Culture

Frontline: Poor Kids. Photo: Frontline

"Teetering Over the Abyss of Poverty": Child Poverty in the US

"When you're born into this world it's very hard to realistically change your life," says the director of the newly updated Frontline: Poor Kids. "Kids can escape into their dreams; adults escape into alcoholism or drugs. They didn't choose that."
Parental Advisory Sticker from RIAA

6 Controversial Instances of Artistic Censorship

Freedom of speech is a fraught topic these days. Explore six infamous cases of censorship in the United States, from landmark court decisions on obscenity to the advent of parental advisory stickers to two examples of controversy from this year.
The Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker. Photo: Cheryl Mann

'The Nutcracker' in Chicago

Although it's now a cherished holiday tradition, The Nutcracker didn't arrive in Chicago until almost 50 years after its premiere. Numerous favorite productions have visited or made their home in the city, all with their own staunch partisans.
The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago

Dreaming of a World's Fair

The Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker is set at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. How was the Joffrey's creative team inspired by the epochal World's Fair, and what aspects of the real-life Fair made it into their new production?
Mike Leonard football camp

Mike Leonard on Crossing the Divide

In his work at the TODAY show, Mike Leonard says that "not one place I went to or person I met was what I thought it would be. So at a time when so many generalizations are being made about groups of people, it’s important to hear stories of people who aren’t being heard from.”
A butterfly hat by Arturo Rios on Articulate with Jim Cotter

Articulate With Jim Cotter

Articulate with Jim Cotter is a new arts and culture show airing on WTTW Prime that spotlights everything from a maker of extravagant hats to a 92-year-old pianist who studied with Rachmaninoff. Explore some digital highlights from the show. 
Christopher Wheeldon's new 'Nutcracker' for the Joffrey Ballet. Photo: Cheryl Mann

How 'The Nutcracker' Became a Holiday Tradition

Despite difficulties involving its creation and lukewarm reviews at its premiere, The Nutcracker has become perhaps the most popular ballet in North America. Its path to success on this continent runs through Disney, San Francisco, and CBS.
The Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker set at the Chicago World's Fair. Photo: Cheryl Mann

A New American 'Nutcracker'

In the Joffrey Ballet's new Nutcracker,  the main characters aren't wealthy but instead are working class immigrants living on the grounds of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair before it opens. How did the Joffrey reinvent a holiday classic?
Geoffrey Baer on the Chicago River and Joffrey Ballet rehearsing the Nutcracker.

What to Watch in November

November is packed with local productions about Chicago. Check out our highlights, from a new Geoffrey Baer tour to a national show looking inside the creative process of making a new Nutcracker, not to mention three other Chicago programs.
Santiago Calatrava's El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe in Valencia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, user: HuseyinUlucay

12 Buildings that Imitate Objects in the World

For a brief period, the new Apple Store off the Chicago River looked like a giant Macbook. What other buildings take inspiration from objects, in subtle or outrageous ways? Discover examples from the blatant to the futuristic and inspired.
Chicago Ideas Week.

The Aspirations of Chicago Ideas Week

Chicago Ideas Week wants "to help people process all the tumult in this country by positing questions, giving them ideas, and getting them thinking" by presenting innovative thinkers in conversations and talks, says the director of programming.
Thelonious Monk at Minton's Playhouse in New York, c. Sept. 1947. Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Thelonious Monk at 100

The jazz pianist was an iconoclast in his style, playing, and compositions, which explains why he was so progressive and influential (he is the second-most recorded jazz composer). Vocalist and radio host Dee Alexander discusses the master on his 100th birthday.
Schulze Baking Company Building in Open House Chicago.

Where to Go During Open House Chicago

During Open House Chicago, which is October 14 and 15, you can see things you've never seen before as more than 200 sites across Chicago, Evanston, and Oak Park open to the public for free. So many choices are overwhelming, so we've chosen a few highlights.
Skip Haynes, who wrote the iconic song "Lake Shore Drive," has died.

"Lake Shore Drive" Song Writer Skip Haynes Has Died

Skip Haynes, who wrote the iconic 1971 song "Lake Shore Drive" for his band Aliotta Haynes and Jeremiah, has died at the age of 70. Watch a 1993 segment of WTTW's Wild Chicago in which Haynes discussed the origin of the song.
An Axis Lab Base Line event under the Argyle Red Line CTA station

How Axis Lab Celebrates the Vietnamese Community of their Parents

Axis Lab seeks to preserve the culture and history of the Vietnamese community centered on Argyle Street in Uptown, as well as support the local businesses, through innovative artistic means. "It's up to us to continue our parents' work," says the executive director.
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