Stories by marc vitali

Paintings from Puerto Rico Arrive in Chicago for New Exhibit

(WTTW News)

The artwork is on loan from a museum in the town of Ponce on the southern coast. Now, Chicago’s National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Humboldt Park is the temporary home to a small but significant exhibit.

Maestro Riccardo Muti Takes a Look Back as He Begins Final Season at Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Maestro Riccardo Muti rehearses with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 21, 2022. (WTTW News)

This weekend marks the beginning of the end of Maestro Riccardo Muti’s tenure as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. WTTW News visited Symphony Center to hear him lead the orchestra in a rousing rehearsal of works by Tchaikovsky.

Hellenic Museum Reopens with Photographs by a Greek Prince

(WTTW News)

The first show back for one of the last museums in Chicago to reopen following the COVID-19 shutdown has a royal pedigree.

Picturing Music History with Photographer Paul Natkin

Paul Natkin speaks to WTTW News in September 2022. (WTTW News)

Rock, reggae, jazz, folk, R&B – he’s captured it all. We catch up with photographer Paul Natkin, and he shared stories and pictures worth many thousands of words.

James ‘Big Cat’ Williams Looks Ahead to New Chicago Bears Season

The NFL season officially kicks off this week and the Chicago Bears are set to start their season Sunday at noon against the San Francisco 49ers.

Movie Posters and Lobby Cards at the Center of Chicagoan’s Colossal Collection

(WTTW News)

When your hobby turns into one of the most comprehensive collections of movie posters in the world, what do you do for an encore? A local collector once had 45,000 posters and lobby cards. He sold some, donated others, and kept the cream of the crop.

Vending Machine for Artists Aims to Boost Chicago Makers

(WTTW News)

It is a kind of art gallery inside a vending machine. There’s a new effort to boost the profile of artists and makers in Chicago and put some money in their pockets. Producer Marc Vitali has a look at the lighter side of buying artwork – and other fun stuff – sometimes to just go along with your beer.

After 100 Years, Morton Arboretum Just Keeps Growing

This year marks the centennial of the Morton Arboretum in DuPage County. Fifty years before it was established, the founder’s father started Arbor Day.  (WTTW News)

This year marks the centennial of the Morton Arboretum in DuPage County. Fifty years before it was established, the founder’s father started Arbor Day. Producer Marc Vitali visited the 1,700-acre public garden for a bit of history and to meet a photographer who has explored the place since his first visit in the 1960s.

Big Houses on the Prairie: the Chicago Area Homes of Architect George Maher

A new group turns the spotlight on George Washington Maher, an under-recognized designer of buildings throughout the Midwest.  (WTTW News)

The artistry of Frank Lloyd Wright is front and center when it comes to Prairie School architecture. But other architects made enduring impacts. A new group turns the spotlight on George Washington Maher, an under-recognized designer of buildings throughout the Midwest. 

Building Bridges, Not Barriers: Interfaith Summit in Chicago a Call to Action

(Myriams-Fotos / Pixabay)

Next week, Chicago will host the Interfaith Leadership Summit. For 23 years, the event has brought together students and educators from across the country to promote religious pluralism.

Chicago’s Newest Music Venue Breathes New Life into Iconic Salt Shed

(WTTW News)

The city’s newest concert venue, appropriately called the Salt Shed, which just celebrated its opening day Tuesday. The concert hall is on the site of the renovated Morton Salt shed. 

From Eastland Disaster to Train Derailments, Chicago Artist Inspired by History and Tragedy

(WTTW News)

Painter Eric Edward Esper creates accurate historical depictions of terrifying tragedies – fires, tornadoes and nautical disasters that took place in Chicago and elsewhere.

Chicago and Ukraine Artists Rage Against the War Machine

(WTTW News)

An art show near Ukrainian Village is a cry of protest against the ongoing war in Ukraine. Artists from Chicago and Ukraine are raising their voices in opposition to the Russian invasion. 

