Playlist Culture


Fireworks over the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Alamy Stock Photo

The Performers of 'A Capitol Fourth' in 2022

Summer is here, which means the grand Fourth of July tradition of A Capitol Fourth concert and fireworks broadcast live from Washington, D.C. on WTTW and PBS. Meet the performers here.
Sebastian Robins and Mona Haydar. Photo: Adam McCall

An Interview with the Stars of 'The Great Muslim American Road Trip'

Mona Haydar and Sebastian Robins, who take a Great Muslim American Road Trip on PBS this summer, had the experience of "learning about ourselves as Muslims in America, and the history of Muslims in America, just by virtue of being Muslim taking this trip."
America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston. Photo: PBS

What to Watch in July

A new nature show exploring Americans' surprising relationships to the outdoors from a bestselling author, a look at the world of plants from Sir David Attenborough, new seasons of dramas and mysteries, and more. 
Chicago's Chinatown library branch, designed by Brian Lee of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Photo: Jon Miller © Hedrich Blessing

Architect Brian Lee Brings the Expertise Required for Skyscrapers to Neighborhood Buildings

Brian Lee has designed one of the tallest buildings in the world as well as neighborhood-level buildings such as three libraries in Chicago. "To be able to reinforce and maybe enhance a neighborhood with a building—I think that’s a great positive goal of architecture and urban design,” he says. 
Jack Turner in Hotel Portofino. Photo: Eagle Eye Drama Limited 2021

What to Watch in June

A new fish-out-of-water dramedy that might remind you of The Durrells in Corfu, a new season of a favorite mystery, an exciting cooking competition show, and more are on the docket for June. 
André de Shields in True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs. Photo: Kevin Parisi

Celebrate Pride Month with WTTW's Programming in 2022

June is LGBTQ+ or Pride Month, and as always WTTW has plenty of programming to celebrate these too-often unheard or repressed stories, including a music special, a focus on Silicon Valley, and a touching tale of human generosity. 
Servicemen in front of the Capitol. Photo: Capitol Concerts

The Performers of the National Memorial Day Concert 2022

The 33rd annual National Memorial Day Concert is back this weekend. Meet the musicians and performers who will honor the people who have served in the armed forces. 
800 Fulton Market. Photo: Courtesy SOM

Nine Asian Architects Whose Work Can Be Found in Chicago

Whereas once Chinatown leaders had to turn to Norwegian architects, now there are noteworthy buildings and sites by Asian architects throughout Chicagoland, from skyscrapers to a library to a synagogue. Geoffrey Baer explores some. 
Mahalia Jackson. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

A Q&A with the Producer of 'Chicago Stories: The Birth of Gospel'

"The story of gospel music is actually a more universal story of American music and our country’s history," says the producer of a new Chicago Stories documentary about the genre's origins in Chicago.
Duke Kahanamoku in Hollywood. Photo: The Paragon Agency

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with WTTW in 2022

From an Olympic medal-winning, innovative swimmer and surfer to a terrifying outbreak of bubonic plague, tales from New Zealand and Samoa to the shameful chapter of Japanese American internment camps, there is a lot to learn, savor, and explore. 
Lucy Worsley on a rooftop at Kings College. Photo: Tom Hayward © BBC Studios 2021

What to Watch in May

A new period drama set in 1960s London, a documentary about the stresses of high school and applying to elite colleges, and a new series on little-understood chapters of British history, plus more. 
Illinois Institute of Technology's Kaplan Institute. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Innovative Chicagoland Buildings Striving for Sustainability

Geoffrey Baer highlights some Chicago buildings addressing climate change by striving for net-zero energy, incorporating renewal energy sources, repurposing existing buildings, and incorporating agriculture, among other things.
The new Shel Silverstein Forever Stamp was dedicated at Darwin Elementary School on April 8, 2022. (Credit: USPS photographer Nate Chavis)

New Stamp Commemorates Chicago-Born Shel Silverstein’s Beloved Book

A memorable image from Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is now preserved on a U.S. postage stamp.
Sergio Assad with daughter Clarice Assad and musicians with Scott Yoo. Photo: Arcos Film and Music

Exploring the Diversity of American Music Through Its Influences—and Food

In the third season of Now Hear This, Scott Yoo explores the idea of American classical music through several composers and their influences, which range from samba to spirituals to Hindustani music—with explanatory pit-stops for food along the way. 
Mahalia Jackson. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

What to Watch in April

Chicago stories covering everything from the birth of gospel to the ad executives behind the Pillsbury Doughboy and other icons to a Mexican American church that lost a disproportionate number of soldiers in the Vietnam War, and much more. 
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