[Skip to Content]

Chicago Loop Alliance unveils details for July event, ACTIVATE: Green Room

Posted  4 years ago

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


CHICAGO—The second event of Chicago Loop Alliance’s 2019 ACTIVATE season takes place from 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, in Symphony Center alley (225 S. Wabash Ave.). “ACTIVATE: Green Room” will transform a hidden alley with the sensational spirit of drag. In celebration of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre, top drag queens and kings will perform songs from Broadway musicals, all with the backdrop of pop art installations, inflatable sculptures and eye-popping set designs. Play a part in the transformation with theatrical makeup, courtesy of Macy’s, and an interactive video booth, and hear popular House and techno DJs—all in the alley behind one of the Loop’s iconic theaters.

The event is curated by A Queer Pride and White Mystery as a project of the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation and Presenting Sponsor The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Guests who RSVP in advance receive a free drink ticket, with additional beverages available for purchase onsite. Two more events this season will take place on Aug. 22 and Sept. 26. Details will be announced at www.loopchicago.com/activate.

ACTIVATE is a popular free annual series of pop-up arts programs launched in 2014 by Chicago Loop Alliance 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 experience the Loop in a new way.

Elements of “ACTIVATE: Green Room” include:

This is the sixth annual ACTIVATE season, and the theme in 2019 is “ACTIVATE: Backstage.” The series aligns with the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre and celebrates the role theater has played in the Loop’s success. In addition to the kind of art installations ACTIVATE attendees have come to expect, the events include even more pop-up performances, audience participation, stagecraft and set design than ever before.

“It’s an honor for White Mystery to unite with the organization, A Queer Pride, to celebrate the vibrant, nationally recognized drag performance community here in Chicago,” said Miss Alex White of White Mystery. “ACTIVATE: Green Room is an opportunity for the public to engage in an important cultural milestone of 2019, which is the intersection of the Year of Chicago Theatre, the 100th Birthday of American composer Leonard Bernstein, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. As artists, curators and musicians, our goal is to push the limits for what is possible—and an alley in the Chicago Loop is our stage.”

“Chicago Loop Alliance has supported the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ ‘Year of’ initiatives in the past by partnering on banner takeovers of State Street, but this is the first time we’re dedicating our ACTIVATE season to this initiative,” said Michael Edwards, President and CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance. “That is because we see every day what a huge impact theater has on making the Loop a vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike—our 2018 Arts in the Loop Economic Impact Study proves it. ACTIVATE has always been about transforming unexpected urban spaces with art. This year, we’re putting a special emphasis on the performing arts to celebrate the role they play in this city’s vitality.”

ACTIVATE sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Street Saviors CH Distillery, Clif Bar, Lagunitas, Lyft and White Claw; Pop-Up Partners PNC Bank and Topo Chico; Alley Cats Blake’s Seed Based, Blick Art Materials, Green Thumb Industries and Dos Toros; and Media Sponsor Time Out Chicago.


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 2019 season its sixth annual. Over the past five seasons, ACTIVATE has generated $2.7 million in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with nearly $400,000 in 2018 alone. More than 73,000 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 economic development. For more information, please visit www.loopchicago.com/activate.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) is a membership organization as well as the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation produces public art projects and events. CLA’s mission is to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit www.loopchicago.com.

About the Curators

Miss Alex White and Francis Scott Key White are sibling rock’n’roll duo White Mystery from Chicago. Since 2008, White Mystery has self-released 100 songs, performed 1,000 shows worldwide and pioneered a new generation of musical entrepreneurship through multimedia.

A Queer Pride is a collective of seasoned professionals from Chicago's nightlife landscape, working together to celebrate Pride throughout the year. A combined effort between Scott Cramer, Abhijeet, Melissa Hespelt and Bambi Banks-Couleé, A Queer Pride actively seeks to provide a platform to marginalized and underrepresented members of the LGBTQ community in a political climate that needs these voices to be heard even louder.