As Monkeypox Numbers Grow, a Journalist Who Had the Disease Speaks Out


Additional monkeypox vaccines are arriving in Chicago, but they will be in limited supply. This as the World Health Organization this declared monkeypox a public health emergency. 

Calls for Dedicated Place to Host Summer Music Festivals, Keep Out of Neighborhood Parks

(Courtesy Riot Fest)

This summer hundreds of thousands of music lovers will descend on the city for its annual music festivals. And that impact on public land is a point of contention for some neighbors who live near the parks.

UChicago Researchers Aim to Transform the Nation’s 911 Call System

(WTTW News)

A University of Chicago initiative aims to modernize and strengthen the nation’s 911 system – and they’ve just published a blueprint for how to do it.

New Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater Heads to Space

John Putnam (Christopher Kale Jones) and Ellen Fields (Jaye Ladymore) look to the stars in Chicago Shakespeare's world premiere production of It Came From Outer Space, in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, June 22–July 24, 2022. (Credit: Liz Lauren).

The recent Broadway smash “Six” is perhaps their most notable success. Now, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater is bringing aliens to center stage with a musical-comedy adaptation of the 1950s sci-fi film “It Came From Outer Space.”

Theater Critic Hedy Weiss on 3 Must-See Productions Running This Month

Renee Lockett and Brianna Buckley in “cullad wattah” at the Victory Gardens Theater. (Credit: Liz Lauren)

Local stages are heating up this summer. While there may be plenty of worthwhile options, Hedy Weiss joins “Chicago Tonight” to give a rundown of some of her must-see productions.

Chicago Rapper Vic Mensa Curates New Art Show

Rapper Vic Mensa curated an art show at Kavi Gupta in the West Loop. (WTTW News)

The show curated by rapper Vic Mensa is called “Skin and Masks.” It was inspired by Frantz Fanon, the influential 20th century thinker and author of “Black Skin, White Masks.”

New Book Highlights Influential LGBTQ Artists

An about-to-be-released book shines a light on 50 pioneering artists from around the world who made indelible contributions to culture.  (WTTW News)

From “Swan Lake” to “Frankenstein” movies to the pop charts, the arts have always been deeply influenced by artists from the LGBTQ community. An about-to-be-released book shines a light on 50 pioneering artists from around the world who made indelible contributions to culture. 

Lasting Impressions of Cezanne at the Art Institute

Paul Cezanne. Montagne Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine, about 1887. The Courtauld Gallery, London. (Courtesy: Courtauld Gallery / Bridgeman Images).

Paul Cezanne was thought of as the greatest by some very great artists, including Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet, to name just two. The Art Institute along with the Tate Modern in London is presenting its first exhibition of Cezanne in 70 years. 

Singer-Guitarist Melody Angel Playing Chicago Blues Festival

Melody Angel has Blues in her DNA. (WTTW News)

A local singer-songwriter has been going to the festival since her mother took her in a stroller. Now she’ll be onstage, and mom will be watching from the wings. Melody Angel – yes, that’s her real name – has blues in her DNA. 

Trumpeter Orbert Davis on the Musical Legacy of Miles Davis

(Courtesy: Chicago Jazz Philharmonic)

Jazz great Miles Davis is the focus of an ambitious concert this weekend at the Kehrein Center for the Arts in the Austin community. It is part of a new partnership between the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Art Center. 

Court Theatre Wins Tony Award for Best Regional Theater

(Credit: University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center)

Each year, the Tony Awards give special recognition to only one local theater in the U.S. Court Theater has just become the sixth theater in Chicago to win the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater. 

Onstage Around Chicago With Hedy Weiss

(Courtesy Cadillac Palace Theater)

Arts critic Hedy Weiss gives us her recommendations.

‘Native Truths’ Offer Fresh Perspective at the Field Museum

(Credit: Jay Young)

The Field Museum renovated its Native North America Hall and drastically shifted its focus. The new approach emphasizes story-telling and contemporary art – as well as historical items from the collection. The exhibition space is called “Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories.”