Chicago’s CircEsteem uses circus arts to empower young people

By Alissa Anderegg When Antoinette Mpawenayo, 17, first came to Chicago from Tanzania, she struggled with the language and the culture.  “English is not my first language,” she said. “I was bullied by students at school.” Her  refugee caseworker saw something in the way she moved around and suggested she join a circus program that had […]

Mole brings Pilsen community together

By Alissa Anderegg At the annual Mole de Mayo Festival, thousands of hungry Chicagoans come to explore the authentic Mexican flavors of the Pilsen neighborhood. This year’s festival marks the eighth anniversary of the event, where locals and visitors come to taste some of the best mole dishes in Chicago. Each year Mole de Mayo […]

Local business brings healthy chocolate to Chicago

By Alissa Anderegg After struggling with depression for several years, Renee Faur knew it was time to make a change. She changed her outlook– and her eating habits– by turning to an all raw, plant-based diet. Faur was amazed by her fast improvement and began experimenting with raw recipes to share with her family and […]

Local musician teaches toddlers about healthy eating

By Alissa Anderegg As a professional singer and voiceover actress, Jamie Martin has performed at venues across the country. After giving birth to her first child, she transformed this love of singing into a children’s musical act to be able to spend more time with her young kids. Now known as Miss Jamie on the […]

‘Live Music Now’ brings music education to Chicago Public Schools

By Alissa Anderegg The International Music Foundation is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to providing high-quality musical performances and music education throughout the city. As part of its outreach, the foundation has provided free, music programs to Chicago Public School students for 35 years. Through in-school visits and field trip opportunities, including its performances at Preston […]

Robot Revolution comes to Chicago

By Alissa Anderegg Last week, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) unveiled its latest exhibit, Robot Revolution. The national touring exhibit features 40 robots from around the world—including Japan, Poland, Denmark, Germany, China, Canada, South Korea and across the United States. Visitors of all ages can interact with the robots, which are divided […]

AfriCaribe brings Chicagoans together with Puerto Rican music and dance

By Alissa Anderegg On the last Saturday of each month, up to 200 Chicagoans gather in West Town to celebrate their community through song and dance. These musical gatherings called “bombazos” are held at the non-profit AfriCaribe. They give locals of all ages the opportunity to come together to take part in the traditional Puerto Rican music of […]

Logan Square teens preserve their Latino culture

By Alissa Anderegg and Stephanie Rothman Logan Square is a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood that has seen thriving new businesses and rising rents. But gentrification is pushing out the Latino population that has lived there for decades. According to U.S. Census data, in the last 15 years, Logan Square has seen the most Latino displacement of […]

‘Fiesta’ brings health services to Chicago’s Latina community

By Alissa Anderegg After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Venus Ginés decided there needed to be more health awareness and education for other Latinas. Together with the Mexican consulate, she founded Día de la Mujer Latina to provide free services, seminars and screenings to women around the country. Now in its 20th year, […]

Millennials look to traditional music to help preserve Puerto Rican culture

By Alissa Anderegg Translation of Luís Lace Melecio interview by Yarilet Perez In the beachfront Puerto Rican community of Piñones, the vibrant music of bomba fills the breezy air, as duelling drummers beat in rhythmic unison. The sounds come from Corporación Piñones Se Integra, an organization that teaches locals and tourists the art of bomba […]