Stories by angel idowu

‘Chicago Takes 10’ Virtual Performance Series Brings Audience the ‘Sound of Chicago’

Artists Charles Joseph Smith and Angel Bat Dawid are featured as part of the "Chicago Takes 10" series. (Courtesy Chicago Takes 10)

We learn about the new, free showcase with Greg Ward and Jumaane Taylor, the saxophonist and tap dancer with the Hyde Park Jazz Fest who are performing in the series.

Collaboraction’s ‘Family Tree Stories’ Aims to Connect Chicagoans, One Story at a Time

Storyteller Priya Shya speaks with WTTW News about Collaboraction’s “Family Tree Stories.”

Thanks to support from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago theater company Collaboraction is exploring the impact of oral history, one story at a time. We learn about the group’s newest project, “Family Tree Stories,” and how it’s working to unite the city through storytelling.

Billy Branch Wants to Bring Blues Back to Its Roots, Sow Its Seeds

Billy Branch’s talent led him to play professionally for Blues legend Willie Dixon and the Chicago Blues All-Stars for six years. (WTTW News)

He has been playing the mouth harp since he bought his very first one at age 11 for just $1. But he’s not just a musician. We talk with Billy Branch about his mission to give blues the recognition it deserves.

‘Quantum Mirror’ Exhibit Adds Physical Experience to Digital Art

Because this room of mirrors allows this NFT to fully encompass a physical space, that makes “Quantum Mirror” the very first NFT sculpture. (WTTW News)

As the development of NFTs—non-fungible tokens—gives artists more autonomy over their work and how it’s shared in a digital capacity, a new exhibit is showcasing how this digital art can take over physical spaces.

How a Chicago Nonprofit is Working to Promote Diversity Within TV

Open Television is a platform for intersectional pilots and series, supporting Chicago artists in producing and exhibiting indie series. (courtesy Open TV)

A Chicago nonprofit aiming to promote more diversity in television is gearing up for its annual artist showcase in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Immersive Show ‘Into the Mist’ Transports Audiences to 1920s

Evanston artist Steve Rashid created “Into the Mist.” (WTTW News)

Tired of livestreams that lacked variety, Evanston artist Steve Rashid wanted to offer a more immersive experience. With the help of his sons and their network of artists from around the country, he created “Into the Mist.” We get a peek at the virtual show that’s unlike any other.

Chicago Printmaker’s ‘COVID Year’ Project a Study in Art Therapy

Artist Beth Adler. (WTTW News)

The one-year anniversary of the pandemic has come and gone, but its impact on mental health will linger. We meet Chicago printmaker Beth Adler, who found refuge in art therapy — and whose work is now part of a new exhibit in Evanston.

The Show Must Go On: The Return of Movie Theaters

Chicagoland theaters enforce the Cinema Safe initiative per the National Association of Theatre Owners.  (WTTW News)

As coronavirus numbers begin to decrease and entertainment venues start to reopen, the debate continues over consumer safety versus the safety of home. Local cinema owners tell us what they're doing to make sure everyone can safely resume a popular pastime.

Elmhurst Exhibit on Fair Housing Features Rare MLK Photos

Martin Luther King Jr. photograph by Bernard Kleina. (Courtesy of the Elmhurst Art Museum)

A new exhibit at the Elmhurst Art Museum is using photography to explore Chicago’s fair housing history and features rare color photos of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Chicago Freedom Movement.

How a Chicago Artist is Working to Help Musicians in Need

(WTTW News)

A Chicago artist is working to make sure no musician is left behind with a community organization dedicated to Black musicians in Chicago.

Chicago Children’s Choir Celebrates Black History Month With Virtual Concert

A still image from a video provided by the Chicago Children’s Choir, which is presenting a virtual Black History Month concert in February 2021. (Courtesy Chicago Children’s Choir)

A musical journey through Black history explores how African traditions not only influence music genres today, but how they have helped the Black community celebrate and maintain its traditions.  

