Stories by angel idowu

Musician Corky Siegel on Virtual Showcase, ‘Best of the Damnpandic’

Harmonica and piano player Corky Siegel will feature guest performances in a virtual showcase ‘Best of the Damnpandic’ (WTTW News)

As the Chicago arts scene slowly begins to once again embrace in-person performances, one Rogers Park artist says sharing music virtually is an experience he’s not quite ready to give up. We check in with harmonica and piano player, Corky Siegel.

Englewood Artist Documents Growing Up on the South Side

(WTTW News)

In his first solo show, “Mookie on the Southside,” artist Pugs Atomz illustrates what it’s like growing up on the South Side through paintings and sculptures.

Joffrey Ballet Debuts with ‘Home: A Celebration’

The Joffrey Ballet returns with “Home: A Celebration,” a dance embodied after the old Negro Spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” (WTTW News)

The Joffrey Ballet is welcoming back company dancers and instructors. It’s also welcoming choreographers, including Chanel DaSilva. As one of Joffrey’s 2020 Winning Works choreographers, the New York based artist is back with a dance interpretation and reimagining of the old Negro Spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Broadway in Chicago Makes Its Official Return With Rent’s 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour

“Rent” kicked off its 25th anniversary tour in Chicago. (WTTW News)

It’s been 822,900 minutes since Broadway in Chicago closed its doors. Now nearly a year and a half later, they’re back with a story that’s giving us 525,600 reasons to love.

Goodman Theatre’s ‘American Mariachi’ Examines Music as a Tool for Healing

We go behind the scenes of “American Mariachi,” a co-production between the Dallas Theater Center and the Goodman Theatre, set in 1970s Chicago. (WTTW News)

It was just before opening night that “American Mariachi” had to close its doors. Now, nearly 18 months later, the cast has returned to the stage. We go behind the scenes of this new musical play set in 1970s Chicago.

‘Sounds of 18th Street’ Unites Mexican Artists From Across US in New Music Festival

(WTTW News)

We head to Pilsen, where The National Museum of Mexican Art is getting ready to host its first musical festival.

‘Footnotes’ Pays Tribute to Music and Dance Style Born in Chicago

“Footnotes” co-producer Brandon K. Calhoun talks about the art of footwork. (WTTW News)

Footwork is an art form that consists of both music and dance, and it’s brought people together from around the world. Now it’s bringing folks downtown to see animated projections on the Merchandise Mart.

Banksy Exhibit Brings Well-Known Works From Unseen Artist to Chicago

“Flower Thrower” is one of many recognizable work featured in “The Art of Banksy.” (WTTW News)

It’s one of the biggest touring exhibitions of one of the world’s most well-known street artists. We take a look at “The Art of Banksy,” on view in River North through October.

Kanye West Takes Chicagoans to Church in ‘Donda’ Listening Party

Kanye West’s “Donda” listening party at Soldier Field on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 included a replica of his childhood South Shore home. (Angel Idowu / WTTW News)

The Chicago rapper performed beneath a replica of his South Shore home to thousands Thursday night at Soldier Field.

A Tour With a Twist: Chicago Fireboat Offers Air and Water Show Tours

As only one of two former fireboats that offer tours in the U.S., Fred A. Busse is a piece of Chicago history. (WTTW News)

A modified version of the city’s Air and Water show is flying over Lake Michigan this weekend, and arts correspondent Angel Idowu knows just where to take in the aerial views — from Lake Michigan of course. She introduces us to a boat tour packed with Chicago facts. 

Meet a ‘Yarn Bomber’ Who Has Made Chicago Her Canvas

Valerie Sherman says nothing is off-limits. (WTTW News)

If you’ve seen random objects covered in yarn and wondered what they were, you’re in luck: We introduce you to Valerie Sherman, whose favorite pastime has led to a citywide beautification project.

Chicago Artists Take the Main Stage at Lollapalooza

Nez (Credit: Adisa Duke)

In a sea of familiar artists — from Megan Thee Stallion to Miley Cyrus — a few local faces are hoping to make a bigger name for themselves at this year’s Lollapalooza. Among them is Chicago-based songwriter and producer Nez.

