Playlist Culture


Princess Diana visits Leicester. Photo: PA Images / ALAMY Stock Photo

What to Watch in August

A look at the myth-filled life of Princess Diana in her own words, two documentaries marking the approaching twentieth anniversary of 9/11, a marathon mystery, and a popular musical in concert form.
Joanna Hernandez on the set of 'Chicago Tonight'

A Chicago Native Returns Home to Become the Newest WTTW News Reporter

Joanna Hernandez spent the past five years as a journalist in New York City, but she has always wanted to return to Chicago to tell the stories of her native city. "I’ve talked about it since day one,” she says. 
Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy, American Master

A new documentary explores the Chicago blues legend's life as he refined his craft and influenced some of rock's most famous guitarists. "It is the American story," says the filmmaker. "Buddy worked his ass off and kept at it, despite never having massive success."
PBS Short Film Festival 2021

Discover Indie Films This Summer in the PBS Short Film Festival

PBS has spotlighted short-form independent films online for a decade now with the Short Film Festival. Preview the films, including several from Illinois, and find a viewing party kit and more as you settle in for some extraordinary shorts.
The Chosen Few Picnic and Festival

Chicago's Long-Running, Family Reunion-style House Music Picnic and Festival

The Chosen Few Picnic and Festival has been bringing house music and a family reunion atmosphere to a South Side park for three decades, thanks to a set of DJs who helped popularize house music in the first place. The event, virtual this year, takes place July 3.
Fireworks over the U.S. Capitol.

Meet the Performers of 2021's A Capitol Fourth

Meet the talented musicians performing in the pre-recorded A Capitol Fourth, which culminates with live fireworks over the U.S. Capitol on the Fourth of July. 
Professer T. Photo: Sofie Gheysens

What to Watch in July

A new British version of an intriguing Belgian mystery, a documentary featuring both performance and history focusing on Brazil featuring Gloria Estefan, and a show pitting modern families against life on a rural island in the early twentieth century. 
Henry Blake Fuller and a cover of his book, "Bertram Cope's Year"

The Chicago Author Who Wrote the First American Novel to Feature Gay Themes

Henry Blake Fuller isn't necessarily a well-known name in literature. But his book Bertram Cope's Year is considered by many to be one of the first American novels to feature gay characters. Fuller also played a big role in making social realism the literary style of Chicago.
Professor Longhair and Bruce Iglauer. Photo: Alligator Records/Michael Smith

50 Years of Chicago's Independent Blues Label

Alligator Records was born when a young hippie decided he had to record an unusual artist he had seen "50 times" at a Chicago club. Fifty years later, it has recorded legends, fresh upstarts, the Queen of the Blues, and more, all while retaining a family feel.
Waad al-Kateab filming the ruins of a building destroyed by bombing in besieged east Aleppo in October 2016. Photo: Waad al-Kateab/FRONTLINE

Some of PBS's Best Documentaries, According to 'Esquire'

Esquire recently pointed out that, while Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and other streaming services have been making waves with documentaries over the past few years, PBS has been offering top-level documentaries for decades.
A mouth with its tongue sticking out that used to hang in Carol's Speakeasy and now resides in the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives

Preserving and Sharing the Midwest's LGBTQ History

The Gerber/Hart Library and Archives contain everything from the costumes of drag queens to the papers of early gay rights activists, as well as books available for circulation. "One reason we're here is because it’s important for people to connect with people that have similar stories."
A cultural performance sponsored by the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Chicago. Photo: Courtesy Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Armenia in Chicago

"We've Always Found a Way to Survive": The Armenian Diaspora in Chicago

Armenians have been present in Chicago for much of its history and found success in trades such as oriental rugs. Over the generations, they have also maintained a connection to their homeland, despite distance and the trauma of the Armenian genocide.
Monty Python on location in Monastir, Tunisia, where they filmed 'Life of Brian,' 1978. Photo: Courtesy of Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd.

What to Watch in June

A look back on a comedy troupe whose influence has been likened to that of the Beatles on music, some Pride Month programming, a new Masterpiece drama, and more. 
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performing "Swan Lake." Photo: Laura Nespola, courtesy Merrywidow Films

Celebrate Pride Month with WTTW in 2021

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, in honor of the June, 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York that was a turning point in the movement for LGBTQ rights and recognition. Celebrate with our programming. 
An audience member stands for the national anthem at a previous broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert. Photo: Capitol Concerts

The Performers of the National Memorial Day Concert 2021

Meet the performers of the 32nd annual National Memorial Day Concert, pre-taped this year instead of broadcast live from the U.S. Capitol, as it honors America's servicemen and -women.
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