New season of Classical:BTS

Returning for an all new season, it’s Classical:BTS—our popular docuseries devoted to revealing the lesser-seen and -heard stories around classical music in central Illinois. In the most recent episodes, we take a closer look at the remarkable journey pipe organ maker, John-Paul Buzard.  

Illinois Office of Communication and Information

News Local/State - May 12, 2021

WATCH LIVE: Pritzker’s May 12 COVID-19 Update

WATCH LIVE:  At 11:00 a.m. today Gov. Pritzker is holding a press briefing to discuss Illinois' safe return to tourism and travel.

The 21st Show - May 12, 2021

The Show Must Go On

Musicians across Illinois, like those around the world, have been finding ways to adapt to life in a pandemic. Whether with masks and distancing or perfecting their virtual performances, the show has gone on.

Tinou Bao/Flickr

The 21st Show - May 12, 2021

What Is Zakat?

Many of the traditions around the holy month of Ramadan had to be modified this year; physical distancing made it impossible for many to gather with family and friends to break fast at the end of each day. However, some aspects remain of Ramadan remained unchanged, including the idea of Zakat. The 21st was joined by a Sheikh from an Illinois mosque to hear more about the meaning of Zakat and how the pandemic affected celebrations this year.

The 21st Show - May 12, 2021

Interview: Rita Ali, Peoria Mayor

History was made in the chambers of the Peoria City Council when Rita Ali was sworn in as the city’s mayor; Mayor Ali is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first African American elected to that job. The 21st was joined by Ali to talk about vaccine hesitancy, racial segregation in Peoria and other issues the community is facing. 

Noelle Broughton, left, is a 25-year-old graduate student seeking mental health care. The roadblocks she has faced in search of a provider has made her question if treatment is worth it.

Provided by Noelle Broughton

The 217 Today Podcast - May 12, 2021

217 Today: Wednesday May 12, 2021

In today's deep dive, navigating the health system to find help for mental health challenges can be difficult for young adults. We learn more from Side Effects Public Media.

Photo courtesy of Isaac Simmons

The 21st Show - May 11, 2021

Bringing Drag to Spirituality in Bloomington, IL

Isaac Simmons, also known as Ms. Penny Cost, is the first drag queen put forward as a candidate for the ministry in the United Mehtodist Church. The 21st spoke with him about bringing drag to spirituality in Bloomington, Illinois.

Photo courtesy of

The 21st Show - May 11, 2021

The Legacy of Helmut Jahn

Helmut Jahn designed buildings across the U.S. and around the world — including the technicolor neon tunnel of United Airlines’ Terminal 1 at O’Hare Airport. Jahn passed away this weekend and to talk about his life The 21st was joined by a Dean from Illinois Institute of Technology. 

Paul Sableman

The 21st Show - May 11, 2021

Debate Over Proposed Pipeline in Pembroke Township

The debate to move away from fossil fuels is happening now in the rural community of Pembroke Township in Kankakee County, Illinois. Some city and state leaders are advocating for a pipeline there to connect the town with natural gas from the company Nicor. But some residents worry about the environmental costs in an area that was home to one of the largest communities of Black farmers in the country. 

Archie's mother Elizabeth takes a picture of the big moment.

Steve Burger/WNIN

The 217 Today Podcast - May 11, 2021

217 Today: Tuesday May 11, 2021

In today's deep dive, we follow the journey of one dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, from its manufacuring, to its final destination in Archie Thomas' left arm.

The 21st Show - May 10, 2021

How the COVID-19 Crisis is Affecting Indian Americans

While the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, almost 35% of Americans are now fully vaccinated, and for many life is returning to normal. However, across the Atlantic in India, where just 2% of the country’s 1.3 billion people are vaccinated, there is a major crisis raging. COVID cases have surged since March, with new cases hovering around 400,000 per day in the past two weeks.

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