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Chicago Loop Alliance announces 5th ACTIVATE season, '(EVO)lution,' taking event series beyond Loop alleys

Posted  6 years ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance | jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 312-782-9160


CHICAGO—Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) announces the 2018 season of ACTIVATE, with events to take place 5-10 p.m. on June 7, July 12, Aug. 16 and Sept. 13 in a variety of unexpected spaces in the Loop, including alleys and, for the first time, a portion of the Chicago Riverwalk. More details and locations for each event will be announced as the dates draw near. Guests who RSVP in advance will receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer, wine or a cocktail at the event, with additional beverages available for purchase onsite. Updates can be found at www.loopchicago.com/activate.

ACTIVATE is a popular annual series of pop-up arts programs launched in 2014 that transform alleys and other unexpected places into creative exhibition spaces. ACTIVATE brings people together for an evening of exploration, interaction and celebration in the public realm, inspiring guests to see the Loop anew.

This is the fifth annual ACTIVATE season, and the first time CLA has partnered with the same curatorial group for all four events. Canvas Chicago, the collective behind Voyager NYE and Sub Chroma, joined CLA in developing the season theme, "(EVO)lution."

"(EVO)lution" refers to EVO, a fictional muse representing all of the artistic intentions in Chicago that lead to the continuous evolution of the city’s modern-day arts and culture. EVO is able to open portals to parallel universes, so each ACTIVATE event will see a location in the Loop transformed, with attendees transported to an alternate version of the same space.

Emily Dahlquist, associate director of Canvas Chicago, said Canvas makes for a great partner with CLA and the ACTIVATE series.

"We are skilled at transforming space and bringing people into a different environment that later leaves them inspired," Dahlquist said. "With CLA’s dedication to placemaking and activating public space, we’re excited to inspire people in the Loop who live there, work there or use it as an axis point."

Over the past four seasons, ACTIVATE has generated $2.3 million in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with nearly $1 million in 2017 alone. More than 61,000 people have attended ACTIVATE over the course of the series. Through CLA’s "Linger Longer" program, coupon books featuring exclusive offers and promotions from member businesses will be handed out to ACTIVATE attendees to drive traffic to those businesses before and after each event.

Michael Edwards, president and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance, said ACTIVATE aligns with CLA’s mission to create high-performing urban experiences in the Loop.

"Chicago Loop Alliance does a lot of things, but the goal of everything we do is to ensure the Loop remains a vibrant destination and competitive place to do business," Edwards said. "ACTIVATE creates experiences unlike any other and invites people who may walk through the Loop every day to see it in a new way that inspires them, delights them and gives them a greater sense of pride in all the Loop has to offer them. And at the end of the day, these events are just a ton of fun."

ACTIVATE sponsors include: Presenting sponsor School of the Art Institute of Chicago; title sponsors Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Things and CH Distillery; team sponsor PNC Bank; and individual event sponsors Bobo’s Bars and Topo Chico Sparkling Water.


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. For more information, please visit www.LoopChicago.com/activate

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit www.LoopChicago.com.

About Canvas

Canvas is a network of producers, technicians, fabricators, designers and artists dedicated to the exploration of honest expression. For more information, please visit www.CanvasChicago.com.


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