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Event Category

Arts & DIY

Event Overview

Feast your eyes on this! ACTIVATE is back on August 5 with SEE. Join us at 230 N. Garland Court to rethink how you SEE the world around you as the Loop’s ordinary spaces transform into extraordinary works of art! Local artists manipulate the alleyway walls, turning them into canvases for light, color, and shadow. Highlights from the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival will delight and intrigue as they are projected down the length of the alley.

Each month from May through October, one of the five senses will come alive through an exploration of art, music and lights in some of the Loop’s most unexpected places. Admission is free. ACTIVATE is an economic development and place-making initiative of Chicago Loop Alliance.

What to Bring

Come ready to play!


Creative attire encouraged. All ages welcome.

What's Provided

We'll provide all the good vibes.

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Ready. Set. ACTIVATE.

ACTIVATE transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences. Combining the talents of Chicago’s most creative minds, the events feature art, music, and more in unique urban settings.
Art. Music. People. Alleys.
These are the core components of every ACTIVATE.

The F Word
ACTIVATE is not a festival. It’s an interactive exhibition of art and culture that takes place over the course of six nights from May through October.

Raise a glass. Not a pinky.
ACTIVATE alleys don’t come with frills. So forget everything your parents taught you about etiquette and just enjoy yourself.

The best things in life are free
And so is ACTIVATE. You don't have to pay to get in, and we've kept beer and wine prices on par with your neighborhood watering hole (cash only!). RSVP in advance and your first drink is on us.

ACTIVATE is an initiative of Chicago Loop Alliance, which creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences that attract people and investment downtown.