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Experience Chicago

The ultimate guide to museums, culture, & entertainment attractions in Chicago

James Welling, 8482, 2016 from Chicago, 1987–2017

Biennial Events, Exhibits, and Performances

Cab Pillars

A collection of high-profile lectures and discussions will feature participants from the 2017 Biennial.

Tuesday Evening Talks

Lectures and discussions Tuesday evening featuring architects, designers, and Chicago Architecture Biennial participants on the cutting edge of architecture.

Films with Chicago International Film Festival

Along with CIFF, the Biennial will present a dedicated selection of architecture themed and design related films.

Forums at Randolph Square

Set in the unique indoor amphitheater by Mexico City participant Frida Escobedo, talks will encompass architecture themed conversations with the public.

Cab Sessions

Extended events hosting panels and long-format discussions with architectural professionals, field practitioners, and academics.

Pin-Up Space

The Garland Room at the Chicago Cultural Center will host rotating pin-up exhibitions, featuring temporary exhibitions and displays from local practitioners and teams.

For a full list of events, visit ChicagoArchitectureBiennial.org.


Experience transformative architecture and design from around the world at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. All exhibits are free and open to the public from September 16, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

As the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America, the Biennial showcases the global impact of creativity and innovation. This year’s theme, Make New History, will feature over 140 practitioners from more than 20 countries.

The Biennial unites a main presentation at the Chicago Cultural Center with off-site locations at project and community anchor exhibitions throughout the city. Over 100 local and global cultural partners will host performances, talks, and more.

Community Anchor Sites
  • Beverly Arts Center
  • DePaul Art Museum
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Hyde Park Art Center
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
  • National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
Special Project Sites
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • City Gallery in the Historic
  • Water Tower
  • Navy Pier
SC Johnson Tours

SC Johnson offers free bus tours to Biennial visitors of the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed architecture at the company’s global headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.

To participate and explore the Biennial, visit ChicagoArchitectureBiennial.org for more information.

Baha’i Temple

upcoming Events and exhibitions

Between States, exhibition

Opens September 19, 2017

Architect Talk: Designing for Diplomacy with James Timberlake

October 16, 2017 • 6:00 p.m.

Current Projects:

Renewing our Cultural Resources Through Design

October 24, 2017 • 6:00 p.m.

Living Tall: What Will Make Tall Buildings More Habitable?

November 16, 2017 • 6:00 p.m.

Design Dialogues: Living With Infrastructure

November 7, 2017 • 6:00 p.m.

Reading Architecture & the City Through the Lens of Segregation

November 9, 2017 • 6:00 p.m.

All events take place at Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave.

For more information, visit architecture.org.


Have you ever walked by a building and thought, I wish I could see what’s inside? Now you can. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to present the seventh annual Open House Chicago on October 14 and 15, 2017. Open House Chicago is a free festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across the city.

Explore hidden gems in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods that will make you fall in love with Chicago all over again. Tour repurposed mansions, opulent theaters, exclusive private clubs, and more breathtaking spaces.

Don’t miss these sites:
  • Elks National Memorial: Take in one of the world’s most magnificent war memorials.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio: Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Wright’s birth with a visit to his famous home in Oak Park.
  • Avalon Regal Theater: Explore inside one of the most amazing theaters in Chicago, whose colorful minaret and dome evoke a Middle Eastern city.
  • Bahá’í House of Worship: Bathe in the serene light that enters through arabesque panels on this nine-sided dome towering over the North Shore.
  • The Robey (Northwest Tower): Get a unique 180-degree view of Chicago’s skyline with a visit to the top floor bar of this trendy West Town hotel.
  • East-West University, Student Life Center: Take in beautiful city and lake views from atop this 17-story urban campus in the South Loop, and explore the 6-story “vertical quad” atrium inside.

On October 14 and 15, gather your friends and family and see Chicago like never before! For the full list of sites, hours, and more, visit openhousechicago.org.

Wynton Marsalis

Symphony Center Fall 2017 Program Highlights

All programs at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., unless otherwise noted.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Friday, October 13 • 8 p.m.

Jazz for Young People®: Who is Count Basie? Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Saturday, October 14 • 11 a.m.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Special Guest Jon Batiste

Saturday, October 14 • 8 p.m.

