Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Citadel today announced the launch of Stay Home. Hit Play., a twice-weekly video series on WTTW that will bring engaging, educational programming from Chicago institutions to students and families across the city. The series will partner with the city’s museums and cultural institutions to invite students to go behind the scenes at some of Chicago’s most iconic places on Wednesdays, while staying home.
Mayor Lightfoot will join museum curators and staff as they lead virtual tours of their most popular exhibits and even share hidden treasures not usually seen by the public. Viewers will take virtual field trips to places like the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Science and Industry, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Along with each episode, students will find corresponding worksheet activities to further engage with each museum experience.
“The exciting launch of StayHome. Hit Play. allows our city’s cultural gems to come to life, ensuring our students are able to stay connected and engaged with our world-class museums and institutions amidst the unprecedented restrictions of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We are especially appreciative of the partnership of our parents, students, museum leaders and staff, WTTW, as well as Citadel, whose support was instrumental for the creation of this series. As challenging as this moment has been, we will get through it together, and I look forward to joining all of Chicago in re-experiencing these inspiring sites when this crisis ends.”
“My colleagues and I are excited to join the Mayor and our neighbors across Chicago as we discover – and rediscover – some of our favorite places in a new way,” said Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel. “These institutions embody what makes Chicago special. They invite us to learn, imagine and dream together, and we hope Stay Home. Hit Play. will inspire children and parents this spring.”
In the inaugural Stay Home. Hit Play. segment airing on Wednesday, April 29, Mayor Lightfoot will stop by Shedd Aquarium to visit the penguins, feed the sharks and say hello to Nickel the rescued sea turtle. “Shedd Aquarium is proud to bring people eye to eye with animals and their remarkable underwater biology and aquatic biodiversity through this new opportunity,” said Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Shedd Aquarium. “We can’t wait to reopen our doors and welcome everyone back to Shedd. In the meantime, we are thrilled to kick off this at-home series and continue to welcome and connect with people virtually.”
Young learners will also find Stay Home. Hit Play. twice a week on Chicago’s PBS station – WTTW. “WTTW is honored to partner with the City of Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot, Citadel and our city’s museums and cultural institutions on an initiative that aligns with our purpose to enrich lives, engage communities, and inspire exploration,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WTTW. “As a public media organization, it’s our role to respond to the needs of our community with trusted, educational and immersive programming.”
The series will premiere Wednesday, April 29, on HitPlayChicago.org, and will air Friday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m. on WTTW (11.1) and on Monday, May 4 at 12:30 p.m. on WTTW Prime (11.2). Subsequent Stay Home. Hit Play. episodes will air each Wednesday online and Fridays and Mondays on TV, and all segments and related student worksheets will be available on the series website.
The Reel Chicago Team says, “Brilliant!”