The Chicago Fire Department has long been overwhelmingly white, but that’s changing, in part due to discrimination lawsuits and, more recently, with the help of group that mentors and trains young first responders.
Stories by Jay Shefsky
You may have heard of Bessie Coleman, the pioneering African American pilot from Chicago. But there is much more to the history of black aviation in this town. And though that story has been largely forgotten, it’s now inspiring a new generation of aviators.
From clothing to digital art to painting, Chicago artist Edo sees color in all forms. “Color is my thing,” he says. “I want it to light up a room.”
QT Luong is renowned for his photos of the country’s national parks. In 2019, he photographed what was then the newest national park: the Indiana Dunes.
Elsa Harris has played in Chicago churches since she was 12 years old and has performed around the world. We visit this “legend of Chicago gospel.”
Ten years ago, less than 2 million records were purchased in the U.S. But last year, nearly 17 million were sold. And now there are records being made in Chicago for the first time in decades. We stop by to see how it’s done.
If you want to become a professional violin-maker, there are three places in the U.S. where you can learn how to do it: Boston, Salt Lake City and the Chicago suburb of Skokie.
A baby outfit made by a nun in the Philippines in 1945 has now been shared by three generations and 60 newborns. We meet the latest member of the family to wear it.
Dozens of old glass negatives found in the attic of a North Side home lead to a surprising discovery, just days before the house was scheduled to be torn down.
These days, we know that eating foods high in saturated fats, salt and cholesterol is unhealthy. But that wasn’t always the accepted wisdom. And the doctor whose research led to many of those discoveries just celebrated a milestone.
When he died in 2011, Chicago photographer Dorrell Creightney left behind half a million photos. His work is not well known, but his daughters are on a mission to change that.
The River North neighborhood offers a mix of restaurants, bars and galleries, but it wasn’t always so trendy. Chicago photographer and filmmaker Tom Palazzolo captured the area in the 1960s and now many of those photos are part of a new book.
Dorothy Olson Pauletti came to Chicago at age 17 and played piano professionally for nearly eight decades. At 102, she’s still living musically.
In college, Stephanie Baliga was the sixth-fastest freshman in the nation. Now 31, the local nun is still running, but her goal isn’t the Olympics. It’s raising money for the religious community she serves.
When Al Westerman’s grandparents bought a farm in Northern Illinois in 1911, it came with a house, a barn and an apple orchard. Now, he collects heirloom apple trees and grows more than 100 varieties.
Mickey Alice Kwapis knows that she doesn’t fit most people’s idea of what a taxidermist looks like. And she is trying to change that.
There are plenty of Beatles covers in the world. But when a talented local guitarist like Joel Paterson applies his artistry to the fab four, that gets our attention.
More than 40 years ago, Chicagoan Dale Wickum traveled all over the country by freight train to meet and photograph men who called themselves “railroad tramps.” The photos have been in storage since the 1970s. Until now.
The population at Brookfield Zoo is growing. Last week, the zoo adopted two California Sea Lions – both with health issues. We meet Carolyn and Sabiena as they get physical exams at the zoo.
Pat Lohenry has loved miniatures for as long as she can remember. And as a teenager, she went from playing with them to making them. Today, her basement is full of her creations.
Sometimes, the very thing that brings a person the most trouble in life can become a source of joy and inspiration. Meet local singer – and mentor – Keya Trammell.
As a teen, Charlie Grass was Bob Fosse’s dance partner. Now at age 91, he’s teaching their old routines to young Chicago dancers.
If you want to see wildflowers in and around Chicago, photographer Mike MacDonald will tell you where to go – and when – for the most glorious blooms.
Lake Michigan water levels are expected to top the record for June, and there’s a chance they could surpass the all-time record set in 1986. We head to the lakefront, and speak with experts.