Sister Group A4L Talks About the Impact of Gospel Music

The gospel group A4L. (WTTW News)

A group of young women are changing the narrative of gospel music — and who it’s for. We meet a band of sisters who are on a mission. 

Inside ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ Exhibit Making US Debut in Chicago

Inside the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit in Chicago. (WTTW News)

A long-awaited exhibit has made its way to the U.S. and Chicago is the first stop on the tour. We get a first look at this one-of-a-kind digital experience.

How a Chicago Nonprofit is Working to Change the Face of Classical Music

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative is preparing gifted students for higher education and careers in music — and debunking myths along the way.

Congo Square Theatre Talks About Sharing Black Stories, Virtually

Congo Square Theatre Managing Director Charlique Rolle. (WTTW News)

When the pandemic hit, theaters across the country were faced with the harsh reality that they were among the first to close their doors — and would be among the last to reopen. How one Chicago theater company has taken its stage online. 

Keeping Chicago’s Dance History Alive, 1 Interview at a Time

In a seven-hour live interview marathon Sunday, dancers from across the country will reflect on Chicago’s impact over the course of their dance careers.

Arts Workers Across the US Unite for Federal Funds in DAWN Act

An image taken from a promotional video for the “Be An Arts Hero” campaign. (WTTW News via Be An Arts Hero)

Artists are calling on the Biden administration to provide economic relief to the arts sector through a proposal called the DAWN Act — that stands for Defend Arts Workers Now — that was co-organized by Chicago playwright Matthew Lee-Erlbach.

Legacy of Muddy Waters to Live On at MOJO Museum

The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

A museum honoring the “father of modern Chicago blues” is headed to North Kenwood. Family members of the late musician Muddy Waters tell us what’s in store for the MOJO Museum.

How Virtual MLK Day Celebrations Are Continuing the Activist Mission

From dance and musical numbers to excerpts from some of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most prominent speeches to science experiments, Chicago artists are finding creative ways to further his movement in virtual celebrations.

At Lolita’s Bodega, Local Artists of Color Take The Spotlight

Chicago artist Armando Rios — aka Mr. Barbudos. (WTTW News)

How a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in Humboldt Park — and now online — is helping Chicagoans invest in local artists. 

Coffee Company Partners with Chocolateria to Bring Mexican Drinking Chocolate to Chicago

(WTTW News)

A chocolateria has made its way to Chicago by way of local coffee company Dark Matter. On the menu? Mexican drinking chocolate that just so happens to be made with cacao beans from Mexico. We visit Sleep Walk for a taste.

‘Tree of Remembrance’ Honors Lives Lost to Chicago Gun Violence

(WTTW News)

As Chicagoans say goodbye to loved ones who have died from gun violence, a local artist is working to make sure their lives are honored this holiday season through his nonprofit, Never Forget Chicago.

Free Virtual Concert ‘Pasión Latina’ Marks a First for Lyric Opera

Ana María Martínez (WTTW News)

Lyric Opera of Chicago has plans for a virtual concert Sunday unlike anything it has done before: a Spanish-language concert. We meet some of the artists involved with the premiere of “Pasión Latina.”

How a Chicago Artist is Bringing Attention to Homelessness

Chicago artist Zac Lowing (WTTW News)

Zac Lowing scours the beach for sea glass, but his work is about more than the sculptures he creates. Through his platform, he hopes to bring attention to the homeless community. 

Mural in Belmont Cragin Encourages Resilience as COVID-19 Numbers Rise

(WTTW News)

A new mural on the city’s Northwest Side bridges the gap between health care providers and the community they serve.

Chicago Artist Explores Blackness as Both a Color and Identity in New Exhibit

Chicago-based artist and architect Amanda Williams. (WTTW News)

We explore the latest exhibition from Amanda Williams which responds to the social media trend Blackout Tuesday, in which Instagram users posted black squares to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.