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The Pride & Perils of Chicago’s Public Art

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
01-14-2017 to 07-30-2017 - Planning and creating public art can be a risky enterprise. For over 200 years, Chicago has been putting art in public places. Sometimes it's loved. Sometimes it's hated. To further complicate matters, times change - and so do people and tastes. See for yourself in this exhibition of stories and historical public artwork of the past 200 years. Part of the City of Chicago's Year of Public Art.

This exhibit is located in the Landmark Chicago Gallery and Randolph Stairs, 1st Floor North at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Categories: Chicago Events

Eugene Eda’s Doors for Malcolm X College

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
01-21-2017 to 06-25-2017 - This exhibition will reunite all 32 doors painted by Eugene Eda for the stairwells of the original, now demolished Malcolm X College. Painted in 1971 by one of the principal artists of the Wall of Respect, the monumental doors are a landmark of the Black Arts movement in Chicago. The Exhibition includes other portable artworks in the MXC collection as well as documentation that will shed light on this important and turbulent period in Chicago history. Part of the City of Chicago's Year of Public Art.

This exhibit is located in the Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Year of Public Art

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
01-01-2017 to 12-31-2017 -

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events have declared 2017 as the "Year of Public Art" in Chicago with a new 50x50 Neighborhood Arts Project, the creation of a Public Art Youth Corps, a new Public Art Festival, exhibitions, performances, tours and more. The citywide celebration commemorates the 50th anniversary of two of our most seminal public artworks - the Picasso in Daley Plaza and the Wall of Respect which once stood at 43rd Street and Langley Avenue on the South Side - and highlights the important role that public art has played in Chicago's history.


  • Chicago Cultural Center exhibit 50x50 Invitational, featuring works by 50 artists representing all 50 wards (February - April)
  • Chicago Cultural Center exhibit The Wall of Respect, chronicling how 14 artists designed and produced the seminal mural for and within Chicago's black South Side communities in 1967 (March - July)
  • DCASE murals exhibit highlighting the murals of Pilsen, Little Village and other vibrant Latino communities in Chicago
  • DuSable Museum of African American History's Project RESPECT, exploring its impact on Chicago's history and the Black Arts Movement and will culminate with the creation of a mural by several local artists (February - October)
  • Out of Site Chicago will present a series of performances in neighborhoods throughout the city, activating public spaces with dance and movement (April)
  • South Side Community Art Center will host a day of art-making, biking and public art (May)
  • Special event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the iconic Picasso sculpture on Daley Plaza (August)
  • National Museum of Mexican Art will join Yollocalli Arts Reach to celebrate 20 years of providing free youth programming to the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods - with a zine chronicling the public art created by Yollocalli youth over the past 20 years (October)
  • A symposium for public art practitioners is being planned - and a new Public Art Festival will offer dozens of free activities for families and public art aficionados (Fall)

Making Mainbocher: The First American Couturier

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
10-22-2016 to 08-20-2017 - Explore the life and legacy of an enterprising Chicagoan who rose to the heights of the European fashion world at the Chicago History Museum’s newest costume exhibition. Chicago-born Mainbocher established a fashion house serving royalty, Hollywood and the social elite. Featuring thirty garments, fashion illustrations, and photography, this exhibition explores the life and legacy of a remarkable man and his journey to become the first American couturier.


May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
10-21-2016 to 09-04-2017 -

Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. Tattoos have a storied and diverse past, with practices dating back at least 5,000 years. Indelibly marking one’s skin has signified passage into adulthood, a sense of community, healing, art, punishment, and personal identity. The new exhibition at The Field Museum, Tattoo, examines myriad and dynamic practices of tattooing around the world and throughout time—from Japan, Polynesia, the US, Europe, North Africa, and points beyond. The exhibition includes a thoughtful exploration of a new generation of practitioners who are creating new forms of expression, while drawing upon the great ritual and artistic practices of the past.

