Playlist Culture


Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner

Addressing Mass Incarceration From Within the System

Hear from the filmmaker of the new Independent Lens series Philly D.A., which follows reformer Larry Krasner as he attempts to change the culture of the district attorney's office and reduce mass incarceration in the country's most incarcerated city with progressive policies.
Greta Thunberg in Stockholm. Photo: Banfa Jawla/BBC Studios

What to Watch in April

Spend time with three extraordinary people—Ernest Hemingway, Princess Diana, and Greta Thunberg—plus take a deep dive into the effects of the pandemic across the globe over the past year with Frontline.
Amy Tan. Image: Courtesy of KPJR Films

Coming to WTTW in Spring, in Arts, History, and Drama

Spotlights on great books, theater, art, music, and dance are all coming this spring, whether as filmed performances or tours or profiles of creators. Look back on World War II and dark periods of American history, plus test your knowledge of Chicago with Geoffrey Baer.
Ernest Hemingway on the fishing boat Anita circa 1929. Photo: Courtesy of Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

How the Soundtrack of 'Hemingway' Evokes the Romantic Locales of the Writer's Life

Havana, Paris, Spain: the soundtrack of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's new Hemingway documentary helps set the places and moods of the writer's life, via the creative music produced by Johnny Gandelsman of Brooklyn Rider and the Silk Road Ensemble.
Young cub Makumbi looks longingly at his mother in Zambia, Africa. Photo: Courtesy of Will Steenkamp/Into Nature Productions

Coming to WTTW in Spring, in Science and Public Affairs

Spring is a good time to cover science and nature, with Earth Day a chance to follow Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, plus Nature and NOVA on bias in science, leopards, and more. Plus, an in-depth series on a reforming District Attorney and an investigation into the rise of extremism in America.
PBS and WTTW's American Portrait mural in Wicker Park

A Tree Grows in Wicker Park—on a PBS and WTTW Mural

A mural celebrating everyday Americans and the PBS series American Portrait, which features self-submitted videos and stories from across the country, has sprung up in Wicker Park.
Louise Bourgeois's "Helping Hands" in the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens

A Contemporary Chicago Park Full of History

The Chicago Women's Park and Gardens contains a sculpture by a world-famous artist as well as two of Chicago's most important historic homes, including one that had to be relocated in complicated fashion over the L to get there.
Donkey Hodie, Purple Panda, and Bob Dog. Image: Courtesy Fred Rogers Productions

A Sneak Peek at the New PBS KIDS Show 'Donkey Hodie'

A new puppet series inspired by Mister Rogers is coming soon to WTTW and PBS KIDS, featuring both new and reimagined characters and songs from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.  
Flannery O'Connor. Photo: Joe McTyre

Celebrate Women's History Month with WTTW in 2021

This March, celebrate Women's History Month with a variety of programming from WTTW featuring profiles of artistic women, looks into the past at trailblazers and rulers, stories of contemporary women working to reshape society, and more. 
Leroy Carter, Isaac Woodard, and Donald Jones, NAACP assistant field secretary. Willie Mabry, Sgt. Woodard’s cousin. in background. Likely taken while Woodard was on his speaking tour with the NAACP. 10/1946. Photo: AFRO American Newspapers Archives

What to Watch in March

A St. Patrick's Day special to fill the hole of the cancelled parade, an investigation into the bias inherent in complex technological codes, a profile of Dr. Fauci, a look at an overlooked civil rights incident, and more. 
Hemingway family portrait. From left to right: Ursula, Clarence, Ernest, Grace, and Marcelline Hemingway. October 1903. Image: Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on Hemingway's Childhood

Join a conversation between filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick along with Hemingway scholar Verna Kale and acclaimed author Tim O'Brien as they discuss Hemingway's childhood in Oak Park. 
Willard Motley. Photo: Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress

The First Bud Billiken

Willard Motley wrote stories for children in the Chicago Defender as the first "Bud Billiken" while he was a teen, then went on to write hardboiled novels about Chicago's down-and-out. But he was criticized for writing about white instead of Black characters.
Ernest Hemingway's 1923 passport photo. Image: Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Ernest Hemingway's Youth in Oak Park and Chicago

Hemingway was born in Oak Park but left as soon as he could and began framing himself in opposition to what he considered the middle-class values of the suburb. A sojourn in Chicago helped introduce him to a literary world and sent him on his way to Paris.
PBS's new chief programming executive, Sylvia Bugg

'Yes to PBS': PBS's New Head of Programming on Her Plans

"Being from a rural area, it was so important to have PBS and a public media presence,” says Sylvia Bugg, PBS's new head of programming. She discusses her vision and plans for PBS as she takes the helm in its 50th anniversary year. 
Lanterns for Lunar New Year on Argyle Street. Photo: Courtesy Uptown United

A Reduced But Still Joyous Lunar New Year in Chicago

Neither Chinatown nor Asia on Argyle are hosting parades for the Lunar New Year on February 12, but they will still host COVID-19-safe celebrations. Learn about those and some Lunar New Year traditions here.
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