Stories by Chloe Riley

Weekend Events: The von Trapps, Handel's Messiah, 'Home Alone' and More

It's the Weekend Agenda: Dec. 18-20

This week's festive lineup includes movies, music and much, much more.

Woman Accused of Stealing $900K from Field Museum Has History of Theft, Records Show

The Chicago Field Museum (Chloe Riley)

Caryn Benson, 38, of Romeoville, was charged on Tuesday by the federal government with one count of embezzlement, but records show a past theft charge.

Former Field Museum Employee Stole $900,000, Documents Allege

A former museum employee allegedly pocketed more than $900,000 over a seven-year period before the theft was discovered. The former employee has yet to be formally charged.

Highlights of Edlis and Neeson's $400 Million Gift to the Art Institute

Jasper Johns. Target, 1961.

James Rondeau, the Art Institute's head curator of contemporary art, highlights pieces donated to the museum by Chicago art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson –  an estimated $400 million gift of iconic contemporary artwork. 

Why $400M Worth of Contemporary Art Didn't End Up at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art

This weekend, the Art Institute of Chicago unveils a massive gift of 44 iconic contemporary works in its Modern Wing. Here’s how the museum landed those pieces. 

Preservation Group Battles City’s Motion to Dismiss Lucas Museum Suit

An aerial view of the Lucas Museum site plan. (Courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art)

Friends of the Parks again argues its case against the proposed lakefront museum from film mogul George Lucas.

Weekend Events: Renegade Craft Fair, Holiday Lights and Polar Palooza

The season is in full swing. Take advantage of light displays, holiday markets, ice skating and lots more.

Field Museum Digitizes a Fraction of Its Nearly 30 Million Specimens

More images are now available on the museum’s website, but exactly what good are they to the public? 

Charges Dropped Against Activist Poet Arrested During Laquan McDonald Protest

Malcolm London mugshot (Chicago Police Department)

All charges were dropped Wednesday against London, 22, who was arrested Tuesday evening after participating in protests over the killing of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer in October 2014.

Weekend Events: Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, Maggie Daley Park Ice Rink

Thanksgiving Weekend Agenda: Nov. 27-29

Take a skate around Maggie Daley Park, see the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights and sing along to "The Sound of Music."

Jeff Koons Deemed Surrealist, at Least for New MCA Show

Work from Koons, along with a slew of other contemporary artists, will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art's show “Surrealism: The Conjured Life."

Universal Children's Day Gives New Meaning to Syrian Refugee Crisis

Over half of all Syrian refugees are children, according to United Nations data

Friday marks Universal Children’s Day, a global recognition of children’s welfare.

Weekend Events: Lights Fest on Michigan Avenue, Steve Martin and Martin Short

A holiday tradition returns to Michigan Avenue while a couple of comedy giants take the stage in Rosemont.

Chicago Children's Museum First in City to Link Admission and Food Stamps

Starting in December, anyone who shows a food stamps card will pay just $3 to access the museum.

Illinois State Museums One Step Closer to Reopening

Multiple state facilities have been closed to the public due to the budget stalemate – legislation passed on Tuesday could change that.

Weekend Events: Holiday Shopping, Ventriloquism and '70 Acres in Chicago'

Get a jump on holiday shopping in Wicker Park, hang out with a roomful of dummies and catch a screening of "70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green."

Don't be a 'Dummie': See this European Ventriloquist Performance Before It's Too Late

'The Ventriloquists Convention' at the Museum of Contemporary Art

The theatrical piece from European visual artist Gisèle Vienne explores ventriloquist dummies and all the rampant emotions we project onto them.

Shedd Aquarium Offers Free Pass for Veterans Day

Veterans who show their military IDs will receive free access to all exhibits at the museum on Wednesday. 

Lucas Museum Hits Roadblock, New Court Date Set for February

A federal judge on Tuesday did not dismiss legal challenges against the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. 

Museum of Science and Industry Sells Trains, Nets 400K

A 1926 replica of an 1831 B&O "York" train - just one of five sold by the Musuem of Science and Industry last month. (Courtesy of the Museum of Science and Industry)

The museum sold five antique trains from its collection at a public auction last month. 

Dueling Gold Mask(s) of Agamemnon Coming Soon to Field Museum

An original and a reproduction – one of only two in the world – will be on display as part of the Field Museum's "Greeks" exhibit opening Nov. 25.

Iconic Choreographer Twyla Tharp, Mac and Cheeze Takedown and More

It's the Weekend Agenda: Nov. 6-8

The best ways to dance, laugh, eat, drink and stretch your way through the weekend.

Illinois Museum Union Workers Still Get Paid, But Doors Remain Closed to Public

A mastodon fossil at the now closed Illinois State Museum (Flickr / Mike Linksvayer)

At least 43 union workers continue to cash checks from the state, despite the closure of several institutions, including the 138-year-old Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

The Chicago History Museum Wants Millennials to Come Have Coffee. And Use its App.

Chicago authors take the focus of the museum's first-ever crowdsourced exhibit

The distinguished museum opens its mind to the power of suggestion. And it hopes the hip kids will come.

Halloween Weekend Agenda: Oct. 30-Nov.1

Edgar Allan Poe, Monster Mash Bike Ride, Fright Fest. It's Halloween, people.

What will you do this Halloweekend? Check out this roundup of scary fun events.