Chicago and North

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60602

…The Art Institute, founded in 1879, now has approximately 300,000 works of art in its permanent collection, stewarded by eleven curatorial departments and nearly 500 employees. This collection is housed in eight buildings—nearly one million square feet—at the heart of Chicago, one block from Lake Michigan and serving as the eastern anchor of the city’s downtown. In addition to displaying the permanent collection, we host 30 special exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks, lectures, performances, and events every year. We have one of the finest research libraries for art and architecture in the country as well as state-of-the-art conservation facilities that ensure that the art of the past carries on well into the future.”

Symphony Center

220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604

Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. In collaboration with the best conductors and guest artists on the international music scene, the CSO performs well over one hundred concerts each year at its downtown home, Symphony Center and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago’s North Shore. Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through best-selling recordings and frequent sold-out tour performances in the United States and around the globe.

Millenium Park

201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave. & Columbus Ave. Chicago, IL 60602

“Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a new kind of town square – a lively, spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike.”

Chicago Cultural Center

78 East Washington, Chicago, IL 60602

“Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library, the building was designed to impress and to prove that Chicago had grown into a sophisticated metropolis. The country’s top architects and craftsmen used the most sumptuous materials, such as rare imported marbles, polished brass, fine hardwoods, and mosaics of Favrile glass, mother-of-pearl and colored stone, to create an architectural showplace. Located on the south side of the building, the world’s largest stained glass Tiffany dome ― 38 feet in diameter with some 30,000 pieces of glass ― was restored to its original splendor in 2008. On the north side of the building is a 40-foot-diameter dome with some 50,000 pieces of glass in an intricate Renaissance pattern, designed by Healy & Millet.
In 1991, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the nation’s first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue. Every year, the Chicago Cultural Center presents hundreds of free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers, providing a showcase where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts. Come for the beauty, stay for the events.”

Chicago Architecture Foundation

224 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60604

“Since 1966, CAF has served as a cultural ambassador – welcoming the world to Chicago and using its architecture to inspire millions.  Chicago’s architecture is known around the world. Each year our docents and educators share its story with more than half a million people. We accomplish this through tours, programs, exhibitions, field trips, curricula and online tools that are part of a dynamic learning journey for all ages. We are now one of Chicago’s top 10 cultural organizations and the world’s largest public architecture organization.”

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago:  Sullivan Galleries

33 S. State Street, Seventh Floor, Chicago, IL 60603

“The Sullivan Galleries brings to Chicago audiences the work of acclaimed and emerging artists, while providing the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and the public opportunities for direct involvement and exchange with the discourses of art today. With shows and projects often led by faculty or student curators, it is a teaching gallery that engages the exhibition process as a pedagogical model and mode of research. “

The Museum of Contemporary Art

220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611

“One of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. MCA Chicago documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan.”

Columbia College:  Museum of Contemporary Photography

Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605

“Founded by Columbia College Chicago in 1976, the museum collaborates with artists, photographers, communities, and institutions locally, nationally, and internationally. As the leading photography museum in the Midwest, presenting projects and exhibitions and acquiring works that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies, the museum offers students, educators, research specialists, and general audiences an intimate and comprehensive visual study center.”

Columbia College:  Center for Book and Paper Arts

1104 S. Wabash Avenue, Suite 200, Chicago, Illinois 60605

“In 1993, the Center for Book and Paper Arts was created within the Interdisciplinary Arts Department, with a mission of advancing research and innovation in the interdisciplinary practices of the artist’s book and hand papermaking, providing support for our graduate programs, and engaging the public through lectures, workshops, exhibitions and events. Together, we share the principle that interdisciplinarity is a defining characteristic of contemporary art practice, and a necessary prerequisite for those artists who will shape the future.”

Columbia College:  Glass Curtain Gallery

1104 S Wabash Ave, first floor, Chicago, IL 60605

“Located in the historic Ludington building, the renowned Glass Curtain Gallery exhibits emerging and mid-career, national and international artists in all media. The gallery presents museum-quality exhibitions, workshops and visiting artist lectures all of which help to create a dialogue essential to the development and growth of students within the arts.”

Columbia College:  A + D Gallery

619 South Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

“The Averill and Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery is part of the Art + Design Department at Columbia College Chicago. The gallery’s mission is to present professional exhibitions and educational programming that encompasses the broadest possible definition of visual art and design.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago:  Gallery 400

400 South Peoria, Chicago, IL, 60607

“Founded in 1983, Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design.
The Gallery’s program of exhibitions, lectures, film and video screenings, and performances features interdisciplinary and experimental practices. Operating within the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)—the largest and most diverse university in Chicago—Gallery 400 endeavors to make the arts and its practitioners accessible to a broad spectrum of the public and to cultivate a variety of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Gallery 400 is recognized for its support of the creation of new work, the diversity of its programs and participants, and the development of experimental models for multi-disciplinary exhibition.”

Jane Addams Hull House Museum at The University of Illinois at Chicago

800 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60607

“The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum serves as a dynamic memorial to social reformer Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and her colleagues whose work changed the lives of their immigrant neighbors as well as national and international public policy. The Museum preserves and develops the original Hull-House site for the interpretation and continuation of the historic settlement house vision, linking research, education, and social engagement.  The Museum is located in two of the original settlement house buildings- the Hull Home, a National Historic Landmark, and the Residents’ Dining Hall, a beautiful Arts and Crafts building that has welcomed some of the world’s most important thinkers, artists and activists.  The Museum and its many vibrant programs make connections between the work of Hull-House residents and important contemporary social issues.  Founded in 1889 as a social settlement, Hull-House played a vital role in redefining American democracy in the modern age. Addams and the residents of Hull-House helped pass critical legislation and influenced public policy on public health and education, free speech, fair labor practices, immigrants’ rights, recreation and public space, arts, and philanthropy. Hull-House has long been a center of Chicago’s political and cultural life, establishing Chicago’s first public playground and public art gallery, helping to desegregate the Chicago Public Schools, and influencing philanthropy and culture.”


