Chicago Cultural Center Opens its Doors After Hours

August 23, 2023

DCASE Communications


Sept 29: World Music Festival Open House Event
Oct 26: “Under the Dome” Concert
Nov 1: Chicago Architecture Biennial Opens
Plus Ongoing Films, Tours, Shopping and More


“The People’s Palace” Bustles with Free and Engaging Arts Programming—a Chicago must-see for locals and visitors alike


CHICAGO — The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and its partners offer an engaging array of free arts programming throughout the historic Chicago Cultural Center year-round. Opening its doors after business hours, the second installment of the Open House Series takes place September 29, 4pm-8pm enlivening the building with contemporary and classical South East Asian dance performances, live music, film, crafts, meditative practice, food by Bombay Eats, and more. Ragamala, the largest all-night presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States, returns from sunset to sunrise, 6pm-8am, in Preston Bradley Hall, part of the 10-day citywide World Music Festival Chicago celebration.

Additional fall highlights include the free “Under the Dome” concert series, taking place Thursday, October 26 at 6:30pm with dynamic performances under the world’s largest Tiffany glass dome. Rapper and Chicago-native Roy Kinsey brings his “deft skill for storytelling,” as he continues to solidify himself and his contributions in the cannon of Black music and literature. Nico Segal, a trumpeter and producer from Chicago, is a founding member of the band, Kids These Days. His sound weaves an incredibly eclectic range of tones and moods. RSVPs are recommended.

A new exhibition by A Long Walk Home, The Black Girlhood Altar: Freedom Square makes its debut on November 1 (through March 3); the project aims to empower young people to end violence against girls and women. The fifth edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial: This is a Rehearsal also unveils thrilling new exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center on November 1 (through February 11).

The Chicago Film Office along with Cinema/Chicago continue to present Summer Screenings, the annual free film series that casts a spotlight on a different country’s national cinema in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. Guests are invited to watch films from the U.K., Sweden, Spain and more through September 20.

Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the Chicago Cultural Center serves as a cultural hub for Chicagoans and visitors year-round with free arts programming, breathtaking architecture, and tours. Enclosed are details for the fall programming and events. Visit and follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest events and updates.


New Music Programming:

“Under the Dome” Concert Series
Thursday, October 26, 6:30-8:30pm (space opens at 5:30pm)
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South
Free; RSVPs recommended but not required. RSVP online

The “Under the Dome” concert series presents musical performances under Preston Bradley Hall’s Louis Comfort Tiffany art glass dome – the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world. The series gives guests the opportunity to uplift and celebrate local talent. This October, the concert series returns with two acclaimed Chicago artists: Roy Kinsey and Nico Segal.

Chicago born and raised, Roy Kinsey is a black, queer-identified, rapper, and librarian. Roy Kinsey’s non-conformist ideology has informed his 6th album - and self proclaimed, “best work yet,” - KINSEY: A Memoir a dark, sinister, yet sincere, and potent musical performance by Kinsey. Kinsey’s observations are strong on ‘Memoir,’; shaped by early traumas that threatened to debilitate his belief in himself as well as the abilities of his family. It is the manifestation of a queer man, in a black body, coming of age in Chicago.

Nico Segal, a Grammy-nominated trumpeter and producer from Chicago, has built an impressive resume since 2013. Touring with Frank Ocean, founding The Social Experiment with Chance The Rapper, and producing their 2015 album “Surf,” as well as occupying a myriad of high-profile stages, including 3 performances on Saturday Night Live, the 2016 National Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Obama White House, the ESPYS, NY Jazz Fest, and TEDxChicago.

Live Watch Party: “Under the Dome”
Thursday, October 5, 6:30-7:15pm

In the leadup to the October 26 show featuring Roy Kinsey and Nico Segal, guests are invited to an online viewing of a past “Under the Dome” performance from April 2023, which featured Midwest Americana artist Jodi and multi-instrumentalist NNAMDï. View at DCASE's YouTube page.

Chicago Jazz Festival
Thursday, August 31

The Chicago Jazz Festival (Aug 31-Sept 3) is a Labor Day weekend tradition that promotes all forms of jazz through free, high-quality music programming. Programmed by the acclaimed Chicago Jazz Institute, the festival showcases Chicago's local talent alongside national and international artists to raise awareness and appreciation for one of the city’s most beloved art forms. Performances take place at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. Locals and visitors can also enjoy free jazz concerts at local venues across the city the week prior to the Chicago Jazz Festival (Aug 24-31), made possible through the Citywide Jazz Community Funding Program. Full schedule

Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North
11am-12pm: The Live the Spirit Residency Young Masters, Presented by Live the Spirit
12:15-1:15pm: Asian Improv, Francis Wong's “Legends and Legacies,” Presented by Asian Improv
2-3pm: Fred Jackson’s Erudition Project, Presented by The Elastic Arts Foundation
3:15-5:15pm: What is this thing called Jazz? Presented by the Education Committee of the Jazz Institute of Chicago

Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South
11am–12pm: Zubin Edalji’s Four Windows, Presented by The Hyde Park Jazz Festival
12:30-1:30pm: Zack Markstet, Performing Horace Silvers' 1966 release "The Jody Grind,” Presented by The Fulton Street Collective
2-3pm: The Natalie Scharf Quartet, Presented by Illiana Club
3:30-4:30pm: Bobbi Wilson, Presented by The South Side Jazz Coalition

The Chicago Jazz Festival is sponsored by 90.9fm WDCB, Chicago Transit Authority, WGN TV, Millennium Garages, Chicago Jazz Publishing, DownBeat, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism. Family programming at the Chicago Jazz Festival is supported by the Millennium Park Foundation with funding from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation


Open House Event:

Open House: “World Music Festival Ragamala Mash Up”
Friday, September 29, 4-8pm
Chicago Cultural Center


The fall Open House event is inspired by World Music Festival Chicago and highlights South Asian culture with free music and dance activations throughout the building. Guests can enjoy food by Bombay Eats as they encounter engaging performances, films, artists and meetups across three floors of the Chicago Cultural Center.