Herbie Hancock

Saturday, October 21 • 8 p.m.

Ludovico Einaudi

Tuesday, October 24 • 8 p.m.

Music NOW: Vijay Iyer: A Portrait

Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph

Monday, November 13 • 7 p.m.

symphony Center PRESENTS

Welcoming the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for Two Days of Concerts—October 13 & 14

Currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is made up of 15 musicians who are widely recognized as some of today’s finest jazz soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers.

On October 13, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis officially opens the 2017/18 Symphony Center Presents (SCP) Jazz series with an 8 p.m. program featuring a diverse set of big band selections. The group returns to the stage October 14, at 11 a.m., for its family-friendly Jazz for Young People program, “Who is Count Basie?” That night, Marsalis and the ensemble are joined by Jon Batiste, the talented keyboard, multi-instrumentalist and current bandleader for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

On October 14 at 8 p.m., Marsalis, Batiste, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra perform a set inspired by their collaboration on the critically acclaimed 2017 release The Music of John Lewis. The recording, which was dedicated to the influential late leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet, was praised by Revive Music saying “…they do what they do best and present this music in its purest form.”

For information and tickets, visit cso.org or call the Symphony Center Box Office at 312-294-3000.

L’incoronazione di Poppea at Colston Hall UK

Event Dates and Times

Monteverdi 450

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists


October 12, 2017 • 7:30 p.m.

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

October 13, 2017 • 7:30 p.m.

L’incoronazione di Poppea

October 15, 2017 • 1:00 p.m.

*All performances take place at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, located at 205 E Randolph St.

*To purchase tickets, visit www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org, or contact the Box Office (312-334-7777 or boxoffice@harristheaterchicago.org) open Monday through Friday, 12-6PM.

harris theater for music and dance

This fall, Chicago will be one of only two North American cities to host the must-see opera event of 2017, when the Harris Theater presents the U.S. premiere of Monteverdi 450, a celebration of opera’s first master composer 450 years after his birth.

Monteverdi 450 is the vision of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, an icon of early music scholarship and one of the world’s greatest living conductors. The trilogy of operas – L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea – are the only three Monteverdi masterpieces to survive intact.

In Gardiner’s words, Monteverdi 450 will “take audiences on a voyage, from the pastoral world to the court and the city, from myth to political history, from innocence to corruption, from a portrait of a man to the whim of the gods [Orfeo], to a hero imprisoned by his human condition [Ulysses], and finally to a dual portrait of mad lovers [Nero and Poppea], uncontrolled in their ambition and lust.”

Performed on period instruments and brought to life by an international cast of soloists, the semi-staged concert performances have garnered rave reviews and sold-out houses throughout Europe this summer. Chicago audiences have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the genius of Claudio Monteverdi conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, only at the Harris.

exhibition-related Programs

HISTORY OF ROCK & SOUL: Music for Social Change

October 1 • 2:00 p.m.

Join National Radio Hall of Fame inductee Terri Hemmert as she spotlights musicians who have responded to social issues through their music.

SURVIVOR TALK: Edith Schumer

October 8 • 12:30 p.m.

Like Bill Graham—the subject of the Museum’s rock & roll exhibition—Edith was one of the “1,000 children,” a group of approximately 1,400 German Jewish children who were allowed to come unaccompanied to the U.S. via an organized rescue effort that occurred nine months prior to the start of World War II.

Programs are free with admission, free for Museum members. Reservations required at ilholocaustmuseum.org/events.

illinois holocaust museum & education center

Illinois Holocaust Museum has brought a pivotal era of rock music history to life with its newest exhibition, Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution. Exploring the extraordinary life of rock impresario Bill Graham (1931-1991), who helped launch and promote the careers of countless artists, including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones. It also traces the indomitable spirit of a man brought to the U.S. as an eleven-year-old Jewish refugee fleeing the Nazis, fueling a lifelong passion and advocacy for social justice.

The exhibition takes visitors on an electrifying trip through the 960s-1980s with an abundance of memorabilia, archival concert footage, historical and new video interviews, and psychedelic art.

