About Photos 2017 Call For Curators


ACTIVATE takes place from 5 - 10 p.m. RSVP for a free drink!

May 13 //  Touch // 8th St. Alley


Unlike your typical art shows, we won’t ask you to refrain from touching the artwork. We want you to touch, bounce, poke, and play with the art. TOUCH will feature massive inflatables, live performances, and a ball-pit like zone for people to explore.

Suggested Dress Code: We don’t want you to just experience art; we want you to be a part of it. Check out our suggested dress code for TOUCH. -> VIEW

June 9 // HEAR //  Sullivan Center Alley


Come dance to the beat of your own drum, or at least a headset at ACTIVATE's first Silent Disco! We've curated the perfect soundtrack for your Thursday night! HEAR will feature DJ IMGRNT and live performances by rock'n'roll duo White Mystery, R&B artist KHALLEE, and mind-bending classical music by NON:op. RSVP in advance to receive one free drink (21+), it might even improve your dancing skills.

BE FANCY: Check out our suggested dress code for HEAR -> VIEW

July 14 // SMELL // Hard Rock Alley


Get a whiff of this! ACTIVATE is back on July 14 with SMELL. Follow your nose to 230 N. Garland Court for an introspective sensory experience led by smells, sights and sounds. Explore unique "scent-scapes" created by local artists and designed to delight your nose and relax your mind. Artist Abdel Morched has curated a strong ensemble of artwork including a flower temple, Chakra balancing paintings, aerialist work by Eve Vandergrift, essential oil blending with Rachel Lechocki, Urban Life Rafts and Zipcar smell zones.


We've partnered with Mr. Brown's Lounge to fill the alley with the spices and smoke of authentic Jamaican jerk chicken and rum punch that will be available to purchase (cash only). RSVP in advance to receive one FREE beer or wine (free drink ticket does not include rum punch).


Check out our suggested dress code for SMELL. -> VIEW

August 5 // SEE // Couch Place Alley


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. Check out the suggested dress code to be a part of the art experience→VIEW

September 15 // TASTE // Cow Path Alley


Let your tastebuds take you on a journey from alley to rooftop at ACTIVATE - TASTE. Your experience starts in Cow Path Alley where you'll find art installations by local artists, a fashion show, DJs and plenty of sweet surprises. Next, head to AIRE at Hyatt Centric the Loop and Boleo at The Gray as the energy of ACTIVATE follows you up to the rooftops for more art, food, live shows and specialty bites and sips. Check out the suggested dress code to be a part of the art experience → VIEW


October 13 // CELEBRATE // Sullivan Center Alley


Experience a sensory explosion of light, color and music at our final ACTIVATE of 2016. ACTIVATE - CELEBRATE THE SENSES will bring back your favorite elements from the season with plenty of new surprises curated by Lindsey Meyers and Simone Garcia of Sinergia and Beauty & Brawn. Let your senses go wild with a live animal exhibition from Chicago Zoological Society I Brookfield Zoo, light Installations by School of the Art Institute of Chicago students and live music.

Stay in the Loop

Details about ACTIVATE, including location, are announced two weeks prior to each event. Sign up to be the first to find out!

Sign Up