Your resource for things to see and do in the Chicago Loop.
One of the reasons behind the Loop’s success is that it “belongs to everyone,” in the words of one of this study’s survey respondents. Accessibility is something that I see Chicago striving for and succeeding in time and time again. By making art in the Loop accessible and public, it makes people curious for more.”
One of the major institutions ensuring arts experiences are accessible to all is the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). DCASE is headquartered in the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington St., a building just west of Millennium Park that is in itself a public art and architecture asset. DCASE produces and markets the city’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience and presents free and affordable cultural programs, including many in the Loop, like the free Chicago Blues, Chicago Jazz and Chicago House Music festivals, Summer Film Series and more in Millennium Park.
DCASE has named 2018 the Year of Creative Youth and has built programming around the theme of encouraging young people to become involved with the arts, including a collaboration with Chicago Loop Alliance in which young artists will interpret historical banner design to be displayed on State Street and will also have a hand in the programming of Lightscape, CLA’s light and sound installation that creates vivid patterns of color choreographed to audio along State Street.
Chief among the ways the Loop succeeds as a “free museum” is by virtue of its architecture. Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, said, “We really are the world’s largest cultural district,” and architecture is a major part of it.
“Architecture is one of the defining characteristics of the Loop, going back to the early Chicago skyscrapers. Right now, Chicago architects are building the largest buildings in the world, all over the world” – something to contribute to the Loop’s cultural district brand. She noted, “Architecture and design are fundamental to the Loop as a cultural district, fundamental to our brand.” Indeed, the Financial Times of London recently called Chicago “perhaps the most architecturally aware city in the world,” and the Loop’s architecture is its epicenter.
Cover Picture by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash.