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Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance email@example.com | 815-713-8909
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Oct. 29, 2020
CHICAGO—Chicago Loop Alliance is proud to announce Re-ACTIVATE, a virtual fundraiser to support the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation and to inspire Chicagoans to return to the Loop safely. The virtual event is free to attend and open to the public. It will take place 5-6 p.m. CST on Thursday, Dec. 3, and registration is now open at LoopChicago.com/ReACTIVATE.
Creating an opportunity for the entire Loop community to come together is more important than ever, so unlike past Chicago Loop Alliance Illumination Galas, Re-ACTIVATE will be free and open to the public. There will be opportunities to donate throughout the event, and each donor is entered for a chance to win a work of art live painted by Chicago street artist Afrokilla.
“The evening will offer guests a glimpse at some of the projects, programs and people who have kept the Loop going, and those that will help us rebuild,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards. “And, like you've come to expect from us, we've got a few surprises in store that you won't want to miss.”
Keynote presenter, Toni Griffin, is a Chicago native, founder of the Just City Lab, and an urban planning professor at Harvard University. Griffin was the project director for the Detroit Works Project, a 2010 initiative to map the city’s future, and oversaw the release of “Detroit Future City,” a comprehensive citywide framework plan for urban transformation. She will lead a conversation about strategies for rebuilding a vibrant, healthy and inclusive Loop.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will offer an update on the state of the city. Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards will share Chicago Loop Alliance’s plans for 2021. Special guest Afrokilla will create a one-of-a-kind work of art. Val Warner, Emmy Award-winning host of Windy City Live, will serve as the emcee.
“In a year that has presented unprecedented challenges to our downtown, what we will focus on during this event is rebuilding, reinvigorating and reactivating the Loop so that it ends up even stronger than it was before the pandemic,” Edwards said. “In order to accomplish that mission, we need the whole city on board. We call the Loop ‘Everyone’s Neighborhood’ because it’s where Chicagoans from every ZIP code come together to work, shop, explore and fall in love with their city over and over again. The Loop loves you back, and it needs you. Join us for an evening of exploring what the future of the Loop looks like, and how you can be a part of it.”
Re-ACTIVATE is sponsored by Pressure Washing Systems, CIBC, ComEd, Streetplus, TAWANI Property Management, the Auditorium Theatre, DePaul University, Hard Surface Finishers, Inc., and Hilton Chicago.
About Toni Griffin
Toni L. Griffin is founder of urbanAC LLC, based in New York, a planning and design management practice that works with public, private and nonprofit partnerships to reimage, reshape and rebuild just cities and communities. The practice designs, leads and manages complex and transformative social and spatial urban revitalization frameworks, rooted in addressing historic and current disparities involving race, class and generation. Over the past 10 years, they have successfully collaborated with several major U.S. cities on the cusp of just economic recovery. Recent clients include the cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Memphis and Detroit. www.urbanac.city
Griffin is also a Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she teaches design studios and seminars also rooted in issues of social and spatial justice. She is founder and director of the Just City Lab, an applied research platform that investigates the ways design can have a positive impact on addressing the conditions of injustice in cities. www.designforthejustcity.org
About Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
Lori E. Lightfoot is the 56th Mayor of Chicago. Since assuming office following her historic election, Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments including landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and closing a record $838 million budget gap, as well as key investments in education, public safety and financial stability. Mayor Lightfoot also placed Chicago on the path to a $15 minimum wage by 2021. In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Lightfoot has led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to effectively address its spread and broader public impact, including the creation of the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, among other actions.
About Michael Edwards
Michael M. Edwards is the President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. Since joining Chicago Loop Alliance in 2012, he has been guiding efforts in promoting a high-performing urban experience that attracts people and investment to the Chicago Loop. Edwards is a founding member of the Global Business Districts Innovation Club, a group formed in 2018, as well as a long-time member of the International Downtown Association. Edwards has past executive experience leading the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the Downtown Spokane Partnership, and was formerly a Principal at The Saratoga Associates. He is a recognized expert in downtown management and frequently speaks internationally on key downtown opportunities and challenges.
Keith Smith, aka "Afrokilla" is a Chicago based artist, who shares vibrant self-expression through the groove of the streets. Five years strong, his true colors have been seen through live painting events, public murals and rebranding local businesses. His artwork aims to spread spiritual happiness. His passion is to inspire people while giving back to the culture around him.
About Val Warner
Val Warner is the Emmy Award-winning host of Windy City LIVE, ABC 7 Chicago's popular afternoon talk and entertainment show airing weekdays at 1 p.m. and midnight. Each weekday, Val brings fun to daytime television, covering everything Chicago from politics to celebrity interviews and fashion, to what's on people's mind around town. Her talent as host and interviewer contributed to Windy City LIVE winning three prestigious Chicago Emmy Awards for shows on bullying, breast cancer and stopping violence in Chicago. She won another Emmy for her role in ABC 7's New Year's special, COUNTDOWN CHICAGO.
Val also contributes to ABC 7 Chicago programming efforts and has served as a co-host of ABC 7's Chicago Lights Festival and the annual Bud Billiken Parade. Val knows the importance of giving back to the community. She volunteers her free time helping numerous charitable organizations throughout the Chicago area including The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Chicago Bulls Charities, and the South Suburban Family Shelter, among others. She has received many honors for her community service.
About Chicago Loop Alliance
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA)’s mission is to create, manage and promote positive and inclusive programs that attract people to the Loop and accelerate economic recovery. CLA is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015. For more information, please visit here.
About Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation
The Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation is a 501(c)(3) affiliate organization that pushes the limits of what a downtown can be for its residents, workers and visitors. The Foundation seeks to enrich the Loop's public spaces through artistic expression and free cultural programming. By building a connection between people and the places they share, the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation hopes to create an inclusive downtown environment that fosters creativity and enhances the Loop's appeal to the people and businesses that are a part of it. For more information, please visit here.