Stories by Dan Andries

The Challenges of Running a Bar in Chicago During a Pandemic

Diners take advantage of expanded outdoor seating along a stretch of Broadway in Chicago on Friday, June 12, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago bars have been open since the middle of June, and since that time, new coronavirus cases in young people are spiking. How are bar owners and managers handling their business — and the safety of customers and employees?

Learning in Limbo: Summer Bridge Programs Go Online

(ArtisticOperations / Pixabay)

Summer education enrichment programs have taken to Zoom. Are they working?

Chicago Writer, Shooting Victim: Treat Crime Scenes Like Trauma Scenes

Charles Woodhouse Jr. appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

As the city mourns victims of gun violence, we talk with Charles Woodhouse Jr., a survivor calling for healing.

Teaching LGBTQ History: New Law Calls for Curriculum Inclusion

(WTTW News)

Public schools in Illinois are now required to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in their lesson plans. The Inclusion Curriculum Law is one of only five such laws across the country.

The Second City Vows to ‘Begin Again’ After Allegations of Racism

Anthony LeBlanc, interim executive director of The Second City, appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

The improv comedy institution has a new leader after accusations of racism led to a shake-up. We check in with Anthony LeBlanc, the theater’s interim executive director.

Broadcaster Bruce DuMont Celebrates 40 Years on the Air

The original “Inside Politics” team, 1980. From left: Sheldon Gardner, Bruce DuMont, Ald. Clifford Kelley, Marilyn D. Clancy, Tom Roeser and Phil Krone. (Courtesy Bruce DuMont)

His radio show that looks at politics from the inside is about to mark it’s 40th anniversary. And he was one of the creators of “Chicago Tonight” in 1984. Bruce DuMont reflects on 40 years of “Beyond the Beltway” and more.

Field Foundation Awards $50K Grants to 11 ‘Leaders for a New Chicago’

Stephanie Manriquez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

More than 200 Chicago-area residents were nominated this year for the award, and those chosen each receive $50,000 — half of which they can spend however they’d like. 

How Arts Organizations in Chicago Are Challenging Systemic Racism

Nina Sanchez, director of Enrich Chicago, appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on June 11, 2020. (WTTW News)

Enrich Chicago has been working to support arts and culture groups dedicated to building diversity, equity and inclusion since 2014. We speak with the organization’s director and others about their work locally.

Rethinking Policing: Can New Approaches Repair Police-Community Relations?

Protesters and National Guardsmen face off on East Lake Street, Friday, May 29, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)

Negative police interactions can have a lasting impact on individuals and entire communities. We speak with two activists and a mental health worker about the changes they believe would improve police-community relations.

Chicago Cautiously Reopens. What it Could Mean for Public Health

Dr. Allison Arwady, commisioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago has officially moved into phase three of its reopening plan. We discuss the public health implications of reopening with Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Protests Raise Questions About Police-Community Relations in Chicago

A protester faces off against police in Chicago on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Hugo Balta / WTTW News)

The killing of George Floyd has brought the conversation about policing people of color in America front and center — again. What can be done to change the relationship between the police and the people they are sworn to serve and protect?

Battling COVID-19: Filmmaker Spends Month in Hospital, Weeks in Rehab

Documentary filmmaker Gordon Quinn was diagnosed with COVID-19 and spent a month in the hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator multiple times. He shares his story.

Live Music Venues Find Innovative Ways to Reach Audiences During Pandemic

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

They must remain closed to the public under the governor’s stay-at-home order, but live music venues in Illinois can now allow small numbers of musicians and staff inside to record and livestream performances. 

Can’t Stop the Comedy: Performers Adapt to COVID-19

(thisismyurl / Pixabay)

It’s said laughter is the best medicine, and while that might not be part of the CDC’s official guidelines, comedians everywhere are reaching out to audiences online, hoping for some connection and a lot of laughter.

How Area Hospitals are Maintaining Their Supply Chains

Swedish Hospital in Chicago (WTTW News)

The global economic shutdown has impacted industries across the board, but hospital supply chains have been hit especially hard — and months into the pandemic, it remains a day-to-day challenge.

A Preview of New PBS Documentary ‘Asian Americans’

A still image from the PBS series “Asian Americans.”

From stories of Chinese railroad workers to the success of politicians and activists, the new five-part series highlights the stories of people from India and Turkey as well as China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.

Meet Margaret Storey, Illinois’ Mother of the Year

(Photo courtesy Margaret Storey)

Many moms have been feeling the brunt of the pandemic, managing child care and home-schooling on top of full-time jobs. One local mom’s ability to care for her daughter while helping families across the state has gotten special notice.

How Will the Chicago Arts Scene Survive the Pandemic?

Theater seats are empty across the city in the age of COVID-19. (WTTW News)

The pandemic has put a record number of people out of work. How are artists making ends meet, and what are the city’s arts groups doing to survive the stay-at-home order and the economic downturn?

High School Students Share Lessons Learned from Staying Home

Crowded hallways are a thing of the past in the era of remote learning. (WTTW News)

What are high school students really learning during this time of stay-at-home orders and remote learning? Maybe more than lesson plans intended.

Tech Giants’ Plan to Track COVID-19 Raises Privacy Concerns

(WTTW News)

As governors grapple with the question of when to reopen their states, the need for a wide-scale contact tracing effort is at the top of many experts’ lists. Help may be on the way, but it’s getting a lot of scrutiny.

Chicago Film Critics Weigh in on Oscars 2020, CFCA Awards

Angelica Jade Bastién and Alejandro Riera appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 6, 2020. (WTTW News)

Brad Pitt is expecting to grab his first Oscar ever this Sunday night. Two local film critics share their predictions for this year’s awards.

Stanley Tigerman, Renowned Chicago Architect, Dies at 88

Stanley Tigerman, a Chicago architect and director of Archeworks, a school he co-founded with interior designer Eva Maddox, addresses graduates. (ChicagoEye / Flickr)

Stanley Tigerman was as famous for his personality as he was for his buildings, private homes and public buildings that showed post-modernism’s tendency for humor, irreverence and invention. 

Innovative Duo Made Big Impact on Chicago’s Advertising Landscape

(Credit: Dorothy and Otis Shepherd)

Husband-and-wife designers Dorothy and Otis Shepard brought a fresh, modern look to billboards, subway cards, advertising – and even the Chicago Cubs.

What’s In a Name? At Buffalo Grove High School, Grief – and Solace

Buffalo High School Orchestra Director Elizabeth Bennett

A suburban high school struggling with the death of three teachers commissions an orchestral work to help the healing process.

Art Institute Highlights Revolutionary Art from Soviet Union

El Lissitzky. “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge,” 1920. Ne boltai! Collection.

An exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago features the artistic outpouring of Russian artists after the October Revolution of 1917, the coup that brought the Soviet Union into being more than a century ago.

Art Institute Highlights Revolutionary Art from Soviet Union

El Lissitzky. “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge,” 1920. Ne boltai! Collection.

An exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago features the artistic outpouring of Russian artists after the October Revolution of 1917, the coup that brought the Soviet Union into being more than a century ago.