVID-19 infections.

JB Mauney rides during the second round of the 2019 Chicago PBR Unleash The Beast. (Photo by Andy Watson, BullStock Media)

Winter beers, bucking bulls, a pants-free CTA ride, vegan fare and comedy sketches usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

It's a chronic problem in Chicago: unsolved murder cases. A look at one case, gone three-years cold.

ISU's STEP-UP program at work.

In preparation for becoming public school teachers, students at Illinois State University's College of Education are receiving a full immersion in Chicago this summer. It's called the Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation, or STEP-UP.