Stories by kristen thometz

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

2022 Chicago Festival Guide

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.

(C2E2 / Facebook)

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

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

(Photo by C D-X on Unsplash)

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

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.

Tchami (Photo by Roger Ho for Lollapalooza 2021)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 28-31

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

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)

As Chicago Surpasses 300 Monkeypox Cases, Officials Urge Testing

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. 

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

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

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.

(WTTW News)

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

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. 

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Courtesy of Special Events Management)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 21-24

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

(Courtesy of City of Chicago)

Chicago Ranked 10th Fittest City in America

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.

Pitchfork Music Festival (Credit: Alexa Viscius)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 14-17

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

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

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

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 (Credit: Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker)

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

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

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)

105 Cases of Monkeypox Confirmed in Chicago, Health Officials Announce

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.

(WTTW News)

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

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. 

(Credit: City of Chicago DCASE)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: July 7-10

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

(WTTW News)

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

City of Highland Park cancels events through July 16

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.

(WTTW News)

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

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. 

(Courtesy Chicago Loop Alliance)

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

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.

A homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

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

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.

(Photo by Allie Mischen)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 23-26

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

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

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

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.

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)

10 Cases of Monkeypox Confirmed in Illinois, Officials Announce

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. 

(RickMajewski / Northalsted / GoPride)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 16-19

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

(Shutterbug75 / Pixabay)

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

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

(Jan Kraus / Unsplash)

Backyard Chickens Linked to Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak: CDC

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.  

(Photo by Chicago DCASE)

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 9-12

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