756 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL

“Established in 1991, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Intuit) is the only nonprofit organization in the United States that is dedicated solely to presenting self-taught and outsider art — with world class exhibitions; resources for scholars and students; a Permanent Collection with holdings of more than 1,100 works of art; the Henry Darger Room Collection; the Robert A. Roth Study Center, a non-circulating collection with a primary focus in the fields of outsider and contemporary self-taught art; and educational programming for people of all interest levels and backgrounds.”

The Arts Club of Chicago

201 East Ontario, Chicago, IL, 60611

“Since 1916, The Arts Club of Chicago has been a preeminent exhibitor of international art, a forum for established and emerging artists, and a celebrated venue for performers from around the world. For over 95 years, The Arts Club has opened its membership to artists and patrons of the arts, and its exhibitions to the public. At its inaugural meeting, the mission of the Club was defined as: “to encourage higher standards of art, maintain galleries for that purpose, and to promote the mutual acquaintance of art lovers and art workers.”

The Newberry Library

60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610

“A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry offers readers an extensive noncirculating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries. Its staff provides award-winning service and supports a rich array of programmatic opportunities.  From free exhibitions and speaker events open to the public to fellowships, undergraduate seminars, teacher professional development programs, and genealogy orientations, the Newberry’s activities involve thousands of people–including 500 volunteers.”

The Lyric Opera at the Civic Opera House

20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL

“Lyric Opera of Chicago, founded in 1954, is one of the world’s greatest opera companies….Lyric Opera’s Civic Opera House is one of Chicago’s historic landmarks and among the world’s most beautiful buildings. Built in 1929 and fully restored in 1996, the Civic Opera House is a hybrid of Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs and a majestic setting for entertaining on any scale. The 3,563-seat theater is the second-largest opera auditorium in North America and holds the largest stage in downtown Chicago.”

Hubbard Street Dance

studio location:  1147 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

“Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street is continually touring nationwide and internationally. Now in its 37th year, the main company has appeared in celebrated dance venues in 44 states and 19 countries.”

The Joffrey Ballet

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL 60605

“The Joffrey is a world-class, Chicago-based ballet company and dance education organization committed to artistic excellence and innovation, presenting a unique repertoire encompassing masterpieces of the past and cutting-edge works. The Joffrey is committed to providing arts education and accessible dance training through its Joffrey Academy of Dance and Community Engagement programs.”


3111 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL

“Constellation is a venue on Chicago’s northwest side founded in April 2013 by drummer/composer Mike Reed. Constellation’s mission is to present progressive performance and forward-thinking music with a focus on jazz, improvisation and contemporary classical. Filling a niche within Chicago’s arts community, the space is also a collaborative partnership with the venerable performing arts organization Links Hall. As a building partner, Links Hall [see below] brings decades of experience fostering artistic growth in dance, performance art, film and other media.”

Links Hall

3111 North Western Avenue, Chicago, IL

“Links Hall encourages artistic innovation and public engagement by maintaining a facility and providing flexible programming for the research, development and presentation of new work in the performing arts.

Experimental Sound Studio

5925 North Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL 60660

ESS is a non-profit, artist-run organization focused on sound in all its exploratory cultural manifestations, including music, sound art, installation, cinema, performing arts, sound poetry, broadcast, new media, and more. It is our mission to serve the artists engaged in these disciplines, the audiences who listen to them, and the public who may as yet be unaware of sound’s many creative dimensions. Our approach integrates production, presentation, education, and preservation, often in partnership with other organizations, constituencies, artists, and individuals.”


Most events are hosted by the Graham Foundation at the Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place, Chicago, IL, 60610

Founded in 1997 and incorporated in December 1998, Lampo is a nonprofit presenter of experimental music and intermedia events. The organization, which is based in Chicago, promotes and supports artists working in electronic and electroacoustic music, free improvisation, sound art and other new forms. Lampo brings composers and musicians from across North America, Europe and Asia to present their work to local audiences. Lampo is equally committed to helping Chicago composers and musicians realize special projects with potential impact on their careers. The organization commissions new works and encourages joint performances with visiting artists.  FREE.

The Poetry Foundation

61 West Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654

“The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience.” Most events are FREE.

The Gene Siskel Film Center

164 North State Street, Chicago, IL, 60601

“For more than 40 years, the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has presented world-class independent, international, and classic cinema. Renamed in honor of the late film critic in 2000, the Gene Siskel Film Center presents approximately 1,500 screenings and 100 guest artist appearances year to over 65,000 film enthusiasts at its unique, sophisticated, modern facilities which have been operating since June 2001 at 164 N. State Street.”  The Siskel Film Center also hosts the Asian American Showcase, Black Harvest Film Festival, among many other series.

Red Moon

 2120 S Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60616

“Over the past 24 years, Redmoon has become a valued Chicago institution with its high profile collaborations, vibrant outdoor performances, and dynamic community and educational programming. Redmoon’s site-specific performances have opened in Millennium Park, animated the façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, commemorated the groundbreaking of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute and brought tens of thousands of spectators to the banks of the Chicago River. Redmoon has also brought its work to the parks and streets of Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods, using spectacle to bridge differences and transform the ways that people see and understand public spaces.  Since 1990, Redmoon has performed for more than 380,000 people in 49 different neighborhoods, and around the globe in Holland, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan and France.  In its 57,000 square foot facility in Pilsen, Redmoon conducts large-scale indoor spectacles and private events, and offers structured, skills-based internships and mentoring opportunities to emerging young artists.”


performance art gallery @ 1463 W CHICAGO AVENUE CHICAGO IL 60642

“DEFIBRILLATOR (a.k.a dfbrL8r or dfb) is a non-profit 501c3 arts organization that contextualizes performance within the visual art realm. dfb provides a gathering place to conceive, present and promote performance art and other ephemeral forms of expression.  Also a sponsor of the Rapid Pulse International Performance Arts Festival.


Beverly/Morgan Park

The Beverly Arts Center

2407 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655

“The BAC provides fine arts education to individuals and schools throughout the Chicagoland area through our School of Fine Arts and Outreach programs, and we are committed to providing a world-class arts education to students of all ages, levels, and backgrounds.  The lights are never dim in our 400 seat Main Stage Theater. The BAC hosts weekly concerts, recitals, theater productions and special events featuring local and national performers.  Throughout the year, the BAC features local, regional and national artists in exhibits that are free and open to the public. We invite you to visit our four gallery spaces: East Gallery, Bridge Gallery, Theatre Gallery and Atrium.”


10552 South Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60655

“Kunsthaus is German for Art House and plays off the Bauhaus artistic movement from the 1920/30’s. Like Bauhaus, Kunsthaus was founded as a home for fine crafts and the fine arts.  Inspire your inner artist – We all have one! Join us for a variety of classes and workshops. Still not sure? Join us for our Friday or Saturday Night BYOB’s and you decide!”

Ridge Historical Society

10621 S Seeley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60643

“The mission of the Ridge Historical Society is to preserve and interpret the distinct history of the Morgan Park, Beverly Hills, Washington Heights, and Mount Greenwood communities of Chicago. Through its collections and activities, the Society will advocate educational programs and research that explores the communities in relationship to the social and cultural history of the United States.”

Vanderpoel Art Museum

Ridge Park Fieldhouse, 9625 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60643

“The Vanderpoel Art Association was founded in 1913 by friends of John H. Vanderpoel, as a memorial to this celebrated instructor from Chicago’s School of the Art Institute.  Legendary artist Georgia O’Keeffe praised him as “one of the few real teachers I have known.””


Historic Pullman Foundation

11141 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, (112th Street & Cottage Grove Avenue) Chicago, IL

“The Pullman Historic District is a unique community, built in 1880-84 as a planned model industrial town for the Pullman’s Palace Car Company. Learn about the town’s history, its buildings and work going on in Pullman today.  Pullman is a unique community on Chicago’s far, south side that blends the history from many different disciplines in a fascinating touring experience. Visiting this area today brings you into that history and also into a new sense of place, seeing the community as it is today.”


“PullmanArts builds upon the historic beauty, artistry and skilled craftsmanship that was synonymous with the name Pullman. In partnership with Artspace, Inc. and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, we are in the planning phase of re-purposing historic structures as artist live/work spaces. Toward this end, we partner with a wide variety of organizations to bolster Pullman’s historic and contemporary reputation as an arts hub.”

Hyde Park/Kenwood

The Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615

“When we were founded by idealist, creative do-gooders in 1939, the Art Center was made up of a handful of artists and community members who set up shop in a defunct saloon and felt that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the visual arts. (Ever the trailblazers, they embraced a hippy mentality before hippies even existed). Their openness to creative innovation shaped the organization into an inclusive incubator for artistic risk-taking, which resulted in some really fun parties as well as the formation of internationally recognized artist groups The Monster Roster, The Hairy Who, and The Chicago Imagists in the 1960s.  In 2006, ambitious, pioneering do-gooders transformed the Art Center yet again, and we’re willing to bet that our founders never imagined this is where we’d be 75 years after our first exhibition opening (unless they also had access to psychedelic drugs). Today we continue their legacy of connecting the public to Chicago art and artists while supporting artists’ ability to take risks. It is because of this commitment to our founding values that the Hyde Park Art Center now welcomes 45,000 people annually and has become a nationally recognized model for how an institution can develop its city’s artists while remaining accessible and relevant to its immediate community.”

UChicago Arts + Arts Incubator + David and Reva Logan Center for the Arts

(see links below for locations–many events are FREE and open to the public)

“The arts are central to the mission of the University of Chicago. With a strong tradition of cross-disciplinary practices, intricately mixed with intellectual curiosity and creative energy, the University fosters a bustling arts community on Chicago’s South Side.In response to a 2001 report on the future of the arts at UChicago, the University launched an ambitious suite of new initiatives and programs to enhance the existing UChicago Arts landscape. These include the Arts + Public Life Initiative and its flagship project, the Washington Park Arts Incubator, the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.  The initiatives join academic departments and programs in the Division of the Humanities and the College, as well as professional organizations including the Court TheatreOriental Institute Museum, Smart Museum of Art, Renaissance Society, and University of Chicago Presents, and more than 60 student arts organizations, in forging an integrative model for practice, presentation, and scholarship.”

Doc Films at The University of Chicago

Ida Noyes Hall 1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

“Doc Films is on record with the Museum of Modern Art as the longest continuously running student film society in the nation, looking back on a more than 75 year old history.A Short History of Doc:Doc Films was founded in December 1940 as the International House Documentary Film Group, though its antecedents stretch back to 1932. Initially the group focused on “the realist study of our time via nonfiction film,” but the documentary alone could not sustain the organization; within a few years, the group’s programs expanded to include fiction and experimental films, a mixture that it maintains to this day.Past film series at Doc have showcased diverse artists, genres and national cinemas or tackled subjects like feminism and human rights. Doc routinely shows prints from some of the country’s leading film archives. Many film directors, among them Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and John Ford, have visited Doc to present films and lead discussions. Over the decades Doc has hosted an astonishing number of Chicago premieres, giving the city its first glimpse of such masterpieces as The Rules of the Game, Au hasard Balthazar and Brokeback Mountain. ”

“Doc Films hopes to reach a wide-ranging audience, from film aficionados to casual moviegoers, by cultivating and facilitating an excitement for the study of film. Our mission is to nurture and inspire future writers, filmmakers, and creative artists to tackle the professional world of cinema”

Rebuild Foundation

(various locations in Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park and South Shore areas among others)

“Rebuild Foundation, a not-for-profit creative engine focused on cultural-driven redevelopment and affordable space initiatives in under-resourced communities, currently manages projects in Chicago, St. Louis and Omaha. Our programs enlist teams of artists, architects, developers, educators, community activists, and residents who work together to integrate the arts, apprenticeship trade training and creative entrepreneurship into a community-driven process of neighborhood transformation. Rebuild engages an artistic practice which uses as its medium the urban fabric of under-resourced districts, bridging the creation of art with adaptive reuse of abandoned spaces and community-driven initiatives for neighborhood revitalization.  Rebuild Foundation is the creation of Chicago native, artist, urban planner, and Wall Street Journal 2012 Innovator of the Year, Theaster Gates, Jr. who has conducted innovative renovation of unused spaces and community service activities through his art practice since 2005. Rebuild received its official 501©3 status in December 2010, and immediately continued Gates’ work leveraging creative community resources to build thriving neighborhoods. We act as a catalyst in local economies by integrating arts and cultural programming, workforce enhancement, creative entrepreneurial investment, hands-on education, and artistic intervention. Rebuild began creating cultural programming in Gates’ renovated and repurposed buildings first in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. Next, Rebuild established operations in the Hyde Park neighborhood of St. Louis, activating two residential spaces of Gates’. Soon after, Rebuild entered a partnership with Beyond Housing to establish a programming hub from one of their neighborhood spaces in the north St. Louis community of Pagedale. Also in 2011, Rebuild began a partnership with the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha to activate a derelict bank building with renovation, arts programming, and the incubation of a local small business.”

Southside Hub of Production (SHoP)

(locations vary–check website for details)

“SHoP (Southside Hub of Production) is a community centered project that encourages local culture making and is a space where broad ideas on pedagogy, performance, and innovative experimentation meet with traditional iterations on similar subjects. Through a range of alternative artistic practices, contemporary and folk art installations, small economy building, community music, woodsmithing and poetry performances, potlucks, and a consistent form of generosity and neighborly exchange, SHoP has become an important social center in Chicago. The Southside Hub of Production has served as a neighborhood hub to gather and exchange resources and expertise, install artworks and provide space for local groups to use. It is an open place to speculate on what a publicly engaging enterprise can offer the residents and in return, help to imagine better examples of resourceful living, communal artistry and a higher quality of life. “(Jim Duignan)  “SHoP is a collective of artists, writers, film makers, craftspeople, educators, and local civic organizations who have come together to create a local cultural hub space in Hyde Park, Chicago. SHOP’s main aim is to engage creatively with the neighborhood and encourage local cultural activity. The goal is to foster collaboration and cooperation of all kinds in the neighborhood. SHoP is for productive creativity as well as for slow culture, leisure time, and meaningful social engagement.  SHoP features multiple spaces for exhibits that lend themselves to relational and community thought, rentable storage spaces and studio spaces, an assisted woodworking shop, time bank, a space for movement and bodywork (for, example, yoga and meditation classes), the Hyde Park Kunstverein community museum, a Red Flags family salon and non-sports pub, a kids art-making room on the 2nd floor, a thrift store, a dozen rooms for public meetings and more.”


The DuSable Museum of African American History

740 East 56th Place, Chicago, Illinois 60637

“To promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art.  Founded in 1961 by teacher and art historian Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other leading Chicago citizens, the DuSable Museum is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States. Developed to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African descent, it is dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation and study of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. The DuSable Museum is proud of its diverse holdings that number more than 15,000 pieces and include paintings, sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. Special exhibitions, workshops and lectures are featured to highlight works by specific artists, historic events or collections on loan from individuals or institutions.”



Little Black Pearl 

1060 East 47th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60653

“What began as an artist’s dream in the basement of her gray stone is now the Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center located in the Kenwood/Oakland neighborhood. Little Black Pearl is a thriving nonprofit serving youth in the Kenwood/Oakland, Woodlawn, and Bronzeville neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side. Firmly rooted in the black community, as the population has changed, so has Little Black Pearl by working with an increasingly diverse youth population and adding curriculum and services for adults and families.  Today Little Black Pearl is a 40,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the community. This cultural arts center provides opportunities in art, culture and entrepreneurship to youth, adults and families across Chicago. In 2011 LBP expanded its vision of marrying art and education by establishing Little Black Pearl Art and Design Academy.

