ARTventure Tours

Go on, get out of the hotel and experience the incredible variety of art and culture throughout Chicago first-hand!

ARTventure Tours are a great opportunity to dig into the art all around you. These special off-site, educational tours are available to all Convention attendees and are designed to showcase the artistic successes of our beautiful host city. The number of participants for each tour is limited, so select the ARTventure of your choice when you register to make sure you get your spot!

Each ARTventure has a maximum capacity of 34 persons. Please sign up early to reserve your spot!

ARTventure Tours require an additional fee of $40 per person. Based on availability, Convention attendees are allowed to bring a maximum of two guests.

If you do not wish to participate in an ARTventure, there will also be Convention programming during the ARTventure period. ARTventures will take place on Saturday afternoon, departing the hotel on foot or by bus (depending on the tour) at 1:30 p.m.

ArtVenture Tours are supported by Chicago Community Trust, The Field Foundation of Illinois, and the Prince Charitable Trusts. Special thanks to Chicago Trolley for its generous support of transportation.

Tour 1: Muck to Magic: Transforming the Riverfront into a Cultural Mecca
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Join the City of Chicago’s cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, on a river cruise highlighting the city’s architectural and cultural landmarks. Learn the amazing story of how a “mudhole of the prairie” became a global metropolis. Gaze up at architectural wonders in the city where the modern skyscraper was born. Witness how the river has evolved from a working waterway into a place of public pleasure. Enjoy a cultural break at the newly-renovated Chicago River boathouse designed by famed architect Jeanne Gang in Ping Tom Park in the Chinatown neighborhood – and enjoy a site-specific dance performance by Khecari, one of Chicago’s premier contemporary dance companies.

This tour includes heavy walking.
 

 

Tour 2: Chicago Made: Innovative Spaces Created by and for Artists
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Tour four of Chicago’s most dynamic buildings for artmaking and performance, established for and by artists.  Meet resident artists and enjoy several performances, including a dance performance by Lucky Plush.  Led by the City of Chicago’s Director of Artist Resources, Barbara Koenen, the tour will visit the Zhou B Art Center, founded by the internationally acclaimed artistic team the Zhou Brothers, featuring galleries, studio spaces and a collaborative creative environment to nearly 50 resident artists; the Bridgeport Art Center, located in a former mail-order warehouse, now home to artists and designers of all kinds, featuring exhibition spaces, Project Onward, and a fashion design incubator; Mana Contemporary, a former Power House housing artist studios, galleries, dance studios, classrooms and art storage spaces;  and The Lacuna Lofts, a massive 114 year-old former Macaroni Factory that is home to nearly 200 small creative arts based businesses, its walls adorned with some of the finest street art, photography and design coming out of Chicago today. Lacuna is home to The Remix Chicago Project’s first American alternative arts and education Centre for the exceptional creative talents hailing from Chicago’s ‘at-risk’ communities. This tour will end with a light reception.

Tour 3: Storefront Theatres All Grown Up: From Local Treasures to National Models
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Chicago is home to five Tony Award-winning regional theaters, and it all began with small storefront operations. Experience firsthand the Chicago Storefront Theater Scene by visiting current storefront operations, and those that have moved on to be national models of excellence in theatrical arts. Led by Chris Jones, the chief theater critic and a Sunday culture columnist for the Chicago Tribune, this tour will include visits to Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater and The Hypocrites, short performances, and discussions with the artistic leadership of each theater.

Tour 4: Chicago and the Great Black Migration
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Visit Black history in action through contemporary gallery spaces and arts programs in the historic Bronzeville community, the neighborhood that legendary African Americans such as Louis Armstrong, Gwendolyn Brooks, Richard Wright and others called home. Stops include the Southside Community Arts Center, Bronzeville Artists Lofts,  and Washington Park Arts Incubator, envisioned by artist and University of Chicago professor Theaster Gates—and located in a renovated 1920s building in the Washington Park neighborhood. The Arts Incubator is a space for artist residencies, arts education, community-based arts projects, as well as exhibitions performances and talks—and a cornerstone of the University of Chicago's Arts + Public Life Initiative. Led by Lee Bey, associate director for external affairs and special projects for The University of Chicago Arts + Public Life Initiative and former Chief of Staff for Architecture and Urban Planning for the City of Chicago, this tour includes a stop for coffee and snacks at the Exchange Café, an arts-based café.

This tour includes heavy walking.

   
Tour 5: Public Art and Public Transportation: the Chicago L Collection
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is home to an impressive collection of more than 50 artworks of mosaics, sculptures and paintings exhibited at over 40 CTA stations. Ride the legendary “Chicago L” public transportation system with CTA curator Elizabeth Kelley to visit sites by local and nationally acclaimed artists – and take in a CTA-station concert of Romanian musician Nicolae Feraru curated by the Old Town School of Folk Music, as part of their Iron Heart series.

This tour includes heavy walking.

Tour 6: Dance, Dance, Dance!
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Visit Joffrey Ballet at Joffrey Tower, The Columbia College Dance Center, The Fine Arts Building (home to Human Rhythm Project and other local dance companies), and The Harris Theater. Tour the spaces, see showcases by local dance companies  and watch Hubbard Street Dance Chicago warm up on the Harris stage before their evening performance. Led by Zac Wittenberg, local dance writer and Manager of Communication at Hubbard Street, this is a behind the scenes tour for a dance lover.

  
Tour 7: Diasporal Rhythms: Chicago’s African American “Home Galleries”
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Visit four “home galleries” in Hyde Park and Bronzeville of a passionate group of collectors and artists dedicated to collecting visual art created by contemporary artists of the African Diaspora. Guided by collectors from Diasporal Rhythms, view over 5000 works collected over the years, including work by Dayo Laoye, Candace Hunter, Tony Wade, Raub Welch, Peter Gray, and twenty works by Theaster Gates.

Tour 8: Graffiti Art and the Urban Canvas
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Join poet and educator Kevin Coval, founder of Louder Than a Bomb, for a tour across Chicago that will explore the history and aesthetics of this public art form. Learn about art crimes, the politics of style – and grapple with why graffiti is considered so dangerous and why so many artists are willing to risk their lives for their art. This tour will be joined by cast-members of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s This is Modern Art as well as local teaching and spoken-word artists from Young Chicago Authors.

This tour includes heavy walking.

Tour 9: Lights, Camera, Action: Film and Spectacle in Chicago
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Tour the multi-stage studio Cinespace, home to Empire, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and many other film and television projects that shoot in Chicago. Join Richard Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, on this behind-the-scenes tour that will finish up at local brewery Lagunitas with appetizers and drinks. 

This tour includes heavy walking.

  
Tour 10: Making and Keeping Place: Latino Arts and Culture in Chicago
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Experience the vibrancy of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, home of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Tour the museum’s new exhibit The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community and the permanent collection with Chief Curator Cesareo Moreno, take in performances by local Latino artists, including traditional puppetry by Stephanie Diaz and solo performance by Juan Villa and see the murals that decorate the neighborhood. Led by Coya Paz, professor at DePaul University, co-founder of Teatra Luna and Proyecto Latina, which provides a platform to showcase work by Latina writers, poets, performers and artists.

This tour includes heavy walking.