“Bill Graham changed the way popular music was presented, and in doing so he gave true artists a stage that they might not otherwise have had,” said Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan. “And so it is my pleasure to lend support for this exhibit, for so much of what Mr. Graham did paved the way for so many.”

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution is open through November 12 at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie.

Learn more at ilholocaustmuseum.org/billgraham

Victoria Jaiani and Temur Suluashvili Giselle

upcoming events

Giselle Luncheon

Monday, October 2 • 11:30 a.m.

Loews Hotel

455 North Park Drive, Chicago

Join Artistic Director Ashley Wheater in an exclusive conversation with Giselle Ballet Master and Stager Lola de Ávila as they explore the heartbreaking story of the greatest Romantic ballet and hear from Joffrey’s own Giselles as they prepare to dance this iconic and challenging role.

To purchase tickets, visit Joffrey.org/luncheon.

the joffrey ballet

The Joffrey Ballet launches its 2017-18 season with the Chicago Premiere of Lola de Ávila’s visionary adaption of Giselle.

This take on the classic Romantic-era ballet is set to composer Adolphe Adam’s original score and tells the tale of passion beyond the grave. When a young peasant girl, Giselle, discovers her lover is betrothed to another, she dies of grief only to be enlisted by the vengeful Wilis, a ghostly army of maidens who haunt the forests, dancing to death any male mortal who crosses their path. When her beloved wanders into their grasp, Giselle carries out the ultimate act of love to free him from his fate. An ethereal descent into madness, desire, and sublime beauty that will leave you breathless.

For tickets visit joffrey.org/giselle or call 312.386.8905.

Interact with nearly 40 robots inside Robot Revolution, including ROBOTIS MINI (above), who can wave, bow and move with the touch of a button.

Museum of Science and Industry

At the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, tap into your inner curiosity through 14 acres of hands-on science exhibits and experiences. Discover the physics of a tornado while inside a four-story-tall vortex in Science Storms. Learn how future technologies come to life with a 3-D printing workshop in the Fab Lab. Steer, play, and pet robots from around the world inside Robot Revolution, the Museum’s latest exciting exhibit that teaches guests how robots and humans are working together to push boundaries of innovation.

Robot Revolution features nearly 40 robots guests can interact with, including a tic-tac-toe playing robot, a therapeutic robotic seal, ‘bots that compete against each other in a soccer game, and many more! The exhibit is home to an unprecedented collection of cutting-edge robots secured from some of the most innovative research labs, universities and robotics companies from around the world.

Robot Revolution is supported by Google.org with additional major support from The Boeing Company.

While at MSI, take your curiosity to new heights inside Brick by Brick. This exhibit celebrates engineering and architecture through the world’s most iconic structures, built entirely out of LEGO® bricks, including a 60-foot-long Golden Gate Bridge, a dazzling recreation of Cinderella’s Castle, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and more. Get inspired and build your own world wonder using build stations inside the exhibit, then test structures against earthquakes and whipping winds.

Brick by Brick is sponsored by ArcelorMittal.

Plan your visit to Robot Revolution and Brick by Brick at MSI now! To plan your trip and to purchase tickets, visit mschicago.org.

Grey Tree Frog

the shedd aquarium

An 11-foot river otter. A 13-foot eel. Shedd Aquarium’s new limited-time special exhibit, Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, features these amazing animals and more—all made from plastic trash washed up on our beaches. Making its Great Lakes debut September 23, this stunning traveling exhibit features larger-than-life sculptures of your favorite marine life. Entry is included in Shedd general admission—come see what’s Washed Ashore!

Looking to dive into holiday fun? On Friday, October 27, families with kids ages 5-12 can get into the Halloween spirit at Shedd’s Spooky Seas overnight—guests can spend the night or head home after an evening of fun. In November, Shedd decks the halls with colorful wreaths created entirely from recycled materials for our Wreath-Cycled Classroom Challenge. The aquarium’s annual holiday breakfasts also return December 9, 10 and 16, including a 4-D version of a beloved holiday movie and a visit from Santa.

Finally, December 31 will be your last chance to visit Shedd’s Amphibians special exhibit. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth trip, you’ll find the more than 40 amphibian species, from frogs and toads to newts and salamanders, absolutely ribbiting.

For information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

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