South Side Community Arts Center

3831 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

“Founded in 1940 through President Franklin Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration the South Side Community Art Center continues to cultivate artists’ careers through exhibitions, community programming, public events and classes.  Of 110 Federal Art Project’s centers, the SSCAC is the only surviving art center of this project and is the oldest African American art center in the country.   Its beginnings were also shepherded by the then-youngest member of its board Dr. Margaret Burroughs. A young leader, she was instrumental in engaging the community and local civic leaders to raise the monies needed to compliment federal funds to start the center and purchase the building and the land the center still occupies today. Her continuous leadership and dedication has kept it thriving, even past her death in 2010.  Dr. Burroughs is also the founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History, which was started in her home, right across the street from SSCAC.  The center was instrumental in launching the careers of many luminaries of the African American art world and nationally and internationally established artists. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks taught at the SSCAC, photographer Gordon Parks had his first darkroom in the Center’s basement, and Charles White and Elizabeth Catlett shared what they learned from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with other artists who could not afford the tuition.”



Bridgeport Art Center

1200 W. 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609

“The Bridgeport Art Center, located in the former Spiegel Catalog Warehouse, is home to many artists’ studios, designers, professional people and a gallery. Established in 2001, the Bridgeport Art Center continually seeks out new ways to serve as a resource for creative minds.  We offer different facilities, including special event venue and a gallery space, raw industrial work space suitable for woodworking, metal design, light manufacturing, assembly, distribution and office spaces.The Bridgeport Art Center has also a large variety of timber loft artist studios and studios for fashion designers.”  3rd Friday Open Studios.

Co-Prosperity Sphere

3219 S Morgan Street, Chicago Il 60608

“The Co-Prosperity Sphere (C-PS) is an experimental cultural center located in the neighborhood of Bridgeport. The space is used to showcase work by artists, performers and cultural workers of all stripes. The C-PS hosts exhibitions, screenings, presentations, installations, festivals, meetings, and performance programs in its 5,000+ square foot gallery. The space hosts between 35-60 events and exhibitions a year serving over 10,000 individuals a year. Co-Prosperity is also the home office of Public Media Institute (PMI).  PMI is a non-profit 501(c) 3, community based, art & culture organization located in the neighborhood of Bridgeport in the city of Chicago. PMI’s mission is to create, incubate and sustain innovative cultural programming through the production of socially engaged projects,  festivals, spaces, exhibitions, and media.  Public Media Institute is committed to the region’s cultural ecology and is evident through our series of programs, spaces and projects.  PMI publishes several periodicals including Proximity Magazine, the international arts and culture journal, as well as Lumpen magazine, Materiel Magazine, and  Mash Tun Journal.  Public Media Institute showcases emerging and established artists from Chicago and around the world in our network of art spaces and partner organizations. PMI coordinates the Co-Prosperity School, an artist led initiative that discusses the contemporary art worlds of Chicago. PMI also coordinates and supports the Small Manufacturing Alliance (SMALL).  SMALL promotes companies and individuals that manufacture products locally. In 2015 PMI will launch a new Low Power FM Radio Station in the South Side of the city. Our 100 Watt LPFM station will be our latest project that seeks to amplify the voices of the communities we serve.  PMI programs and host numerous events and socially engaged  projects throughout the city of Chicago and beyond. For a look at our current activities and programming please visit the following websites:  Version Festival Lumpen Mash Tun Journal Mash Tun Festival Small Manufacturing Alliance “

Zhou B Art Center

1029 W 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609

“The Zhou B Art Center was founded in 2004 by the internationally acclaimed Zhou Brothers. Located in Bridgeport, the Zhou B Art Center’s mission is to promote and facilitate a cultural dialogue by organizing contemporary art exhibitions and programs of international scope. As a Center created by artists, for artists, the vision of the Center is to facilitate the exchange of contemporary art between Chicago and the international art community and promote the convergence of Eastern and Western art forms in the United States.  The Zhou B Art Center provides galleries, studio spaces, and a collaborative creative environment to a thriving community of talented artists. The primary purpose of the Zhou B Art Center is to nurture the creativity and growth of its nearly 50 resident artists. The Center is also home to some of the most thought-provoking and cutting edge exhibitions in the city. On the Third Friday of each month, the Center hosts a free exhibition and open studio event where families can explore its main exhibitions, galleries, and resident artists’ studios. This event is the perfect opportunity for Chicagoans and tourists to support the local and international artists involved with the Zhou B Art Center.”


Chicago Film Archives

329 West 18th Street Suite #317, Chicago, Illinois 60616

“Chicago Film Archives is a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. Our purpose is to serve institutions and filmmakers of this region and elsewhere by establishing a repository for institutional and private film collections; serve a variety of cultural, academic and artistic communities by making the films available locally, nationally, and internationally for exhibition, research, and production; and serve our culture by restoring and preserving films that are rare or not in existence elsewhere.”


In Residence at Dvorak Park, 1119 West Cullerton, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60608

Cultural Celebrations are held each year at various sites and bring the community together for innovative activities. Our teaching artists provide workshops prior to culminating events (parades, performances, interactive exhibitions) drawing an average of 300 community members. These out-of-school time community workshops focus on three main cultural themes: Carnaval (spring), the Hip Hop Culture (summer) and the Day of the Dead (fall).  ElevArte is a community-based organization that uses the arts as a means for youth development. We create youth-activated safe spaces within each of our three core programs: In-School Residencies, Out-of-School-Time Programs, and Community Celebrations. Our culture-oriented fundraisers help continue the tradition of offering free art classes to children in the community. Learn about our fundraisers and how you can get involved.   Classes— Out-of-School Time programs are held in three, eight –ten week sessions.”

