Activate Your Nose in the Loop’s Alleys


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 unique as it is focused on smell. You usually try to hold your breath when you’re walking through an alley but that is all about to change. Scent-scapes like Abdel Morched’s flower temple and essential oil blending by Rachel Lechocki are going to flirt with your nose. In addition, Mr. Brown’s Lounge will be activating your nose and your stomach with the Jamaican jerk chicken and rum punch.

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 smell experience will take place Thursday, July 14 from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. at Hard Rock Alley, 230 N. Garland Court. Admission is free and if you RSVP you will receive a free drink. The other ACTIVATE experiences will take place Aug. 5, Sept. 15, and Oct. 13. For more information about the ACTIVATE series visit

Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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