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Chicago Loop Alliance unveils details for June ACTIVATE event: 'EVO's Bazaar'

Posted  5 years ago

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


CHICAGO—The first event of Chicago Loop Alliance’s 2018 ACTIVATE season, "(EVO)lution," will take place from 5-10 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, on the Chicago Riverwalk at Wabash and Upper Wacker. Inspired by DuSable’s historic trading post along the river, the event site will transform into a vibrant bazaar environment. With the muse, EVO, as their guide, guests will experience the past and exist in Chicago’s modern-day creative renaissance simultaneously at "ACTIVATE: EVO’s Bazaar."

ACTIVATE is a popular 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 see the Loop anew.

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. EVO’s story will continue with events on July 12, Aug. 16 and Sept. 13. Details will be announced at www.loopchicago.com/activate.

Elements of "EVO’s Bazaar" include:

  • Visual art pieces like a DuSable portrait by Marco Miller, painted mirrors by Mairead, a mural wall by AfroKilla, a clock installation, a balloon installation, a Wabash Lights installation and an “EVO’s Bazaar” neon sign
  • Music by futuristic jazz band MindSwimmer and a Silent Disco from 8-10 p.m.
  • Stage design by Andrea Garces
  • Performances by Tomas the roaming magician and the collective Hot Kitchen
  • A treat cart featuring snacks from Goddess and the Baker and a free cotton candy wall

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 known for productions like 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.

"This is a bizarre bazaar," said Canvas Chicago Co-founder and Director Preston Jones. "EVO is inviting people to walk through her portal into this warped version of a bazaar, of this marketplace that exists in an alternate universe in a strange and artistic way. Come walk through EVO’s portal to see what’s on the other side."

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. 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. "Linger Longer" is a program of exclusive offers and promotions to drive traffic to CLA business members before and after each event.

"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. ACTIVATE 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 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 LoopChicago.com.

About Canvas

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