High Concept Laboratories

“High Concept Laboratories is an arts service organization dedicated to supporting working artists and engaging the Chicago community with arts and culture. Partnering with artists at every step of the creative process, HCL offers high-quality custom support services including administrative assistance, audience development, production support and space use. HCL also curates and hosts artist showcases, presents special community events, and facilitates educational arts partnerships. With a vibrant cycle of programs and process-support, High Concept Laboratories grows community alongside culture and fosters new audiences for the arts.”  HCL is housed in the Mana Contemporary building.

Mana Contemporary

2233 S Throop, Chicago, IL, 60608

“Mana Contemporary Chicago is a rapidly expanding art center set in an enormous landmark building in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Designed by noted Chicago architect George Nimmons, the building is now home to dozens of artists studios, exhibition spaces, classrooms, a central cafe, a library and more. Mana serves as a nexus for many of the strongest artists and organizations in the city. Artists of diverse disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, dance, film, sound, and performance work alongside each other in a novel campus environment which fosters experimentation, collaboration, and mutual inspiration. Very established artists; studios neighbor those that house strong emerging practices, as there is a wide range of studio sizes.  A hub of programming and activity for the vital communities of Chicago artists, Mana Contemporary will also serve as a multi-institutional pedagogical platform, and already serves as home to art schools and organizations dedicated to educating and supporting emerging artists. Chicago’s existing art communities have informed this model, which grows organically with the development of each new floor, customizing and adapting to the needs and opportunities that make up Chicago’s creative landscape. Mana Contemporary strives to grow a vital community of Chicago artists, showcasing their practices, processes, and ideas to the public.”

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL60608

“The National Museum of Mexican Art defines Mexican culture as sin fronteras (without borders), and our programs and exhibitions capture the wide range of Mexican cultural expressions and art forms, from ancient to modern and on both sides of the border. We represent the Mexican community from its own point of view and in its own voice.  We believe in art as a bridge between communities, and we believe that art in education expands minds and breaks down barriers while preserving cultural heritages. The National Musuem of Mexican Art offers a wide range of educational programs for children and families, teens, school groups, and educators. Our art exhibitions, performance arts and educational programs are experienced by more than 200,000 visitors annually, including 60,000 K–12 students.  The National Museum of Mexican Art is also a national leader and mentor for cultural institutions and community organizations, and for our advocacy of “first voice” and cultural equity issues. From building a world-class institution in Chicago’s largely Mexican American neighborhood of Pilsen to creating groundbreaking exhibitions and forming partnerships with institutions in Mexico, the National Museum of Mexican Art has a history of being bold and activist in our approach and reach.”

Ukrainian Village

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

2320 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

“The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA) preserves and promotes contemporary art as a shared expression of the Ukrainian and American experience….In existence for over 40 years, UIMA continues to offer a robust schedule of exhibitions, musical and literary events, films, and gallery talks, including the annually anticipated Live and Silent Auction. Musical programs have included evenings with distinguished opera singers Samuel Ramey, Paul Plishka, and pianist Valentina Lisitsia, while the MAVerick Ensemble has filled the galleries with experimental and innovative jazz regularly. Writers and actors have showcased their work, and a variety of artist workshops are offered throughout the year.”


Artist Resources and Ongoing City-wide Programs and Festivals

Chicago Artists Resource:  CAR is for Artists  

“Chicago Artists Resource (CAR) is an innovative arts service website administered by the Chicago Artists Coalition. CAR is an online extension of the capabilities, resources and leadership of the city’s cultural community and a demonstration of Chicago’s commitment to the important contribution successful artists make to a vital, world-class city. CAR provides artists with information on a wide range of issues related to professional practice and a connection to local, national and international resources.  CAR is for Artists:  CAR is for individual artists and for arts organizations. Artists working in every media (visual, performing, literary, music and theater) will find useful information in CAR. Visitors will also find insurance, financial, legal, health, and business information. People who are buying or leasing space will find explanations and resources for every aspect of real estate, from establishing credit, the mortgage process, finance and ownership options, zoning and code issues, to home inspections.”

Chicago Humanities Festival

various locations throughout Chicago in Fall and Spring

“The Chicago Humanities Festival’s mission is to create opportunities for people of all ages to support, enjoy and explore the humanities. We fulfill this mission through our annual festivals, the fall Chicago Humanities Festival and the spring Stages, Sights & Sounds, and by presenting programs throughout the year that encourage the study and enjoyment of the humanities.  The Chicago Humanities Festival is devoted to making the humanities a vital and vibrant ingredient of daily life. We believe that access to cultural, artistic and educational opportunities is a necessary element for a healthy and robust civic environment. Tickets for most Fall Festival programs are $12 and many programs are free of charge to students and teachers.”

The Chicago International Film Festival

various theatres throughout Chicago

“Cinema/Chicago, the presenting organization of the Chicago International Film Festival, is a year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. We serve Chicago’s diverse and under-served citizenry by providing access to world-class cinema. We aim to enrich Chicago’s cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage discussion and debate.”

Chicago Public Art Guide

“The Chicago Public Art Collection includes more than 700 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations. As part of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Public Art Program administers the Chicago Public Art Collection and implements the City’s Percent for Art Ordinance. The Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists.”

