Stories by Angel Idowu

"The Wiz" stops in Chicago before a Broadway run. (Jeremy Daniel)

‘The Wiz’ Eases On Down the Road to Chicago Ahead of Broadway Run

The reimaging of the classic story, now playing at the Cadillac Palace Theater in the production’s pre-Broadway run, has a devoted set of fans stretching back decades.

Ramova Theatre in Bridgeport. (WTTW News)

Bridgeport Residents Anticipate Return of the Ramova Theatre Courtesy of Star-Studded Ownership Group

Earlier this month, it was announced that the theater was under new ownership, as Chicago’s Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson partnered with Quincy Jones and developer Tyler Nevius as the Bridgeport theater’s new ownership group.

Finishing touches are put on the tree representing Puerto Rico at the Museum of Science and Industry on Nov. 11, 2023. (Angel Idowu / WTTW News)

For Chicago Area Families, Museum of Science and Industry Exhibit a Chance to Celebrate Cultural Christmas Traditions

Families and organizations from all over the Chicago area came to the museum bright and early to decorate their country’s Christmas tree. This year, the trees represented a total of 57 countries, including Austria, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Switzerland, and France, to name a few.

“Carlos Cortéz: 100 Años,” currently running at the National Museum of Mexican Art, is one of many Art Design Chicago exhibitions that explore the role of artists as activists, problem-solvers and interpreters of history. (Rachel Ruttle / Rudd Resources)

Art Design Chicago Showcases Local Artists, Arts Organizations With Citywide Events and Exhibitions

The Art Design Chicago initiative will work with more than 50 art-focused organizations to showcase the work of hundreds of artists now through 2025.

Left: Goldblatt’s, Chicago. Christmas Windows. (Courtesy of Chicago History Museum). Right: Walnut Room Christmas Tree at Marshall Field & Co., 1945. (Courtesy of Marshall Field & Co. archive, Macy’s, Chicago).

From Marshall Field’s to Goldblatt’s, Take a Trip Through Time With ‘Lost Chicagoland Department Stores’

A new exhibit at the Elmhurst History Museum is celebrating department stores that originated in the Chicagoland area.

James Monroe Iglehart (Louis Armstrong) and producer Vanessa Williams in rehearsal for “A Wonderful World.” (Jeremy Daniel)

Vanessa Williams on Producing a New Musical Showcasing Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong Now Playing in Chicago

Black Theatre United is an organization aimed at creating more diversity and inclusion in theater. With the help of that group, actress Vanessa Williams is making her producorial debut for the new musical “A Wonderful World.”

Dusty and June, portrayed by Reilly Anspaugh and Daniel Rashid, in “Into the Mist. (Submitted photo)

Interactive, 1920s-Set Experience ‘Into the Mist’ Returns for One-Night-Only Performance in Evanston

Held at Studio5 in Evanston, the interactive experience takes the audience back in time to the 1920s for music, dancing and comedy. 

(Courtesy of “Skywalkers”)

O’Hare Video Installation Combines Footwork and Native American Dance Styles into Uniquely Chicago Film

Filmed at the Willis Tower, on the lakeshore at the Promontory Point with the city’s skyline in the background and other locations, “Skywalkers” is set to play on a permanent loop as art of a large public commission to Chicago artists. 

Museum of Contemporary Art, Gary Simmons. (Ricardo Adame)

Chicago Exhibition Weekend Celebrates Public Art Across the City, Sept. 29-Oct. 1

The creators behind the city’s favorite annual spring art weekend now welcome an autumn celebration: the inaugural Chicago Exhibition Weekend. The goal is to amplify public art space, with more than 55 galleries, artist-run spaces and community institutions throughout the city.

Work by artist Matt Bodett. (WTTW News)

Through His Work, Chicago Artist Shines Light on Invisible Disabilities

Matt Bodett recently received a 2023 Midwest Award for Artists With Disabilities. His work is currently on display in a new exhibit in the Hermosa community.

(WTTW News)

Watch: Chicago Students Mark Museum of Science and Industry’s 90th Birthday with Volcanic Eruptions

The front lawn of the Museum of Science and Industry nearly erupted as 90 volcanoes shot off in celebration of the Chicago institution’s 90th birthday. 

“entre horizontes: Art and Activism between Chicago and Puerto Rico” at the MCA. (WTTW News)

New MCA Exhibition Examines the Social and Political Issues of the Puerto Rican Community Through Art

Featuring 18 artists of diverse mediums, the goal of the exhibition is to address the social and political issues that the Puerto Rican community faces — from housing discrimination and migration to bilingual education and health care issues.

