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WTTW11 Celebrates the Arts

WTTW has produced more than 1,300 stories about the arts in Illinois during the past decade.  We began in 1997 with Artbeat Chicago, a weekly series covering the city's vibrant cultural scene.  In 2001 came Arts Across Illinois and Centerstage , a series showcasing artists and organizations statewide who receive grants from the Illinois Arts Council.  Since Artbeat Chicago's run ended in 2004, arts stories have appeared weekly on our flagship current affairs series, Chicago Tonight.

Some of these stories have been broadcast again, but many remain on the shelf in an ever-expanding library.  Then, in 2005, the Illinois Arts Council commissioned WTTW to create a program about the public value of the arts in Illinois, in celebration of its 40th anniversary.  It provided an opportunity to produce an exciting, new documentary Beauty Rises: Four Lives in the Arts. But it also allowed us to make past stories available online, stories that illustrate many times over the public value of the arts.

The documentary speaks for itself: it's a moving profile of four remarkable artists and their creative power.  But as you browse the more than 100 additional stories resurrected for this site, we hope you'll discover the many ways the arts builds communities and transforms lives daily in Illinois.

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