Jesse Dukes | WBEZ
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Jesse Dukes

Jesse Dukes

Curious City Audio Producer

Jesse Dukes produces the audio stories for WBEZ’s Curious City. He works with contributors as well as reporting stories for the project.

Before coming to WBEZ, Jesse was an independent writer and radio producer based in Virginia.

He worked with the public radio program Backstory and occasionally led student trips to Tanzania for the University of Virginia as well as hiking, kayaking, and canoeing trips in Maine.

Recent Stories

Curious City

How To Safely Enjoy The Outdoors During COVID-19

We answer your outdoor safety questions, like, Can I pet someone’s dog during a walk? Can I still play soccer?

Curious City

How To Eat Safely During The Coronavirus Crisis: Tips, Resources, FAQs

We answer your urgent eating-related questions, like, How safe is it to shop at the grocery store? Can the virus be transmitted through food?

Curious City

Are Chicagoans True Midwesterners?

Chicago is geographically in the Midwest. But many people believe that being “Midwestern” is something else entirely.


Chicago Weed Buyers Welcome Legal Sales

Dispensaries opened as early as state law allows, giving patrons what they’ve waited for: legal marijuana.

Curious City

Rats! The Science And Stories Behind Chicago’s Most Unwanted Pests

To explore the mysteries of Chicago’s rodents, Curious City took a rat safari, interviewed experts and turned your stories into a zine.

Curious City

These Design Ideas Turned ‘The Hancock Center’ Into An Icon

Bruce Graham and Fazlur Khan changed the way architects and engineers thought about the structure of the modern skyscraper.

Curious City

Did All Chicagoans Support The Civil War?

The story of Irish-American draft resisters, African-Americans who defied the odds to fight, and women who found ways to support the war.

Curious City

Inside Downtown Chicago's Windowless, Doorless Buildings

Here’s a peek at what goes on inside some of these “mystery buildings” and how their architectural disguises have evolved over the decades.

Curious City

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition And Chicago’s Rivalry With New York

In this live podcast episode, two actors playing New York and Chicago duke it out over who will host the coveted 1893 World’s Fair.

Curious City

How Does Chicago Track Its Coyotes?

Chicago is home to an estimated 2,000 coyotes. To learn how they survive, Curious City joined researchers as they tracked down pups.

Curious City

The Lakeview Lizard Mound

A Curious City fan asked us about an odd detail on an old Chicago map. Was it really a Native American burial mound?

Curious City

Without Native Americans, Would We Have Chicago?

Names like Marquette and Joliet are cited in history books. But it was Native Americans who first set Chicago on a path to develop into a major metropolis.

Curious City

Who Came Up With The Iconic White Sox Look?

The brainchild of a 22-year-old executive, the White Sox look hit a home run with fans and, half a century later, rappers.

Morning Shift

The History Of Chicago’s ‘Nazi Neighborhood’

The rally and ensuing violence in Charlottesville last weekend was a reminder that the “alt right” and “white nationalists” are not fringe groups quietly operating on the sidelines. White power groups, or “Neo-Nazis” are part of the fabric of Chicago's complicated history of race. As part of Curious City, Jesse Dukes reports on Chicago's "Nazi Neighborhood" in the 1970s.

Curious City

Carl Sandburg's Chicago

From 1912 to 1930, the famous poet and writer lived and worked in the Chicago area. Step back in time to experience Sandburg's Chicago.

Curious City

Chicago's Best Stargazing Spots

Chicago's notorious light pollution hides the stars, but here's where you have a fighting chance to peek at the heavens.

Curious City

The Nazis' Neighborhood

For decades, Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood served as the local headquarters for the National Socialist Party of America.

Curious City

The Willis Tower In 150 Years: Adapted, Demolished or Abandoned?

The answer has to do with the fate of Chicago in 2166.

Curious City

The Swinging Times of Chicago's Revolving Doors

Tempted to ignore the revolving door? Here are the revolutions that made the city a magnet for this seemingly simple device.

Curious City

Chicago vs. New York: The Origins of a One-way Rivalry

There was a time Chicago gave New York a run for its money. How did we end up the Second City?

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