Tattoo Shop

The rumors are true. As part of its newest exhibition, The Field Museum is opening a working tattoo shop. Members of the public will be able to get a natural-history themed tattoo live in the exhibition on select weekends throughout the run of the show. Visitors can choose from 42 different pieces of flash art (pre-drawn designs) created by local artists to get as tattoos. There are 36 tattooing time slots available to the public, first-come, first-served; to sign up for an appointment, hopeful tattoo-ees can call 312-778-5040.

Hunting Charlie: Finding the Enemy in the Vietnam War

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
09-29-2016 to 06-30-2017 - The Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s exhibit, Hunting Charlie: Finding the Enemy in the Vietnam War, explores the United States’ enemy during the Vietnam conflict through rarely seen original art pieces. The exhibit displays a point-and-counterpoint perspective by pairing North Vietnamese propaganda art from 1956 to 1973 with photos, political cartoons and reflections from United States combat veterans.

Chakaia Booker

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
04-30-2016 to 04-30-2018 -

Millennium Park will unveil six recent sculptures by American artist Chakaia Booker in a new exhibition in the Boeing Galleries - running April 30, 2016, through April 2018. A seventh, site-responsive sculpture (a new work) will be added in September 2016 in the South Boeing Gallery.

Ranging in height from 96 to 192 inches and weighing up to a ton, the exhibited works are created using rubber tires and stainless steel.  

Chakaia Booker is the first African American artist to be showcased in the Boeing Galleries.

CAMP: A Comedy Show

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

CAMP: A Comedy Show is a free, year-round weekly summer camp-themed comedy show. Every Monday night at the Village Tap in their outdoor beer garden, you will see some of the best stand up comedy Chicago has to offer.

Samantha Berkman and Tessa Orzech started this show because they wanted to make a positive, supportive space that fosters community around creativity. There are improvisational elements, pranks, games, characters, and general high-energy goofiness. The beer garden lends itself to the theme with picnic tables, string lights, and open air. There's full food and drink service as well as great drink specials. The beer garden has a retractable roof and heat lamps, so the show is never cancelled due to weather!

Chicago Cultural Center Theater & Dance Residencies

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events' Theater and Dance Residencies give emerging and established performing artists the opportunity to test-drive new work in a public setting. Each residency is tailored to the needs of the artist or company and their project and takes place in the most suitable DCASE space. Each showing is a unique opportunity for audiences to get a behind-the-scenes look at new work by Chicago artists.

Upcoming Showings

Brick by Brick

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
03-10-2016 to 09-04-2017 -

This 7,000-square-foot exhibit, developed and created by MSI, will feature a spectacular collection of more than a dozen giant LEGO®-built structures of engineering marvels, including a 60-foot long Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, St. Louis Gateway Arch, Hoover Dam, Roman Coliseum, and more, constructed by LEGO® Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. These formations will be paired with hands-on building challenges that reinforce key principles of engineering, construction and architecture-and encourage creativity.

Throughout the exhibit, guests will learn how architects and engineers push the limits of design, materials and location to make the seemingly impossible, possible; witness how form follows function; learn how building beautifully uplifts us all; and explore Chicago's impact as the birthplace of the skyscraper.

Exhibit Highlights

  • Build and test structures to withstand earthquakes at the tremor table and heavy winds in a wind tunnel.
  • Walk over a simulated city on a sturdy I-beam to feel its strength.
  • Collaborate to build a life-sized arch.
  • Use simple machines and engineering to lift their friends, or themselves!
  • Build your own LEGO® creation in an open build area.
  • See how great architectural creations-both real and LEGO- based-have come together in fascinating time-lapse footage.
  • See futuristic LEGO® structures constructed by architecture firms in response to predicted challenges our cities will face.
  • Discover how Adam Reed Tucker, LEGO® Certified Professional, became inspired to pursue architecture and build with the brick.

