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About Activate

ACTIVATE is a series of pop-up arts programs that encourage visitors to see the Loop anew. The event series transforms alleys and other urban locations into creative exhibition spaces that bring artists and the public together for an evening of exploration, interaction and celebration of the arts. Chicago Loop Alliance launched the placemaking initiative in 2014, making the 2018 season its fifth annual. 

June 7 // 5-10pm


July 12 // 5-10pm


August 16 // 5-10pm


September 13 // 5-10pm


The F Word

ACTIVATE is not a festival. It’s an interactive exhibition of art and culture that takes place over the course of five nights from June through September.

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!).


ACTIVATE is an initiative of Chicago Loop Alliance, which creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences that attract people and investment downtown. Take a look at some of our stats from last year:

Over 61,000


Over 500

local artists

2.3 Million 

in estimated
economic impact over the past four seasons