Stories by angel idowu

(WTTW News)

Chance the Rapper on His Commitment to Building Community

Chance the Rapper’s nonprofit is trying to make sure Chicagoans have access to mental health care in an initiative called My State of Mind. It has offered nearly 3,000 different wellness programs since its 2019 inception.

WTTW News arts correspondent Angel Idowu learns how to use a tufting gun at Freestyle Ceramics and Tufting. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Bridgeport Tufting Studio Lets Crafters Make One-of-a-Kind Rugs

At Freestyle Ceramics and Tufting, anyone can make their own rug. Each session begins with a practice tutorial to ensure every tufter feels comfortable with the tufting gun.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Singer Celebrates Community, Promotes Healing with Debut Album

Vocalist Shawnee Dez is commemorating the release of her debut album, “Moody Umbra,” with a concert that includes a community jam session featuring a range of local artists.

Artist Mia Lee. (WTTW News)

Artist Mia Lee on Making Her Work Accessible: ‘I Want to Make Sure the Door is Open. Art is for Everyone’

One of Mia Lee’s more recent creations is the cover art design for Chicago musician Chance the Rapper’s latest single “YAH Know.” Lee is featured in the music video.

(WTTW News)

At Expo Chicago, the World is on Display With Over 170 International Art Galleries

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Expo Chicago, the city’s biggest annual celebration of all that Chicago's art scene has to offer.

“A Soldier’s Play” is at the CIBC Theatre through April 16. (WTTW News)

‘A Soldier’s Play’ Explores Racism, Brotherhood on Military Base

Norm Lewis stars as Capt. Richard Davenport in “A Soldier’s Play” at the CIBC Theatre through April 16. The show depicts a Black soldier’s experience during WWII.

SAIC student Jackie Patino uses art to heal. (WTTW News)

SAIC Student Uses Art as a Tool for Healing, Forgiveness

Art student Jackie Patino grew up in a religious household and had an exorcism performed on her. She now uses art not only to process trauma but also as a tool to heal and forgive.

(WTTW News)

Engaging Chicago’s Young Voters Ahead of Election Day

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, only 3% of voters ages 18 to 24 voted in the Feb. 28 Chicago municipal election.

“Mia” at the Greenhouse Theater Center brings attention to missing and abducted girls. (WTTW News)

With ‘Mia,’ Playwright Brings Attention to Missing, Abducted Girls

Where have all the young girls gone? That’s the theme of a new production at the Greenhouse Theater Center. Playwright Mary Bonnett wrote her production, “Mia,” in response to her experiences working with the Ojibwe tribe in Wisconsin.

Illinois Artist Laureate Kay Smith paints in watercolor. (WTTW News)

At 100, Artist Kay Smith Documents American History in Watercolor Paintings

From the Statue of Liberty to Mount Rushmore, Smith spent 50 years traveling the country and documenting historical landmarks with her watercolors.

Veteran Art Movement is partnering with UIC and three art institutions to highlight work created by artists impacted by war. (WTTW News)

Chicago Summit Showcases Work From Artists Impacted by War: ‘It’s Given Me an Outlet’

Veteran Art Movement is partnering with UIC and three art institutions to highlight work created by artists impacted by war. Veterans from across the country are gathering to experience that art and share stories from their time in the service.

(WTTW News)

Tattoo Artist Ryan Henry Transforms Skin, Tells Stories

Tattooing is a skill Ryan Henry taught himself nearly 14 years ago. It was about halfway through his career that Henry garnered national attention when his artwork was showcased on the show “Black Ink Crew Chicago.”

A mosaic from artist Keila Strong. (WTTW News)

Chicago Artist Gives Barrettes New Life in Colorful Mosaic Portraits

Unexpected household items are the focus of a local artist creating portraits for her inner child.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Entrepreneur Launches Black Hair Care Line Focused on Accessibility, Versatility

“Creating Black hair care products is important because I think most of the hair care on the market isn’t catered to us,” Vash Beauty Labs founder Karlene Davis said.

(WTTW News)

Green Book Exhibit Explores Life for Black Motorists During the Jim Crow Era

For nearly 30 years, the Green Book led Black drivers down American roads by outlining restaurants, hotels, safe houses and other safe spaces they could frequent without general fear for their lives.

(WTTW News)

‘The Bowie Project’ Honors Iconic Performer with Jazzy Twist

Saxophone player Jim Gailloreto with the Metropolitan Jazz Octet arranged some of the songs on the group’s new album, saying their lyrical interpretation of Bowie’s music informed their musical “adjustments.”

Artwork on display at the WNDR Museum. (WTTW News)

Chicago Collective Uplifts Creatives of Color at WNDR Museum

A group of Chicago artists is creating a unifying voice in a new collective geared toward strength in numbers. The New Vanguard Coalition is committed to uplifting Chicago creatives.

Actors in “Toni Stone” at the Goodman Theatre. (WTTW News)

‘Toni Stone’ Shines Spotlight on Groundbreaking Baseball Player

The Goodman Theatre's “Toni Stone” tells the story of the first woman to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues.

Terry Hunter. (WTTW News)

Chicago Producer Terry Hunter Brings House Music to Global Audience

South Side native Terry Hunter is up for a 2023 Grammy Award for his remix of Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul.”

(WTTW News)

‘Winter Dreams’ Celebrates the Season with Interactive Art Exhibit

Organizers at a River West gallery said they hope to give the community a reason to celebrate the season through interactive art and reflective storytelling.

(WTTW News)

Open Books Expands Literacy Mission with Logan Square Location

The Chicago nonprofit already has locations in Pilsen and the West Loop. Open Books promotes literacy through programming and the sale of new and used donated books.

Photographer Jordan Porter-Woodruff has a new solo exhibition at the Epiphany Arts Center running through Feb. 11, 2023. (WTTW News)

A Hospital Photographer Turns Her Camera on Chicago’s Artist Community

Jordan Porter-Woodruff had created a new collection celebrating her favorite artists. It’s now on display in a solo exhibition at the Epiphany Arts Center, 201 S. Ashland Ave., titled, “Portraits: An Intimate View.”

A new show at Chicago's Cherry Mountain Arts is shining a spotlight on local creatives. (WTTW News)

Cherry Mountain Arts Show Shines Spotlight on Local Creatives

Cherry Mountain Arts, 836 N. Milwaukee Ave., is hosting an end-of-year exhibition, titled “Work Friends,” that showcases the local creatives they will be working with throughout the year.

Actor and director Isaiah Washington. (WTTW News)

Actor and Director Isaiah Washington Brings New Film to Chicago

Actor and director Isaiah Washington’s new film “Corsicana” explores the life of a Black law enforcement officer with some very notable stripes.

A view of the Wintrust mural along the Kennedy Expressway at North Avenue. (WTTW News)

Billboard Along Expressway Shares New Artwork Each Month from Local Nonprofits

Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu shares exactly how Wintrust Bank partners with different organizations around the city to bring these creations to life. The billboard is one of the city’s biggest and most visible forms of public art.

A dish from Soul Food Lounge, 3804 W. 16th St. (WTTW News)

Soul Food Lounge Looks to Bring Upscale Dining Experience to Lawndale

After being approached to enhance the neighborhood, entrepreneur and chef Quentin Love decided to open what he hopes will be a soul food staple on the city’s West Side.