Stories by Angel Idowu

Virtual Play Offers Night Out at the Theater, Without Leaving Home

Ty Fanning, left, and MacGregor Arney in “Teenage Dick.” (Photo credit: Charles Osgood)

As you work through your list of at-home entertainment options, don’t forget to consider a night of theater. Chicago’s Theater Wit is now livestreaming the play “Teenage Dick.” Here’s how it works.

How an Evanston Artist is Using Portraits to Help Small Business Owners

Portraits by Evanston artist Chris Froeter. (WTTW News)

Evanston-based artist Chris Froeter is using his paintbrush to find creative ways to attract customers and support small businesses during the statewide stay-at-home order. 

‘We’ll Be Back Stronger’: Performing Arts Companies Rally, Reflect

(WTTW News)

How the Chicago performing arts community is preparing for the uncertainty of the spring season.

How Chicago Artists are Coping with the New Coronavirus Economy

The Chopin Theatre in Wicker Park (WTTW News)

Some businesses deemed essential are staying open as Gov. J.B. Pritzker orders residents across the state to stay home and help prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. But how are mom-and-pop operations weathering the storm? 

Chicagoans Create Relief Fund for Artists in Financial Need

(Courtesy Jessica Kadish-Hernandez)

Cancellations and closings are affecting everyone, but they present a unique challenge for freelance artists, whose livelihoods are already dependent on an uncertain stream of income. Now, a group of local artists is stepping in to help.

Black ABCs Celebrate 50 Years With New Photo Series

In the midst of cancelations and closures, an art exhibit remains open, for a limited time, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black ABCs. Since the 1970s, these letters have been used in public schools around the country. 

Husband-and-Wife Duo Opens Design Center on South Side

Chicago artist Gerald Griffin, owner of Gerald Griffin Gallery. (WTTW News)

A Chicago couple are turning their dreams into reality with a design center on the city’s South Side. It houses everything you need to recreate your home, from appliances to artwork and everything in between.

A Passion for Art Collecting, Appreciation Drives Diasporal Rhythms

Patric McCoy shows WTTW arts correspondent Angel Idowu his art collection. (WTTW News)

What was started almost 20 years ago by a small group of friends with a passion for art collecting is now 80 members strong. We visit the art-filled home of Patric McCoy of Diasporal Rhythms.

Meet the Chicago Artist Behind ‘Grace and Frankie’

Nancy Rosen (WTTW News)

Lily Tomlin plays an artist on the popular Netflix series “Grace and Frankie,” but she isn’t creating the art. It’s actually made in Chicago by artist Nancy Rosen. We visit her studio to learn more.

MSI Chicago Celebrates 50 Years of African American Artists

Artists Arthur Wright, left, and Blake Lenoir speak with WTTW News about the Black Creativity exhibit.

Chicago artists talk about the long-term impact of the museum’s annual Black Creativity exhibit.

Nike Lab Pays Tribute to Picasso Sculpture with a Chicago Twist

“Chicago Bulls Remix” (Angel Idowu / WTTW News)

Art installations with a Chicago sporty twist are on display throughout the Navy Pier exhibition as part of the NBA All-Star weekend.

Folded Map Project Highlights Chicago Segregation, Gentrification

Tonika Johnson, center, with “map twins” Carmen Arnold-Stratton, right, and Bridghid O’Shaughnessy, left. (WTTW News)

Chicagoan Tonika Johnson is using photography to educate people on the disparities she’s noticed within neighborhoods throughout the city. 

Passion for Design Leads to Career in Handmade Leather Goods

Yohance Joseph Lacour

A Chicago leather craftsman is wrapping up his first year as an entrepreneur creating leather products in the form of shoes, bags and even greeting cards. 

New WTTW Partnership with Free Spirit Media Promotes Media Literacy

Zachary Webster talks about the video production skills he’s learned through Free Spirit Media. (WTTW News)

How an After School Matters program is helping Chicago students discover their passion for storytelling.

‘American Medina’ Shares Personal Stories of Muslim Chicagoans

An exhibit at the Chicago History Museum highlights the experiences of Muslims in Chicago through audio interviews, photographs, videos, artwork, maps and everyday objects. We go for a look.

Native American Jewelry Tells ‘Stunning Stories’ of Indigenous People

At the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, more than 80 pieces of Native American jewelry reveal cultural history and spiritual beliefs. How this wearable art helps preserve indigenous stories.

12-Year-Old Jahkil Jackson is Helping the Homeless, Inspiring His Peers

Jahkil Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 26, 2019. (WTTW News)

A young Chicagoan is celebrating the season of giving year-round with his “blessing bags.” Jahkil Jackson tells us about his mission to help the homeless and his recent appearance on Marvel’s “Hero Project.”

Gumball Machine Pays Tribute to Art-O-Mat With a Poetic Twist

If you spent any time as a child at the Chicago Cultural Center, you might remember the Art-o-mat machine that dispensed a piece of art in exchange for two tokens. That same machine has inspired a new concept for storytelling through poetry.

Beatboxer Finds New Sound in Opera by Chicago Composer

Nicole Paris, left, and Augusta Read Thomas speak with WTTW News about the making of “Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun.”

For years, beatboxer Nicole Paris and her dad Ed Cage have awed audiences with their beatboxing battles as Nicole and Popz. Paris recently broke from that duet to take on a feat of her own: beatboxing in an opera.

Chicago Dance Companies Unite for Black Dance Legacy Project

Dancers Tracey Hodgkin-Valcy and Merrick Mitchell rehearse a duet for “Lineage: The Black Dance Legacy Project.” (WTTW News)

Eight of the city’s most prominent dance companies are coming together for a one-night-only concert this week with a single mission: to celebrate the legacy of black dance in Chicago.

Inside Nevermore Park, Hebru Brantley’s New Immersive Experience

Chicago artist Hebru Brantley speaks with “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

Chicago artist Hebru Brantley has created works for some of Hollywood’s biggest names, and now he’s bringing some of that work home. We explore his new exhibit, Nevermore Park.

Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates Diwali, the Festival of Lights

The nation’s most diverse orchestra is working to push the boundaries of how classical music is presented by incorporating dance into its next concert.

Front Lawn Art Installations Pay Tribute to Late Chicago Artist

Late Chicago artist Sabina Ott created the nonprofit Terrain Biennial, a public art event that invites participants to display site-specific exhibits in their front yard. 

Cathy Marston’s Adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre’ Heads to the Joffrey Ballet

In “Jane Eyre,” Cathy Marston said she creates movement based on quotes taken directly from Charlotte Bronte’s 19th century novel. 

Free Art Collections at CPS Based on Unique ‘Art Subscription’ Model

Nearly two dozen Chicago Public Schools have received free art collections since the beginning of the school year. How a local nonprofit is able to provide these collections with the help of its “art subscription” concept.