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Mayor Lightfoot leading ‘virtual’ museum field trips

WTTW-Channel 11 announced Monday that it is partnering with Mayor Lightfoot for “Stay Home. Hit Play,” a “virtual,” behind-the-scenes visit to some of Chicago’s iconic museums and cultural attractions.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (left) takes viewers behind the scenes at the Shedd Aquarium.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (left) and Heather Barnes, the Shedd’s director of aquatic presentations and live programs, take viewers behind the scenes at the Shedd Aquarium.
Shedd Aqaurium/ Brenna Hernandez

In homage to a long-ago marketing slogan, “virtual” field trips will soon be fun-damental, thanks to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

WTTW-Channel 11 announced Monday that it is partnering with Mayor Lightfoot for “Stay Home. Hit Play,” a new educational and fun “virtual” behind-the-scenes visit to some of Chicago’s iconic museums and cultural attractions.

The first episode debuts April 29 at HitPlayChicago.org, and will take viewers to the Shedd Aquarium along with Lightfoot as she feeds sharks, social distances with penguins and chats up Nickel the sea turtle, among other glimpses at the aquarium’s many offerings.

WTTW (Channel 11.1) will air the series weekly at 5:30 p.m. Fridays and Mondays (beginning May 1) and at 12:30 p.m. May 4 on WTTW Prime (11.2).

Subsequent field trips will take viewers to 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, Monday’s announcement said.

For the Shedd episode, corresponding worksheets/activities guides will also be provided for parents, kids and educators at sheddaquarium.org and HitPlayChicago.org.

In the video trailer for the series, Lightfoot and some Shedd employees are seen without face masks and less than six feet apart (though there are fewer than 10 individuals congregating at any one time). In a statement, a Shedd Aquarium spokesperson said: “Shedd Aquarium takes the health and safety of our employees and guests extremely seriously. The wearing of face masks, social distancing and other important measures were monitored as appropriate during the filming.”