Culture

Polar bear cubs playing together. Svalbard Islands. Photo: Roie Galitz / © John Downer Productions

What to Watch in November

This month, there's a Nature documentary chronicling the journey of a polar bear family, a hilarious special honoring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a look at the artistic and intellectual scenes in three remarkable cities, and a look at the making of a Broadway show.
Book covers from The Great American Read

What's America's Favorite Novel?

Did your favorite novel come out first in The Great American Read's search for America's best-loved book? Find the top ten books by voting here, and learn insights from the results.
Mask of Tutankhamun. Photo: Isabelle Sutton/BBC

What to Stream This Month

As Halloween approaches, indulge your taste for the spooky and mysterious by exploring ancient ruins, discovering the secrets of the dead, watching a biopic about the master of the macabre, and sitting on the edge of your seat as Jane Austen characters try to solve a murder.
The author Alex Haley in 1976

From the Archive: Alex Haley, Author of 'Roots'

The author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X explains the origins of Roots and his difficulty in capturing the experience of being on a slave-ship in a 1976 interview. "The absence of pride changes to a presence of pride" when you know your history, he says.
Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

'Frontline' on Donald Trump's Political Strategy

Trump's Showdown provides an in-depth examination of the events of the last two years that have led to a standoff between Donald Trump and the Justice Department over the Russia investigation. Producer Michael Kirk explains his take on Trump's strategy. 
Koko Taylor

Happy 90th Birthday to the Queen of the Blues

Koko Taylor would have turned 90 today. The son of poor Tennessee sharecroppers, she eventually came to Chicago and cleaned North Shore homes before signing with Chess Records and becoming the Queen of the Blues in a male-dominated genre.
Autumnwatch New England. Photo: Denis Tangney Jr./Getty Images

What to Watch in October

As the election approaches, watch documentaries highlighting pressing issues vital to democracy in America. Dive into the unique legacies of art and design in Chicago. Experience the splendor of autumn. Discover the incredible achievements and history of Native Americans, and more.
Art on theMART (Chicago's Merchandise Mart off the Chicago River). Image: Art on theMART

Chicago's Newest (and Biggest) Piece of Public Art

What was once the world’s largest building will soon be the site of the world’s largest permanent digital art projection, when the Merchandise Mart's 2.5-acre facade becomes the screen for an enormous piece of public art called Art on theMART.
Banned Books Week

What Makes People Ban Books?

The American Library Assocation's Office for Intellectual Freedom is currently hosting Banned Books Week. What kinds of books were most frequently challenged in 2017, and what books from The Great America Read's list of America's favorite novels have been banned?
The Terrence J. O'Brien Water Reclamation Plant. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

Where to Go During Open House Chicago

During Open House Chicago, which is October 13 and 14, you can see things you've never seen before as more than 250 sites across Chicagoland open to the public for free. So many choices are overwhelming, so we've chosen a few highlights.
The Chicago Literacy Alliance's Literacenter. Photo: Eileen Molony

Working Towards a Fully Literate Society

One in six adults, or 35 million people, read below a fourth-grade level in the United States. The Chicago Literacy Alliance is working to change that, by bringing together organizations with similar goals and fostering collaboration amongst them.
Flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez performs during a dance class at La Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba in Havana. Photo: Brian Canelles

What to Stream This Month

September is Hispanic Heritage Month, so we're spotlighting the stories of a memorable Chicano activist and a Mexican photographer who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as tours of Havana, Mexico, and somewhere closer to home.
The new Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers, courtesy CAC

Tour the New Chicago Architecture Center

Take a tour of the new Chicago Architecture Center and discover its new features, including an expanded and newly interactive Chicago model and a skyscraper gallery. The Center is located inside a Mies van der Rohe building with a vantage of some of Chicago's most famous buildings.
The Durrells in Corfu. Photo: Joss Barratt for Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE

What to Watch in September

This September is packed with exciting shows, from a local documentary examining deindustrialization to the returns of several favorites, plus the surprising nature hiding in plain sight in cities and a documentary spotlighting healthcare that's executive produced by Ken Burns.
Chicago's Seminary Co-op

Even More of Chicago's Favorite Indie Bookstores

Discover the stories behind more of Chicago's favorite indie bookstores on the South Side, including a legendary, long-lived one that counts Barack and Michelle Obama amongst its fans.
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