Stories by Angel Idowu

How Nick Cave Uses Discarded Objects to Reclaim Identity

(WTTW News)

It’s a full-circle moment for Nick Cave as he looks back at his career in a new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago titled “Forothermore.”

Organized Chaos Provides Comic Relief in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

(WTTW News)

A current production on Broadway in Chicago is offering a blend of live theater, comedy and community. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu introduces us to two Chicagoland actors who say their roles are unlike anything they’ve ever done.

South Chicago Dance Theatre Debuts 5 Works with Chicago Roots

(WTTW News)

The South Chicago Dance Theatre is celebrating five years of movement in a showcase. Among those creatives is choreographer, dancer and artist Ron De Jesus. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu caught up with the Humboldt Park native and shares how he choreographed his piece “Hybrid Line” ahead of next week’s world premiere.

Tour 3 Generations of Hetherington Homes on the South Side

(WTTW News)

The Hetherington family of architectural designers worked on more than 100 homes in Beverly, Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood. A new tour is highlighting some of the homes and some of the fascinating residents.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mead Composer-in-Residence On Making Music for the Next Generation

(WTTW News)

While her residency at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is ending, a New York-based composer hopes her influence on contemporary classical music will be long-lasting. 

Rebuild Foundation Breaks Ground for New Arts Incubator in Greater Grand Crossing

Work is underway at a former Catholic school in Greater Grand Crossing that Rebuild Foundation is turning into an arts incubator. (WTTW News)

After being closed for more than 20 years, a former Catholic school in Greater Grand Crossing is being rebuilt into a new arts incubator for the Rebuild Foundation. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu takes us to that groundbreaking for an inside look at the city’s newest cultural hub. 

New Play ‘Relentless’ Explores Victorian Era Through Lives of a Black Family

“Relentless” by Tyla Abercrumbie is not playing at the Goodman Theatre through May 8, 2022. (WTTW News)

A new show at the Goodman Theatre is exploring what the Victorian era was like for Black Americans.

Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ Shifts Focus of Tragic Story

The Joffrey Ballet’s latest production is John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.” It’s a story that ends in tragedy — but the artists hope to highlight something else in their rendition. (WTTW News)

The Joffrey Ballet’s latest production is John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men.” It’s a story that ends in tragedy — but the artists hope to highlight something else in their rendition.

‘The Other Art Fair’ Showcases Emerging Artists in Fulton Market April 21-24

Neon artist Morgan Sims has been manipulating bright lights for more than a decade, and says he hopes to make his passion more mainstream. (WTTW News)

An international art fair with roots in major cities across the country is making its return to Chicago in an effort to support independent artists. The Other Art Fair returns to Chicago for its fourth year. The exhibition will feature 110 artists, roughly half of them Chicago-based. 

Winnie the Pooh Musical Adaptation at Mercury Theater Chicago

(WTTW News)

It’s a classic story that has withstood the test of time, now, the Mercury Theater is bringing that story to its stage in a new musical adaptation.

Black Women Are Essential Aims to Grow Lifestyle Brand Into a Movement

(WTTW News)

A pair of friends and business women created 50 kits raising funds to support Black women essential workers in Chicago. Two years later, it has since become a movement that’s expanded beyond the T-shirt it started with.

Expo Chicago Comes to a Close, Work to Support Local Artists Goes On

From Cape Town to New York to Detroit, this year’s EXPO CHICAGO was comprised of nearly 3,000 artists, with more than 100 galleries, from 25 different countries. (Courtesy: EXPO CHICAGO)

While the city’s institutions, both big and small, continue to support and celebrate Chicago based artists, there is work to be done to ensure they show at EXPO CHICAGO for years to come.

Chicago’s Urban Historian Shermann ‘Dilla’ Thomas Raises Funds for Affordable Bus Tours

Shermann “Dilla” Thomas and his family at a March 31, 2022, fundraiser for his Chicago Mahogany Tours. (Credit: Vashon Jordan Jr.)

