Stories by Maya Miller

Chicago Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day

Volumes Bookcafe is one of two dozen bookstores participating in #MyChicagoBookstore Challenge in honor of Independent Bookstore Day. (Courtesy of Volumes Bookcafe)

This Saturday, bookstores across the country will celebrate their status as indie shops, including two dozen stores across the Chicago area. “It’s like a pub crawl for bookstores,” said Lynn Mooney, co-owner of Women & Children First. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 27-30

Independent bookstores, wine tastings, James Beard-inspired menus and hundreds of artists usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Fairy Tale Exhibition Aims to Level the Playing Field

The exhibition “Once Upon a Castle” avoids imposing gender stereotypes and norms onto children. (Courtesy of Chicago Children's Museum)

By eschewing traditional tiaras, thrones and knightly armor, a fairy tale-minded exhibition at the Chicago Children’s Museum hopes to spark children’s imaginations without imposing gender stereotypes.   

From Homeless Pasts, a New Crop of Public Speakers

Laura Doss, 68, was homeless for 16 years. She recently graduated from a public speaking program. (Courtesy of Speak Up)

A program called Speak Up connects formerly homeless individuals with seasoned storytellers so they can learn how to speak more effectively about their life experiences. We meet a recent graduate of the program.

Chicago ‘Dooring’ Reports Saw Steep Increase in 2015, Data Shows

(Chicago Bicycle Program / Flickr)

Crash data for 2015 released this week by the Illinois Department of Transportation shows a rise in the number of reported “doorings” in Chicago – collisions that occur when the door of a parked vehicle is opened directly in the path of an oncoming cyclist.

Obama to Speak on Civic Engagement at University of Chicago

Former President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address to the nation from Chicago’s McCormick Place on Jan. 10, 2017.

Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak Monday in Chicago as part of his goal to “encourage and support the next generation of leaders,” according to his press office.

Chicago to House 100 Homeless Families, Address ‘Doubled-Up’ Population

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler on April 20 announces the city’s $1 million commitment to housing 100 homeless families. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

This fall, 100 homeless families with school-age children will gain permanent housing and support services, thanks to a partnership between the city and the nonprofit Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 20-23

C2E2 returns this weekend. Is your costume ready? (Chris Favero / Flickr)

A giant pop-culture convention, Earth Day celebrations and a wine festival usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Report: Chicago’s Homeless Population More Than 80K in 2015

A number of tents line the Lawrence Avenue underpass on a winter night in 2016. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago’s homeless population was 82,212 in 2015, according to figures released Wednesday by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Find Outdoor Dining Options at Chicago’s Open Data Portal

Simone’s Bar in Pilsen. (Connie Ma / Flickr)

Could the city’s open data portal be your new go-to website for restaurant planning?

Panel to Address Human Rights on Chicago’s South Side

Carlos Javier Ortiz’s “A Thousand Midnights” is part of the “In Acts” exhibition at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery, where a panel discussion on human rights takes place Tuesday. (Courtesy of Weinberg/Newton Gallery)

A discussion about human rights on the South Side of Chicago – including public health and criminal justice – takes place Tuesday evening at a River North gallery.

Immigrants’ Abuse Complaints Rarely Investigated, Group Says

An ICE agent arrests a suspect.

Reports of abuse at U.S. immigration detention facilities, including those in Illinois, are rarely investigated, according to data obtained by a national nonprofit agency.

Data Shows Impact of Budget Impasse on Social Services

The Urbana Adult Education Center is one of the 463 social service agencies that reported negative impacts as a result of the state budget impasse. (Courtesy of Naomi Jakobsson13)

Nine out of 10 social services agencies said they were unable to raise 25 percent or more of the funding owed to them by the state, according to a new survey.

In Chicago, Tour Guides Take Measured Approach to Trump Tower

(Giuseppe Milo / Flickr)

The 92-story skyscraper is a regular feature of Chicago architecture tours. But a changing political landscape has led some tour guides to be more careful with their comments about the structure.

MCA to Offer Free Youth Admission Starting June 1

(Peter McCullough / MCA Chicago)

Area teens can add one more freebie to their summer to-do lists.

Monarch Butterflies Signal Immigrant Support

Luis Rafael’s low-poly design is displayed at dozens of storefronts in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

The orange-and-black insect has flocked to a Chicago neighborhood, but its presence is more of a political act than a natural one.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 13-16

(Courtesy of Spring 2017 Soul Reunion)

Spring is in the air. From dance parties to an art fair and family Easter party, here are 10 ways to celebrate the weekend in and around Chicago.

BUILD Chicago Offering Alternatives to Gang Life for Nearly 50 Years

Latee Smith was 12 years old when he joined a gang. Now 16, he’s focusing on trying to “make something positive” out of his life. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

After sustaining a life-threatening gunshot wound, 16-year-old Latee Smith began plotting revenge on his attacker. But a local intervention specialist helped Smith refocus his energy.

Art in Space Sparks Discussion on Technology, AI

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet worked with artist Eduardo Kac to create "Inner Telescope," a piece of artwork that is currently aboard a space station. (Courtesy of Eduardo Kac)

As artwork by a Chicago artist orbits the Earth aboard the International Space Station, a medley of professionals will explore how technology and artificial intelligence have shaped their industries. 

Northwestern Crew Team Student Dies After Falling Overboard

(Chicago Tonight)

The body of 19-year-old Mohammed Ramzan, a member of the Northwestern University men’s crew team, has been recovered from the North Shore Channel in Lincolnwood. Authorities say he fell into the water early Monday morning during a rowing practice.

Cook County Sheriff: ICE Agents Shouldn’t Identify as Police

Berto Aguayo says this photo shows ICE agents wearing gear that says “police” outside a home in Chicago the week of March 27. (Courtesy of Berto Aguayo)

A recent wave of videos on social media show Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents arriving at Chicago residences in unmarked cars, knocking on doors while donning vests and jackets that say “police.”

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 6-9

Sift through thousands of records at the CHIRP Record Fair.

A “delightful” record fair, drink festivals and giant horse show usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

‘Oppositions’ Gallery Exhibit Invites Political Reflection

Evan Haase, “Old Glory,” 2015. (Courtesy of the Jackson Junge Gallery)

Curators of a new show at the Jackson Junge Gallery wanted to highlight political issues without taking sides. “I didn’t want it to be a political, Trump-bashing show,” said Chris Jackson, the gallery’s owner and director. 

Art Design Chicago to Take Spotlight in 2018

From left: Works by Charles Dawson, Lee Godie, and Dorothy and Otis Shepard.(Courtesy of the Terra Foundation for American Art)

A new art initiative in Chicago will include dozens of exhibitions and hundreds of public programs in 2018.

Weekend ‘Wokeshops’ Address Shifting Political Climate

From left: Ameya Pawar, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Craig Futterman participate in this weekend’s symposium at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (Courtesy of SAIC)

About 15 speakers will lead “conversations and wake-up calls” this weekend as part of a three-day symposium at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.