Chicago Public Artists Registry:  CaFE 

“The Chicago Public Art Program maintains an Artist Registry in order to notify interested artists of public art opportunities such as Percent for Art projects and other open calls. As opportunities arise, a notification will be emailed to everyone in the Artist Registry indicating the project scope and application instructions. To join the Artist Registry and receive artist call information, please send an email to  DCASE is now administering its Public Art Program application process through the web-based, also known as CAFÉ. Through this website, artists set up a free online profile through which they can submit tailored responses to public art calls from the City of Chicago as well as other worldwide opportunities posted on the site.”


various locations throughout Chicago

“This is CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival—a four-day showcase of outstanding films, energetic concerts, visually stunning VJ/DJ sets, lively Q&A’s, daring live score performances, industry panels and presentations…anything to show just what movies and music mean to each other.  Each Spring filmmakers, musicians, and their passionate fans alike, descend upon Wicker Park and Logan Square, two of Chicago’s most eclectic, vibrant neighborhoods. That’s where CIMMfest takes place—the films by day, the live music by night—at theaters, galleries, bars, concert spaces, and some of the city’s most storied venues.  The films come from all countries and cultures, and range from documentaries to fiction to concert films to shorts to music videos. They just have to be about music and/or use music in a creative, integral way. The live performances are inspired by film or feature visual accompaniment.

Experimental Station

6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 (check website for hours/events)

“The Experimental Station is working to build independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago. We do this by fostering a dynamic ecology of innovative educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises and community initiatives. Since 2006, we have both built our own programming to address a variety of identified local needs and have fostered, hosted, and sponsored numerous other initiatives.  Currently, our own programs are: Blackstone Bicycle Works, 61st Street Farmers Market, Invisible Institute, EBT For the City of Chicago, and LINK Up Illinois.”

James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph, Suite 10-500, Chicago, IL 60601

“The Illinois Arts Council Agency  was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council Agency are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Harold Washington Public Library:  Maker Lab

400 S. State Street, Chicago IL 60605

Workshops are free; supplies are provided unless otherwise stated. Register to reserve a seat. If you are unable to attend, call (312) 747-4400 to cancel your registration.  Walk-ins are welcome if seats are available.  3D-printing classes accommodate eight participants.  Vinyl-cutting classes, laser-cutting classes and other workshops accommodate 12 participants.  Lectures and information sessions generally do not require registration.  If you have a group of five or more and wish to attend a workshop, email or call (312) 747-4400.”

Pumping Station One

3519 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618

“What is Pumping Station One?  Pumping Station One is a hackerspace located in Chicago. Its mission is to foster a collaborative environment wherein people can explore and create intersections between technology, science, art, and culture.

What are we?  We are a collaborative environment for people to explore the intersections between technology, art and culture. To be clearer, we also fulfill our role as a community resource by hosting classes on electronics, programming, crafts, and any other skills that members (or guests) are willing to share. We’re a hacker space similar to others such as the Cowtown Computer Congress, NYC Resistor, NoiseBridge, HACDC, and other groups around the country.

We are…a group of people who welcome every build idea, 200+ carpenters, metal workers, cyclists, tailors/seamstresses, web developers, micro-brewers, game developers, musicians, car enthusiasts, college professors, men, and women, obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge and sharing it with those around us.

What we are not.  For those new to the concept of hackerspaces, the name maybe misleading or perhaps you may think that it’s possible to “contract” the space to build your next thing. While some of our members maybe interested in your business opportunity, our organization does not operate in that type of collective manner. We’re merely an organization that facilities individual growth, learning, development, and puts all these people under a single roof.

We are not…a group of evil nefarious computer hackers trying to steal things, trying to teach our members how to break the law, interested in starting a public riot.

More on Hackerspaces

to learn more about hackerspaces, and see examples of other hackerspaces around the world, visit

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Visiting Artists Program (SAIC-VAP) free lectures

“Founded in 1868, the Visiting Artists Program (VAP) is one of the oldest public programs of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Formalized in 1951 with the establishment of an endowed fund by Flora Mayer Witkowsky, the Visiting Artists Program features some of the most compelling practitioners and thinkers working today. Through a diverse mix of lectures, screenings, performances, conversations, and readings, VAP is one of the city’s leading public forums for the presentation and contemplation of contemporary art, design, and scholarship.  An invaluable resource for SAIC students and the public alike, the Visiting Artists Program fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and culture through discourse. VAP arranges studio critiques and roundtable discussions for SAIC students, providing them with direct access to world-renowned speakers working across disciplines.”

Spudnik Press

1821 W Hubbard St, Suite 302, Chicago, IL 60622

“Founded on the premise that art should be a democratic and empowering medium, Spudnik Press Cooperative is committed to being an approachable and affordable print shop; a space where professional printmakers merge with aspiring students; a space that encourages collaboration and the sharing of ideas.  At Spudnik Press, artists create and use printed materials to further culture and engage with their community. Through sharing materials, equipment, and studio space, artists are also sharing technical skills, practical knowledge, and creative processes. By pooling resources and creative problem solving, artists at Spudnik Press are able to create a space that is beyond the means of solo emerging artists.  By extending our programming to include exhibitions, classes, free workshops, and drawing groups, we are able to reach beyond the print community and engage with the community as a whole.”