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Chicago on Sept. 14, 2023. (WTTW News)

Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, His PBS Roots and the Return of ‘Hamilton’

Lin-Manuel Miranda made a stop in Chicago to commemorate the official return of “Hamilton” to the city. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu sat down with Miranda to get his take on why the show’s return to Chicago is so special.

Isaiah Collier plays the piano. He will perform at the Englewood Jazz Festival. (WTTW News)

Englewood Jazz Festival is Back for 24th Year With Three Days of Live Music

The Englewood Jazz Festival runs through Saturday, Sept. 16. In its 24 years, the festival has worked to cultivate a musical community at what’s said to be the “Ravinia of South Side.”

Artist Candace Hunter at work. (WTTW News)

Navy Pier Visitors Can Watch Artists Paint, Draw and Create Live in New Exhibit: ‘It Opens Up Doors’

The Women’s Live Artist Studio is a permanent art exhibition that opened earlier this summer at Navy Pier. It consists of work by primarily Black and Brown female artists from the Chicagoland area.

Myron Petrakis is one of the veterans whose photo is on display in “American Heroes: Portraits of Service” at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. (WTTW News)

Local Veterans Honored in Photography Exhibit at O’Hare, Midway Airports

Photographer Thomas Sanders has made it his life’s mission to share the stories of veterans across the country. His work is currently on display in “American Heroes: Portraits of Service.”

Artist William Estrada's first solo show is on display at the Hyde Park Art Center. (WTTW News)

Artist William Estrada Talks Capturing Communities in First Solo Show at Hyde Park Art Center

A local screen printer is sharing his life’s work in an exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center. “Multiples and Multitudes” showcases artist William Estrada’s multidisciplinary work spanning the last nearly two decades.

(WTTW News)

Can You Walk There? Local Coalition Aims to Expand Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

Neighborhood development and transit options are one way to make neighborhoods more livable, local advocates say. That’s why a coalition of organizations, artists, authors and developers are all working to advance the goal of equitable transit-oriented development.

Performers with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. (WTTW News)

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Receives $2M Grant for South Side Studio

The Deeply Rooted Center for Black Dance and Creative Communities will be a state-of-the-art facility on the Washington Park State Street Corridor.

Performers Nola Adé (left) and Friday Pilots Club (right) will be making their Lollapalooza debuts in 2023. (WTTW News)

Meet Two Local Acts Making Their Lollapalooza Debuts

Grant Park is gearing up for Lollapalooza, the annual celebration of music featuring artists from across the globe. A few local acts will be taking the stage for the first time.

Augie and Sylvia Emuwa at Dirty Laundry in Hyde Park. (WTTW News)

South Side Couple Creates Plant-Based Detergent, Launches Laundromat With Community Events

The Dirty Laundry pop-up in Hyde Park offers a resident DJ, extended Thursday hours for BYOB, weekly discounts for seniors and craft activities for kids.

(WTTW News)

Hip-Hop Vocalist Jovan Landry Talks Importance of Representation at Wicker Park Fest

Wicker Park Fest is celebrating 19 years with more than 60 bands across three stages. The annual event will showcase the talents of both marquee performers and local artists looking to get their names out there. One of those artists is hip-hop vocalist Jovan Landry.

The Wabash YMCA plans to use grant funding to update its historic mural. (WTTW News)

Historic Bronzeville YMCA Receives Grant for Preservation Efforts

With the grant totaling nearly $437,000, the plan is to restore what was once a safe haven for people of color who came to Chicago during the Great Migration and prepare the building for future generations.

Musician Daniel Flores, also known as Trumpet Papi, joined “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices” on July 14, 2023. (WTTW News)

Musician Uses Social Media to Highlight Latino Music, Chicago Sights

Peruvian musician Daniel Flores is on a mission to showcase Chicago’s beauty with help from a musical friend: his trumpet.

A photo displayed at “Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop Art” at the MAC at College of DuPage. (WTTW News)

Personal Side of Andy Warhol on Display in Exhibition in DuPage County

An exhibit in DuPage County is paying tribute to the late, great pop artist Andy Warhol with the aim of providing deeper context for the famed cultural figure.

(WTTW News)

Art and Sustainability Meet on Chicago’s West Side, Where Artists Transform Plastics Into Benches

It starts with an assembly line of sorts: washing and drying detergent bottles that have been collected from different laundromats. The plastic is then shredded into small granules, heated and made into a solid beam to create benches.