Stories by kristen thometz

2022 Chicago Festival Guide

Do Division Street Fest (Courtesy of West Town Chamber of Commerce)

Get ready for fun with this guide to neighborhood street fests, art shows, outdoor concerts and cultural celebrations of all sizes across Chicago and the suburbs.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Aug. 4-7

(C2E2 / Facebook)

Costumes, bugs, barbecued meats and Italian fare usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

How Should You Talk to Kids About Traumatic Events? ‘The Imagine Neighborhood’ Podcast Aims to Grow Social-Emotional Skills

(Photo by C D-X on Unsplash)

Developed by the Committee for Children, a nonprofit dedicated to the well-being of children, the podcast uses stories, music and activities to help children and adults talk about their feelings and solve problems together. And it doesn’t shy away from topics like racism, prejudice and equity.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 28-31

Tchami (Photo by Roger Ho for Lollapalooza 2021)

A massive music festival, cultural celebrations, vintage goods and a book fair usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

As Chicago Surpasses 300 Monkeypox Cases, Officials Urge Testing

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

In Chicago, 326 people have tested positive for monkeypox, according to city officials who are urging residents to educate themselves about the virus and to get tested if they have symptoms. 

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Awarded $24M to Lead Community Health Response Team

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

City officials announced Wednesday that they have awarded $24 million to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to serve as the lead organization for a new initiative to promote overall health and wellness.

Report Finds COVID-19 Vaccines May Impact Menstrual Cycles But Findings Narrow in Scope

(WTTW News)

After noticing changes in their menstrual cycles after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, a pair of researchers surveyed others about their experiences. A new analysis of over 35,000 responses finds many experienced changes to their periods, including unexpected bleeding. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 21-24

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Courtesy of Special Events Management)

Neighborhood street fests, dinosaurs and dragons, pizza pies and cat videos usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Chicago Ranked 10th Fittest City in America

(Courtesy of City of Chicago)

The City of Broad Shoulders flexed its muscles in terms of fitness. In a newly released list of the 100 fittest cities in America, Chicago came in at No. 10.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 14-17

Pitchfork Music Festival (Credit: Alexa Viscius)

Music festivals, beefy burgers, colorful creatures and tasty tacos usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Study: Chicago Youth Development Program May Interrupt Cycle of Intergenerational Poverty

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

More than 30 years ago, a group of Northwestern University medical students started a youth development program with the goal of improving the lives of children living in poverty. New research finds one such program that provided youth with long-term support is associated with reduced poverty in early adult life.

Dr. Sameer Vohra Tapped to Lead Illinois Department of Public Health

Dr. Sameer Vohra (Credit: Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that he has appointed pediatrician Dr. Sameer Vohra to lead the state health department starting Aug. 1.

105 Cases of Monkeypox Confirmed in Chicago, Health Officials Announce

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

The risk to Chicagoans from monkeypox remains low, according to Chicago Department of Public Health officials, who encouraged anyone who has developed a new or unexplained rash to see a health care provider.

After Highland Park Mass Shooting, ‘People are Feeling Lots of Different Things.’ Help Is Available, Clinicians Say

(WTTW News)

Highland Park’s Fourth of July Parade turned into a tragedy Monday. That sudden shift from a celebratory mood to one of imminent danger can make it difficult for people to process in the aftermath, according to clinicians. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 7-10

(Credit: City of Chicago DCASE)

Bite-sized dishes, music fests, neighborhood gardens and art fairs usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Ravinia Festival Cancels Events through Sunday in Wake of Highland Park Mass Shooting

City of Highland Park cancels events through July 16

(WTTW News)

Concerts and events at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park have been canceled through Sunday “out of a deep respect” for the community, according to a statement on Ravinia’s website.

Illinois Advocates Call for Universal Child Care, Say Current System is ‘Unaffordable, Unavailable’

(WTTW News)

The Illinois Child Care for All Coalition is calling for publicly-funded universal child care, saying it is unavailable and unaffordable for many in the Prairie State. 

12 Things to Do This Weekend: June 30-July 4

(Courtesy Chicago Loop Alliance)

A pop-up street art festival, summer workouts, circus acts and the sounds of nature usher in the holiday weekend. Here are a dozen things to do in and around Chicago.

Advocates Say Lightfoot is Failing to Address Homelessness in Chicago While Pushing for Permanent Funding Source

A homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The Bring Chicago Home Coalition is calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to set up a dedicated revenue source to address homelessness in the city after giving the mayor failing grades in a report card issued Wednesday assessing her progress on addressing the issue during her first three years in office.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 23-26

(Photo by Allie Mischen)

Pride celebrations, micheladas, a South Side walking tour and colorful kimonos usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

$20M Expansion of Social Service Agency The Ark Needed to Address Clients’ Growing Needs

The Ark, located in West Rogers Park, recently broke ground on a $20-million expansion. (Courtesy of The Ark)

The West Rogers Park facility is increasing the size of its food pantry fourfold, doubling the size of its community space and creating a dedicated area for its Intensive Day Program that serves adults with mental health challenges.

10 Cases of Monkeypox Confirmed in Illinois, Officials Announce

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

Nine cases of monkeypox have been detected in Chicago while one case has been identified in DuPage County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 16-19

(RickMajewski / Northalsted / GoPride)

A pride celebration, Juneteenth events, community artwork and an eco fest usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

Ben’s Friends ‘A Safe Space’ For Hospitality Workers Battling Addiction

(Shutterbug75 / Pixabay)

Last month, Ben’s Friends, a national support group for people in the hospitality industry struggling with addiction, began hosting weekly meetings in Chicago.

Backyard Chickens Linked to Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak: CDC

(Jan Kraus / Unsplash)

More than 200 people across the country, including 11 in Illinois, have become ill after coming in contact with poultry in backyard flocks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 9-12

(Photo by Chicago DCASE)

Music festivals, artisan markets, a royal experience and Swedish traditions usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago this weekend.