Photo credit: J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

The Best of The Second City

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
01-16-2016 Come see where it all began! The Best of The Second City features some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from their fifty-two year history performed by The Second City Touring Company. From the company that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell and more, comes the next generation of the comedy world’s best and brightest performing hilarious sketch comedy and The Second City’s trademark improvisation.

Chamber Mondays

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
11-02-2015 Chamber Mondays explore a rich diversity of chamber music, featuring Chicago's most talented classical, jazz, and ethnic music instrumentalists and vocalists, year round.

The Second City's Improv All-Stars

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

The legendary Mick Napier directs Chicago's finest improvisers in an evening of unscripted and unequaled improvisational comedy in this highly interactive, hilarious, and thoroughly original show. 

Photo credit: UP Comedy Club  

Chicago Landmarks Before the Lens

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
12-08-2011 to 12-31-2020 - This ongoing exhibition presented by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks features 72 black and white photographs of 24 landmarks and historic districts by Richard Nickel, Barbara Crane, Bob Thall, and Stephen Beal.

Chicagoland Square Dancer Association

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
05-14-2015 Square dancing is alive and well in Chicagoland. Visit squaredancechicago.com to find out about upcoming dances, square dancing tips, lessons, news, and more!

Destination Solar System

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Destination Solar System is a live show that takes adventurous space explorers on an immersive tour of the Solar System. Set in the future, Destination Solar System flies audiences from one end of the Solar System to the other in under 30 minutes! From sizzling solar flares on the Sun to liquid methane lakes on Saturn's moon, Titan, tours to the hottest hot spots and the coldest, stormiest and most spectacular sights in the Solar System will launch daily from the Adler's Grainger Sky Theater.

Photo courtesy of Adler Planetarium

MCL Chicago

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

MCL Chicago is the first theater dedicated to the art of music comedy. It houses productions featuring music improv, musical sketch, as well as new original musicals. Performances happen nearly every night of the week with some staple shows like MINt: Music Improv Night performing year round, and seasonal shows like its holiday tradition Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A DIE HARD Christmas Musical. All performances are BYOB!

The iO Theater

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Widely considered to be the premier venue for long-form improvisational performances and classes, the iO Theater (formerly known as the ImprovOlympic Theater) was founded in 1981 by Charna Halpern and the late great improvisational teacher and director, Del Close.

After almost 20 years in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood, Charna Halpern bought a building in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood and moved the iO Theater to it's new home at 1501 N. Kingsbury St.

The new iO Theater now boasts 4 theaters, 2 bars, and an expanced Training Center, a kitchen, and an Events space.  

The Stages

  • The Del Close Theater - iO's biggest stage and host to their biggest shows
  • The Jason Chin Harold Cabaret - One of iO's more intimate cabaret theaters, located upstairs and named after the late improviser/Director Jason Chin.  
  • The Chris Farley Cabaret - One of iO's more intimate cabaret theaters, located upstairs and named after one of iO's most influential Alumni, the late Chris Farley. 
  • The Mission Theater - A stage previously operated by acclaimed improv duo TJ and Dave. Now back under iO's direct creative purview. Currently hosting the rest of iO's biggest shows.

The pH Comedy Theater

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm
11-14-2012 See a live comedy show at The pH Comedy Theater, featuring improv, sketch and stand-up!

The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time

May 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

Adler Planetarium's newest exhibition teaches you all about the Universe. Featuring various multi-media interactive stations, The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time is a mix of fun and education.

  • As you walk through, you'll first learn about the history of the Universe.  You're invited to explore the big questions - how large is the Universe?  Are we alone? 
  • Next you'll see the wonders of the Universe thanks to spectacular overhead projection.  You can zoom from one location to another, viewing high resolution images from the world's best telescopes.
  • Your kids can play in interactive stations too.  They can look like an astronaut on the moon.  They can also send electronic postcards to themselves from galaxies, traveling at the speed of light.

The Universe: A Walk through Space and Time is located in the Adler's newly renovated Pritzker Hall of Cosmology.

Photo credit: Adler Planetarium