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Category: People & Profiles


Artist's Corner: George Berlin

Location: Harrison Street Alley

Curator George Berlin shares his inspiration and what to expect at Friday's ACTIVATE.  


Celebrating Illumination Award Winner: Michelle T. Boone

Every year, the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation presents an Illumination Award to a selfless civic and community leader who through their ideas, leadership and counsel has increased the experience and well-being for the Loop businesses, residents and visitors.  This year’s Illuminations Award recipient is Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).Michelle will be presented the Illumination Award at Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation’s Illumination Gala on September 25.

We sat down with Michelle to talk about Chicago’s vibrant cultural landscape and her involvement in making Chicago a great city for arts and culture.


Artist's Corner: Thēarē Group

Rob McKay, Thēarē Group President, answers our questions about what to expect at Thursday's event and how Thēarē Group's aims to change the way people think about art. 


The Loop in 2014

In 2014, the Loop flourished on every front. As one construction project wrapped up, it seemed like half a dozen more were announced. Vacancies fell and employment rose. We saw millions of people turn out to cheer on their favorite bands, inspiring young athletes, and limit-pushing daredevils. And around every corner, we celebrated some impressive milestones and anniversaries.


Timeline: Auditorium Theatre turns 125-years-old

Today marks 125 years since the historic Auditorium Theatre first raised its golden curtains in the Loop, ushering in a new chapter in Chicago's history. Completed fewer than 20 years after the devastating Great Chicago Fire, the building—once the largest in the United States—remains a vivid example of the city's resilience.


Then and Now: Macy’s Holiday Traditions

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and Macy’s is preparing for its 107th annual Great Tree lighting at its flagship location on State Street this Saturday, November 8th. In this “Then and Now” entry, we look back at the rich history of Macy’s holiday traditions on State Street.


Jim Lasko: The Great Chicago Fire Festival - Why This

The Great Chicago Fire Festival was created to unite Chicago’s neighborhoods and celebrate Chicago’s grit, greatness and renewal following the fire of 1871. The Great Chicago Fire Festival was built from MIT professor Mark Schuster’s concept of a “signature event”: a cultural event that so genuinely reflects the true nature of a city that it becomes a cultural and economic beacon for its citizens, the nation, and the world.


Cusp Conference brings "the design of everything" to Chicago

Dave Mason is the co-founder of Cusp Conference and Principal / Strategy Director of Multiple, Inc.

Design is practically everywhere. And we believe it's in everyone.

Each year since 2008, Cusp Conference has gathered together 300+ thinkers, innovators, skeptics, believers, visionaries and explorers from business, the arts, science, education, medicine and technology and conducted an exercise in associational thinking.


Illumination 2014: Celebrating Past, Present, and Future

Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation’s tenth annual gala, Illumination 2014, marks the end of a decade since the merger of the State Street Commission in 2004. This wonderful occasion at the Palmer House Hilton will celebrate not only the great accomplishments in the Loop over the last ten years, but also its present and future. In addition, we are honoring Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward, who be in attendance to accept the Illumination Award for his commitment and service to the continued success of the Loop.


Born in Chicago - Special Olympics Chicago celebrates 46 years of building a community of acceptance and inclusion for all

Author and historian Howard Zinn said, "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." It is this idea—that a small act taken by one person, partnered with the support of others, can shape the face of the community—that has allowed Special Olympics Chicago to grow and thrive over the last 46 years.


Safer Foundation: keeping State Street clean and beautiful

If there’s one thing that everyone remarks on coming to downtown Chicago, it’s cleanliness. Thousands upon thousands of people walk on State Street every day, but if you take a look around, you’ll have a tough time finding a single piece of litter or graffiti. How is this possible on one of the most densely populated streets in the Chicago Loop? Two words: Safer Foundation.


Hard Rock Hotel Chicago hosting donor drive for manager Carlyle Robinson

Location: Hard Rock Hotel Chicago

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago is partnering with Delete Blood Cancer DKMS to host the property’s first-ever bone marrow drive on Friday, February 7, 2014. The drive will be held for the property’s Hotel Manager, Carlyle Robinson, who has recently been diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. According to Delete Blood Cancer DKMS, the best chance of finding a genetic match lies with those of a similar racial or ethnic background. Just 30 percent of listed donors are members of ethnic minorities, and of that percentage, African Americans only make up seven percent.


Dean Lane Named Hotelier of the Year

Dean Lane, General Manager of the Palmer House Hilton, was named the 2013 “Hotelier of the Year” at the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association’s Stars of the Industry event.


Bon Voyage! CLA's Doug Maisey to Japan, Beyond

Today, with a mixture of pride and sadness, we at Chicago Loop Alliance bid farewell to our urban planner, Doug Maisey, who has been a valuable part of the CLA family since June 2012.


What to expect at Illumination 2013

We’re dishing up a taste of the Loop at Illumination 2013 -- Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation’s 9th Annual Gala. And with the big event a little more than two weeks away, we figured it was time to pull back the curtain on some of the people and programs that will be lighting up the night. Take a look, and don’t forget to purchase your table or ticket today!


Q&A with the Gala co-chairs

We got a chance to sit down with our Gala co-chairs, Judie Moore Green and Bill Noonan, to get their perspectives on our upcoming Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation Gala, “Illumination 2013,” and hear their tips for first time attendees.


Exec Roche Schulfer Celebrates 40 Years with Goodman Theatre

As Executive Director of the Goodman Theatre since 1980, Schulfer is being awarded a star on the theater’s “Walkway of Stars” on September 24th for his central role in its emergence as a major cultural institution and leading U.S. theater.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Roche Schulfer began his career with the Goodman Theatre as a Box Office Attendant in 1973, just after finishing a degree in Economics from Notre Dame. From there, he quickly rose through the ranks, reaching the position of Managing Director in just eight years with the Goodman.

Many of Schulfer’s colleagues throughout the years say the reasons for his success, both personal and also for the Goodman, are obvious: Schulfer is “a charismatic arts advocate with remarkable business acumen whose leadership led to the establishment of quality, diversity and community as the core values of the Goodman,” said Ruth Ann M. Gillis, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Exelon Corporation, and President, Exelon Business Services Co.

Schulfer has been recognized by numerous boards and organizations within the arts for his leadership and advocacy in the field of theater for over 25 years. During his tenure at the Goodman, his accomplishments are simply too numerous to list in full: Goodman sales revenue rose from $2.5 million to $11.5 million and public support rose from $2 million to $6.6 million; he was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine; the $46 million new Goodman Theatre complex was built (1998-2000); Goodman won the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage (2009), “Best Regional Theater in the United States” by Time magazine (2003), the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (1992), and numerous Joseph Jefferson awards for outstanding achievement in Chicago-area theater.

Chicago Loop Alliance congratulates Roche Schulfer on his transformative achievements in the Chicago theater district, and we look forward to Schulfer’s and the Goodman’s continued success for many years to come!

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