Chicago’s alleys are not just where we put our trash anymore. Now our alleys are where we experience art with ACTIVATE.
ACTIVATE maintains that it is not a festival, but an interactive exhibition of culture and arts where visitors have the opportunity to engage with each other as well as the work some of Chicago’s most creative artists. Each month a different alley will be taken over and be centered on either touch, smell, hear, see, or taste.
This month’s event might be the most interactive as it is focused on touch. If you’re tired of museum guards telling you you’re too close to the painting then this is the event for you. At this ACTIVATE event you’re encouraged to touch and interact with all the artworks. There will be large inflatables along with a ball pit and even some live performances. Not only does ACTIVATE want you to interact with the art, but they want you to be the art too as they’ve put out a wild suggested dress code for the event.
This interactive experience is an initiative of the Chicago Loop Alliance, which creates, manages, and promotes high-performing urban experiences to attract people downtown. The Chicago Loop Alliance aims to bring business and investment into the loop and its rich performing arts sector. Last year, the series attracted 16,000 attendees with over 140 artists and an estimated nearly $500,000 economic impact on the Loop.
ACTIVATE’s touch experience will take place Friday, May 13 from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. at 8th Street Alley located at 205 E. 8th Street, between State St. and Wabash Ave. Admission is free and if you RSVP you will receive a free drink. The other ACTIVATE experiences will take place June 9, July 14, August 5, Sept. 15, and Oct. 13. For more information about the ACTIVATE series visit loopchicago.com/activate.