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At a Crossroads

From a restless flock to budget deficits to a startling shortage of priests, the issues facing the Catholic Church in Chicago threaten aspects of its mission. How the church responds will determine its future shape—and how it in turn shapes the city.

A Quirk of Nature

Since it opened in Lincoln Park eight years ago, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has struggled to raise money, draw crowds, and make itself known as more than the site of a stunning butterfly haven. Will it find its own way–or merge with the nearby zoo?

His American Life: A Look at Ira Glass

That sincere, in-the-same-room-with-you voice has proved to be seductive for the listeners of Ira Glass. This American Life, his true-stories show distributed by Public Radio International, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. Next up are a screenplay and a TV series. Even with a move to New York coming soon, Glass took time out to talk about life, love, work, and how a bad relationship led to a creative breakthrough.

Back on Pointe

This June, after a turnaround so remarkable that it has become a business school case study, the Joffrey Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary—and its 11th year in Chicago. Behind the revival are a few good men, a powerful women’s board, and an extraordinary company of dancers.

Party Hearty

Former actors turned chefs Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, otherwise known as the Hearty Boys, have been dishing it out to Chicagoans for almost ten years. Now, in near-frantic performances on their Food Network show, they are bringing macaroni and cheese on a stick to the wider world