Rebuilding Exchange

1740W Webster Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

“The Rebuilding Exchange is a non-profit social enterprise and our mission is to create a market for reclaimed building materials. We do this by diverting materials from landfills and making them accessible for reuse through our retail warehouse, by promoting sustainable deconstruction practices, by providing education and job training programs, and by creating innovative models for sustainable reuse.  Since our inception in 2009, Rebuilding Exchange has diverted 9274.59 tons of building materials from the landfill, and simultaneously created over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials available to the public.  Through contractor forums, educational seminars with local and public experts, as well as speaking engagements around the region, Rebuilding Exchange helps lead the national effort to educate on deconstruction and reuse. Rebuilding Exchange also offers over 100 hands-on public workshops per year to educate and empower on the many different ways to reuse materials.”

Publications and Arts Media

The Chicago Ambassador

“The Chicago Ambassador is an online publication. The Chicago Ambassador is published on the WordPress platform, but it is not a blog. It is a publication put together by traditional press veterans who adhere to AP Stylebook guidelines and the best practices of traditional journalism. Listen to Managing Editor Bob Chiarito being interviewed live on WGN AM 720 about The Chicago Ambassador!  As for content, The Chicago Ambassador is determined to focus on Chicago-related stories that are conceived and written by our contributors. Our staff does not post stories from other publications to fill space.  As for our stories, be sure to stop by frequently for interesting stories, interviews, exclusive news and more.  It’s hard to narrow down our scope other than to say “Chicago related.” We can promise this:  You won’t find any stories on “The top 5 hot-dog joints” or any other clichés in The Chicago Ambassador. What you will find are stories on people and things related to Chicago that are on the cutting edge, that provoke, inspire and are relevant.”

The Chicago Reader

“The Chicago Reader is Chicago’s largest free weekly newspaper, nationally recognized as a leader in the alternative press. Since 1971, the Reader has served as Chicago’s political conscience, cultural guide, and music authority. With a highly targeted-circulation of 90,000 and a consistent return rate of less than 2%, the Chicago Reader is the city’s most essential alternative media resource. Known for its in-depth coverage of Chicago politics and culture, the Reader explores and exposes news, events and issues that affect city living. The paper has won numerous journalistic awards and honors, both local and national, and is well-known as a showcase for Chicago’s most talented writers, critics, photographers, and illustrators. With a readership of 450,000 and some of the industry’s lowest advertising rates, the Chicago Reader is one of the largest and most successful alternative weeklies in the country.”

The Chicagoist

Popular arts, culture, entertainment, news, food.

Gapers Block

“Gapers Block is a Chicago-centric web publication providing information on news, events and other interesting stuff around town. Gapers Block wants you to slow down and check out your city!  Consider GB an antidote to all those sites infatuated with the coasts. On the front page, you’ll find Merge, a weblog on a wide range of topics updated throughout the day; Slowdown, a calendar highlighting events you may not have heard about; a daily photo in Rearview and a question to ponder and discuss in Fuel. The site also includes topical sections covering arts and culture (A/C), literature (Book Club), food (Drive-Thru), music (Transmission), politics (Mechanics) and sports (Tailgate). We also publish a weekly email newsletter, I ✶ Chi.

Our volunteer staff of contributors is made up of Chicagoans both native and imported, with diverse backgrounds and interests but two things in common: a deep love of the city and a wish to share it with you. If you’re interested in joining us, see our submissions page.”


Literary Chicago

“We at Literary Chicago approach our coverage of the literary world with a lit fest spirit. We’re curious, celebratory, and inclusive. Our mission: strengthen the literary community and celebrate what it does with words and language. As with presenters at any good lit fest, we’re an assorted bunch, a motley crew, representing different backgrounds, tastes, and temperaments, and although our subjects are all literary in some way, and always addressed thoughtfully, with heart, what you find on one “stage” may be very different from you’ll find on another. That being said, in addition to original essays, reviews, and event write-ups, we have set up a detailed calendar of local literary events which will be updated daily, something that has been sorely lacking in the city that Poets & Writers says “is quickly becoming the largest storytelling community in the world.” Under “resources,” we also provide encyclopedic information on local reading series, literary journals, small presses, bookstores, and literary organizations. Click HERE to contact us. And click HERE to find out about submitting your own work for publication.”

New City 

“ is a Web site about Chicago. We start with the core coverage found each week in Newcity magazine, Chicago’s only locally owned and operated cultural weekly, where we’ve been covering the turf for more than 25 years, and extend it with your input on this site. “

The Studs Terkel Archive at WFMT

“Over the course of his 45 years on WFMT radio, Studs Terkel discussed every aspect of 20th-century life with movers, shakers, artists, and working folks. From civil rights to labor to jazz, his work spanned an impressive array of topics and figures. These enchanting, historically-significant interviews — which have been largely inaccessible to the public —will soon come to life in a new website hosting the comprehensive Studs Terkel Radio Archive.”

Timeout Chicago

“Your ultimate guide to Chicago.”

The Visualist

“The Visualist is a project by three artists:  Jenny Kendler (co-founder of Other Peoples PixelsChad Kouri (of The Post FamilySteve Ruiz (oh lots of stuff really) It follows On The Make, a calendar project developed by Karly Wildenhaus.  To submit events, please use the submit button at left.  If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know”

Vocalo 89.5FM

Vocalo is a public media service for a new generation.  Serving young diverse audiences through conversation, storytelling and local music, producers use the power of radio, internet and social media to curate content contributed by the community. Vocalo provides training so that everyone can participate in broadcast media.  Anyone can upload their stories, interviews and opinions to Vocalo. To date, nearly 7,000 contributors participate in Vocalo’s online community.  Vocalo is broadcast on 89.5 FM to residents in northwest Indiana, southwest Michigan, and Chicago’s southside and lakefront neighborhoods. Vocalo was started in June 2007.”