Stories by Marc Vitali

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena on Visit to Chicago

Martha Bárcena, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.

Bárcena, who last year became the first woman to hold her position, discusses immigration and the political relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. 

‘Caution Freedom’ Shines Light on Artwork Too Provocative for Putin

Alexander Kosolapov, “Hero, Leader, God,” 2007. Painted Bronze, 25 x 28 x 13 inches. (Courtesy One After 909 gallery, Chicago)

Artwork once under attack by the Russian government is now on view in Chicago. We explore a show at the One After 909 gallery in West Town.

‘What Came After’ Exhibition Explores Legacy of Chicago Imagism

Tony Phillips, “The Space Between,” 1993. (Courtesy Elmhurst Art Museum)

Colorful and playful paintings hang next to erotic works and dark visions. An overlooked group of Chicago artists is getting its due – at a museum in Elmhurst.

Checking Out the Menu at Chicago’s US Pizza Museum

Pizza is on the menu at a Chicago museum dedicated to the world-famous dish. We check out the collection of a curator with a craving.

Comedian Damon Williams Stands Up for Hometown of Chicago

(Courtesy of Damon Williams)

Damon Williams has worked at City Hall, Subway and – for the last 27 years – has been a very busy stand-up comic. We catch up with Williams ahead of his benefit for Teamwork Englewood on Friday.

Vivian Maier Photos, Artifacts Donated to University of Chicago

Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The legend of street photographer Vivian Maier has grown immeasurably since her death. Now the collector who acquired the majority of her work has made a gift to the University of Chicago: 2,700 of her images and some artifacts.

Isaiah Collier: An Emerging Chicago Talent in Jazz and Blues

Isaiah Collier (WTTW News)

With a new record in the wings – and concerts around the world – one of Chicago’s hidden musical talents is increasingly becoming not so hidden. He recently turned 21 years old – but musically, Isaiah Collier is an old soul. 

5 Fall Theater Recommendations from Hedy Weiss

Heather Chrisler and Terry Bell in “Howards End.” (Photo by Michael Courier)

There is a great variety of theater on stage in Chicago this fall. Critic Hedy Weiss recommends her current favorites.

Chicago Band Big Sadie Weighs in on Ken Burns’ Documentary ‘Country Music’

As Ken Burns’ latest series “Country Music” airs on PBS, a look at Chicago’s role in the history of country music with local band Big Sadie.

Revisiting Farnsworth House, a Masterpiece of Modern Architecture

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois.

It is an international destination for architecture fans. We visit Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, with a photographer from Berlin.

Crème Sheri Brings a Big Personality to All Things Jazz

When there’s a jazz band on stage, there’s often an artist in the crowd. We visit a Chicagoan who obsessively draws the area’s jazz scene.

Restoring Artwork and Treasures at a Chicago Conservation Lab

We visit The Conservation Center, the country’s largest private conservation lab, for a look at how they are rejuvenating an artful piece of Chinese history.

Exhibit Digs Up Satire and Skeletons of ‘Legendary Printmaker’ Posada

A Mexican artist who died 100 years ago still influences popular culture. Inside the exhibit “Jose Guadalupe Posada: Legendary Printmaker of Mexico.”

At Bridgeport Arts Center, Artists Search for Meaning in Migration

(Bridgeport Art Center / Arceo Press)

For decades, the southern border of the U.S. has been a flash point for conflicting points of view. Now, artists from both sides of the border – including Chicago – are navigating the rocky road of migration in “The Border Crossed Us.”

Chicago’s Music Box Theatre Celebrates 90th Anniversary

The Music Box Theatre, 1993. (Credit: Jerry Vasilatos / Music Box Theatre)

On Aug. 22, 1929, the North Side theater opened its doors as the first dedicated “talkie” house in Chicago. What makes this old movie house unique today.

Rare Coins, Cash on View as World’s Fair of Money Returns to Chicago Area

U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Len Olijar speaks with WTTW News.

Coins and cash are the focus the annual World’s Fair of Money. It’s in the Chicago area this year and we visited to get a load of all the loot.

Multimillion-Dollar Art Collection Sparks Creative Thinking at Suburban School

We visit the newly upgraded Nettie McKinnon Gallery inside in Park Junior High School in La Grange Park.

Modern Manet: Beauty, Fashion and Intimacy in New Show at Art Institute

Édouard Manet. “Jeanne (Spring),” 1881. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

For its big summer show this year, the Art Institute takes a fresh look at the early modern artist, Edouard Manet. We tour the show.

Art Show Highlights Sheldon Peck’s Passion for Painting, Human Rights

We visit a local house on the route of the Underground Railroad that was built by a man who was also an accomplished painter of early Illinoisans.

Teatro ZinZanni Brings Vegas-Style Vaudeville Show to Chicago Loop

Sam and Sylvia Rose (WTTW News)

A Chicago couple is part of an international team bringing a flashy new take on “dinner and a show” to local audiences. Meet the stars of Teatro ZinZanni.

Local Acts Ric Wilson, Lala Lala Make Their Pitchfork Debuts

This weekend is the 14th annual Pitchfork Music Festival – a homegrown stage for adventurous music from around the world, including Chicago. We visit a pair of young local artists as they prepare for their Pitchfork debut.

5 Chicago Theater Recommendations: ‘Music Man,’ ‘True West’ and More

Monica West (Marian Paroo) in “The Music Man” with music and lyrics by Meredith Willson and a book by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, directed by Mary Zimmerman. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

There’s a parade of new shows on stage in Chicago. Theater critic Hedy Weiss recommends her current favorites.

At Museum of Science and Industry, a Brave New World of Wearable Tech

Richard Browning of Gravity Industries demonstrates his Jet Suit as he takes off from the steps of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. (Courtesy of MSI Chicago)

The exhibition “Wired to Wear” aims to lift the veil on clothing and accessories that can boost your health and wellness – or just express your creativity.

Mary Zimmerman Reimagines ‘The Music Man’ at Goodman Theatre

A scene from “The Music Man” at Goodman Theatre, with music and lyrics by Meredith Willson and a book by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, directed by Mary Zimmerman. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

“The Music Man” marches into the Goodman Theatre. Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman gives us details on the big parade.

Chicago Jazz Orchestra Celebrates 40 Years of Big, Bold Sounds

Chicago Jazz Orchestra in concert. (Photo credit: Charles Osgood)

They started swinging back when Jimmy Carter was in the White House and Michael Bilandic was in City Hall. How the Chicago Jazz Orchestra brings a fresh approach to timeless music.