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Next week, the Jeff Award-winning actress and singer releases her first recording, called “First.” She joins us in performance and discussion.

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(Dustin Tinney / Flickr)

In his book “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes,” author Dan Egan chronicles the history of the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes as well as the natural and man-made dangers threatening it.

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We explore two neighborhoods that are at the epicenter of the gentrification battle, and how elected officials, community groups and developers are waging it.

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Images like this one from Helen Balfour Morrison comprise the exhibition “Photographing Freetowns.”

A new exhibition at the Newberry Library features a rarely seen collection of work by a Chicago-area photographer who documented the history of small communities founded by former slaves after the Civil War.

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Lake Calumet (Tom Kort / boatnerd.com)

Lake Calumet has changed shape and purpose many times over the years. Geoffrey Baer takes a look at its past and future in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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(Maria Varela / Courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art)

A collection of photographs by Maria Varela at the National Museum of Mexican Art portrays the evolution of social movements in the U.S.  

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(Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Looking at the impact of a proposed funding cut to the program that aims to keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

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A hefty Bighead carp, one of several types of Asian carp, caught in a net near Morris, Illinois. (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

Wildlife agencies and fishermen in Illinois are using a Chinese technique to catch Asian carp, an invasive fish species threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem.

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A new WTTW web series peeks into pockets of nature in cities across the country.

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A new program aims to get all arrestees a defense attorney while in police custody.

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One of Steven Avery’s defense attorneys from Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” discusses his new book “Illusion of Justice.”

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Explore the hot new sport of drone racing and meet the suburban man who is one of the best in the world.

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Easy Rider, a member of the Disc-Connected K9s Frisbee Dog Team, is performing at the Chicagoland Pet Expo this weekend. (Courtesy of Disc-Connected K9s Frisbee Dog Team)

A pet expo, classical music-themed brunch, cultural events and more usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.  

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After 20 years in the fashion industry, Owen Deutsch wasn’t planning on getting back into photography. But then he discovered a new subject: birds.

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Chicago has expanded the pilot program a Day for Change in an effort to offer increased support to those struggling with homelessness. (Nltram242 / Flickr)

The city is allocating $540,000 toward a program that offers temporary work to hundreds of Chicagoans who are struggling with housing and economic stability.

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(Barry Brecheisen / Good Food Festival)

Chef Rick Bayless is just one of the highlights at this year’s three-day Good Food Festival. We speak with the event’s founder to learn more.