Creative Take on Vision Boarding Aims to Help Entrepreneurs Pursue Their Passions

Karen Spears talks about her “mind-mapping” process. (WTTW News)

We meet local entrepreneur Karen Spears, whose “mind-mapping” process helps people figure out the first or next step in starting a business, all while preserving an art form she’s passionate about. 

How the Lipizzan Stallions Learn to Dance

Bill Clements, head trainer at Tempel Farms. (WTTW News)

At a farm just north of the city, trainers are working to preserve an art form on display at the Tokyo Olympics. We visit Tempel Farms to see the Lipizzan stallions they’re teaching to dance.

At El Paseo Community Garden, ‘The Sky’s The Limit’ for Programming, Opportunities

Visual artist Marcella Torres. (WTTW News)

Marcella Torres, an artist-in-residence at the Pilsen garden described as an “outdoor community center,” tells us about the new project she’s creating for the space with a little help from volunteers.

Woodworker Uses Art Background to Create Custom Furniture

After the pandemic hit that woodworker Keith Skogstrom found himself nearly overwhelmed with orders for custom wooden furniture. (WTTW News)

When a Chicago artist decided to strengthen his craft creating sculptures, he took on an unlikely job to help him refine the lines. Nearly a decade later, he's using the skills he picked up as a mill worker to create custom wooden furniture.

Traveling Exhibit Honors Chicago’s Koko Taylor and Other Women of the Blues

(Courtesy WTTW’s “Chicago Stories,” 2000)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s exactly what Lynn Orman Weiss’ traveling exhibition does, sharing through photos how women have contributed to one of the most influential music genres.

Artist Uses Graphite to Mark Time in Tribute to Historic Art Center

Artist Faheem Majeed and students spent six days in August 2020 laying sheets across the South Side Art Center to make a graphite rubbing of the building. (Courtesy Steven Rosofsky / Moving Pictures)

Interdisciplinary artist Faheem Majeed is using graphite to mark the past, present and future of the South Side Community Art Center, the oldest African American art center in the country.

Gabriel Villa Explores His Mexican Roots in Contemporary American Art

Artist Gabriel Villa speaks with “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

In a new exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center, a Mexican American artist is exploring his personal and professional transformation. We meet the artist to learn more about “The Metamorphosis of Gabriel Villa.”

‘Timeless’ Exhibit Examines Life and Work of Frida Kahlo

A portion of Frida Kahlo’s original works are returning to the Chicago area for the first time since the late ‘70s.  (WTTW News)

Some of Frida Kahlo’s original works are returning to the Chicago area for the first time since the late ‘70s.

The Art of Hair Braiding and Pushing Back Against Cultural Biases

“People would cancel their braid appointment if they had an interview,” Mo G said. “I would always say, ‘That’s not the job that you want. Go to your interview with your braids, it’s okay.” (WTTW News)

Meet artist and hair braider Mo G and learn how she’s using braids to push against cultural biases that consider the look unprofessional.

‘Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel’ Comes to the Chicago Area

A scene from “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition” in Oak Brook. (WTTW News)

A Roman holiday this summer is easier than you think. We check out a new exhibit featuring recreations of the most recognized works by Italian artist Michelangelo, now open in Oak Brook.

Surabhi Ensemble Builds Cross-Cultural Exchange Through Music

Composed of musicians of many races and ethnicities based in Chicago, the Surabhi Ensemble has a mission to make cross-cultural connections. (WTTW News)

Meet the Surabhi Ensemble. Composed of musicians of many races and ethnicities, this global music group that’s based in Chicago has a mission to make cross-cultural connections. 

Art on the Mart Brings the Universe to Wacker Drive

Art on the Mart’s unique location — projected across the massive face of the building formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, makes for optimal views whether you’re walking or driving. (WTTW News)

One of the city’s most public art experiences is back with a trip through the universe. Art on the Mart is working with local cultural institutions to bring their work to Wacker Drive.

2300 Jackson Street, Home of Jackson 5, Gets Official Highway Signage

The Gary, Indiana, home of the Jackson 5. (WTTW News)

The celebration was in full force May 13 at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana, as the city marked the home of the Jackson 5 with official highway signage. We visit the historic site and speak to Marlon and Tito Jackson about their childhood home.

‘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.