Shavonne’s Year

Shavonne Cole—a junior in Media and Cinema Studies at the College of Media at Illinois—documents her life during a pandemic, living and working on campus while attending classes virtually for our new American Portrait | Central Illinois series installment, Shavonne's Year. Join us for new episodes Sundays at 6 pm on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

New reporting series from Illinois Newsroom

boots sits by chair text says risking it all illinois newsroom

For over a year, Illinois Public Media reporters Dana Cronin and Christine Herman have been tracking the pandemic's toll on Illinois farmworkers. This Hispanic Heritage Month, explore their reporting in the ongoing Illinois Newsroom series, "Risking it All".

Rochelle Sennet, a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of piano, paired suites by J.S. Bach with those by several Black composers for her “Bach to Black” project.

Darrell Hoemann

The 21st Show - October 21, 2021

Bach to Black: Making classical music appreciation more inclusive

Bach to Black is a new project from a University of Illinois professor and pianist that pairs Johann Sebastian Bach's music with works written by Black composers. It's designed to bridge divides in the music community and increase diversity and inclusion in classical music. 

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

The 21st Show - October 21, 2021

Aging as a member of the LGBTQ community

According to the latest report from AARP Illinois and SAGE, more than 60 percent of LGBTQ adults fear neglect, abuse or discrimination because of their identity when accessing long-term care. We spoke with older members of the LGBTQ community about where they’re finding support.

Project Swaddle paramedic Darren Forman sets five-week-old Wilder on a scale to monitor his growth.

Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media

The 217 Today Podcast - October 21, 2021

217 Today: Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

In today's deep dive, we’ll learn how one Midwest town is redefining emergency medical services.

The 21st Show - October 20, 2021

Fiona’s Guardians: Turning a novel into a podcast

Fiona’s Guardians tells the story of Fiona, a 250-year old vampire who uses human guardians to procure her nightly requirement of 10 pints of human blood. The book is now also being turned into a podcast called “Mysterious Journey: Fiona’s Guardians” produced by Artists’ Ensemble Theater in Rockford. We were joined by the novel's author and the playwright who adapted the book into a podcast script.

Midewin Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The 21st Show - October 20, 2021

Prairie preservation vs airport expansion

As part of a 280 acre expansion of the Chicago Rockford International Airport, the prairie, which has gone undeveloped for thousands of years, could be bulldozed, despite concerns that only .01% of Illinois' natural prairie remains.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

The 21st Show - October 20, 2021

“Forever Chemicals” found in illinois drinking water

"Forever chemicals" have been found at dangerous levels in Illinois drinking water — posing potential long-term health risks for some communities. To hear more, The 21st spoke to Brett Chase, a reporter who covers the environment and public health for the Chicago Sun-Times.  This segment originally aired on August 9, 2021.

Former Motorola manufacturing and distribution facility in Harvard, Illinois.

Harvard Economic Development Corporation

The 217 Today Podcast - October 20, 2021

217 Today: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021

In today's deep dive, we'll find out how one Ukranian oligarch was hiding their resources right here in Illinois.

The 21st Show - October 19, 2021

Coming October 25: Who’s in charge of the news?

Next week: The 21st is talking about news deserts, news ownership, and news literacy in Illinois. Share your concerns about local news by leaving us a voicemail at 217.300.2121 or emailing

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