The event was part of Shermann “Dilla” Thomas’ “Let’s Get Dilla A Bus” fundraiser to raise $200,000 for the his Chicago Mahogany Tours. It’s an opportunity that came to Thomas after be gained recognition on social media for his informative TikTok’s that educate the public on Chicago’s history.

‘Fire Shut Up In My Bones’ at Lyric Opera Tells Story of Hurt and Healing


“Fire Shut Up In My Bones” is based on a memoir by longtime New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow. Composed by Terence Blanchard, the story explores how Blow works to heal from traumatic incidents of abuse in his childhood. 

Culinary Artists Say Food Residency Program Fosters Creative Exploration, Business Preparation

(WTTW News)

Located on East Garfield Boulevard, just blocks away from Hyde Park, Currency Exchange Café serves as an incubator for culinary artists looking to expand their crafts without the stresses that come with starting a business.

Chicago Rapper femdot. Talks Science and Social Justice Ahead of First Concert Since COVID-19

Chicago rapper femdot. hopes his music encourages people to be true to themselves. (WTTW News)

Chicago rapper femdot. is debuting his first post-pandemic album at an all-ages concert Friday night. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu caught up with the artist to talk about his goals for his music. 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Dancers Return to Chicago Stage

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Robert Battle’s “Mass” on March 2, 2022. (Credit: Paul Kolnik)

It was at Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre where dancers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater would unknowingly perform for the last time before a nearly two-year hiatus. Fast forward to today, and they’re back on their first national tour.

Teatro ZinZanni Returns to the Big Top After Hiatus

Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu tries out a trapeze act with Teatro ZinZanni performers on Feb. 23, 2022. (WTTW News)

Under the big top, Teatro ZinZanni presents a performance that is Cirque du Soleil meets cabaret, with a little circus action in between.

New Immersive Exhibit Showcases Works of Frida Kahlo

(WTTW News)

We spoke with Frida Kahlo’s grandniece and great-grandniece ahead of the opening of an immersive exhibit showcasing the artist’s work in 360 degrees.

West Loop Mural Honors Late Fashion Designer Virgil Abloh

A mural honoring the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh is now standing in the West Loop’s Time Out Market.  (WTTW News)

Chicago’s first mural honoring the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh is now standing in the West Loop’s Time Out Market. 

New Theater Production Honors 18th Century Black Composer

(WTTW News)

Musician, friend to Mozart, music teacher to Marie Antoinette, and skilled fencer. These are just a few of the accolades that describe the man known to be the first Black composer of the 18th century.

Chicago Children’s Choir Reconnects with Black History: ‘We’ve Gone Beyond Cultural Appropriation to Cultural Appreciation’

(WTTW News)

The virtual concert will feature a number of African songs that explore the history of African American culture in the U.S. They’re taking concert goers on a sankofa journey, a word from Ghana which means to return or retrieve what was lost.

Chicago Street Artist Leon Thoughtsky Combines Familiar Signs and Provocative Words

Street artist Leon Thoughtsky takes sardonic quips and mixes them with the painted signs often seen advertising grocery store produce. (WTTW News)

Street artist Leon Thoughtsky takes sardonic quips and reflections and mixes them with the painted signs often seen advertising grocery store produce.

New Exhibit Explores Intersection of Anti-Black Violence and Art

(WTTW News)

A new exhibit at Northwestern University is exploring America’s race relations dating back to the early 1800s. “A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence” spotlights the country’s racism in a visual history lesson, showcasing the intersection of violence and art, while also encouraging reflection.

Evanston Artist’s New Exhibition Showcases 75 Years of Self-Portraits

Leo Segedin, 95, discusses his upcoming exhibition of self-portraits. (WTTW News)

For the first time, self-portraits of Evanston artist Leo Segedin are on display in a solo exhibition.

New DuSable Museum Exhibit Tells Stories of Those Killed During Civil Rights Movement


More than 150 names of people killed during the civil rights movement are on display in a special exhibit at the DuSable Museum. Their lives were cut short due to race-related killings more than 50 years ago, but the lessons learned from their deaths live on.