September 29: Open House Programming

1st Floor
Learning Lab, 1st Floor South
4-6pm         Stop by to meet Artist in Residence and participate in interactive art-making experience

Welcome Center, 1st Floor North
5:30pm        After Hours Building Tour
6-7pm          FOURTUNEHOUSE, Neighborhood Cultural Spotlight –Experience work by the creative company and art center based in Bronzeville with a mission centered around empowering artists and change makers by generating access to creative entrepreneurial resources

Dance Studio, 1st Floor North
4-7:30pm     Mandala Arts, Contemporary and Classical Indian Dance Company, presents multiple performances

Michigan Avenue Galleries, 1st Floor East
5-8pm          A Long Walk Home: Exhibition Preview of The Black Girlhood Altar: Freedom Square

Landmarks Gallery, 1st Floor West
Until 8pm    Exhibition: Great Ideas of Humanity: One of a Series

Washington Lobby, 1st Floor South
4-10pm         Food and drink provided by Bombay Eats for purchase

Randolph Square, 1st Floor South
4-6pm           Sound Bowl performance and meditation
4-8pm           Grab your Bombay Eats and enjoy it in this open space

Buddy, 1st Floor South
4-8pm            Store open for shopping (extended hours and free coffee)

2nd Floor
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North
5:30-7pm        Chicago Film Society presents artist Gautam Valluri’s 16mm abstract visuals on screen (looping, 30min screenings)

GAR Hall, 2nd Floor North
4:30-6:30pm   Create colorful garlands with a special Garland Making activity

3rd Floor
Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor South

Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music
Part of the 10-day World Music Festival Chicago, Ragamala is the largest all-night presentation of live Indian classical music in the United States. Visitors have the rare opportunity to hear the ragas (traditional scales or modes) during the early morning and late-night hours as they were meant to be played

Washington Street Entrance

“Chicago Bronze Cow” will be decorated with garlands for a not to be missed photo opportunity

The next Chicago Cultural Center Open House event will take place, December 9 from 4-8pm highlighting family friendly activities and performances. More info at


Visual Art Exhibitions:

Extended! “Exquisite Canvas: Mural Takeover by Cecilia Beaven, Miguel Del Real, and Anna Murphy”
Extended through September 3, 2023
Michigan Avenue Galleries, 1st Floor East
Photos >>

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the artistry and cultural tapestry that adorns walls and viaducts all over the city. The Michigan Avenue Galleries have been transformed into a dynamic urban landscape by three artist murals in the gallery space. Visitors have witnessed as the artists bring their unique visions to life right before their eyes. These captivating murals reflect the indomitable spirit of Chicago with its diverse communities and rich artistic heritage.

New: “Great Ideas of Humanity: One of a Series”
Presented in collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago
September – December 2023
Landmark Chicago Gallery, 1st Floor West

Featuring works that embrace the increasing globalization of our world and celebrate the resulting cross-pollination of ideas, philosophies, societies, and cultures. The exhibition is a visual response from a variety of artists on the idea of great design and creativity in history.

Upcoming: Freedom Square: The Black Girlhood Altar
November 1, 2023 – March 3, 2024
Michigan Avenue Galleries, 1st Floor East

The Black Girlhood Altar is a multimedia, artifact-based, video, and object-based artwork to create sacred spaces and honor the lives of Black girls and young Black women who have gone missing or been murdered. As a mode of urgent healing – weaving together commemoration and advocacy – The Black Girlhood Altar is built on years of engaged work in Chicago and taking on national prominence. This iteration Freedom Square: The Black Girlhood Altar supports a necessary dialogue with the City of Chicago about the crisis of missing and murdered Black girls and young women. This exhibit creates a space for artists, families, organizers and young people to engage in a public conversation.

Upcoming: Chicago Architecture Biennial, This is a Rehearsal
November 1, 2023 – February 11, 2024

For its fifth edition, CAB 5: This is a Rehearsal, holds a citywide opening celebration and unveiling of exhibits at the Chicago Cultural Center. This event will also be activating all the Biennial’s City Sites concurrent with the opening of the extensive CAB exhibitions. This is a Rehearsal’s horizontal approach demonstrates a commitment to engaging multiple publics and practices while inviting visitors to understand architecture through the city.

Under the Artistic Direction of the Chicago-based artist collective, Floating Museum, CAB 5 will feature the work of more than 80 local and international participants at locations ranging from outdoor community sites to exhibitions spaces that span across the city. Through the lens of rehearsal, Floating Museum invites new possibilities through myriad partnerships to generate new dialogues about creative invention. Each program encourages the public to participate in a process of learning and discovery to collectively explore questions such as ways for how the city can be an active participant in conversations about healthy food production, water reclamation, and material production, as well as critical discussions about power and the construction of history in relation to land rights, access, and use. On September 21, CAB will kick-off the CAB 5 program across more than ten city sites in the lead-up to a celebration and opening of exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center. For details, visit


Film Programming:

Cinema/Chicago’s Summer Screenings
Every Wednesday at 6:30pm, through September 20
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North

The annual free film series casts a spotlight on a different country’s national cinema, co-presented by the Consulate of that country in Chicago. Free tickets are available to reserve beginning 16 days in advance of each screening.

August 23 - City, Living: Chicago Stories, United States
August 30 - Tenéis que venir a verla (You Have to Come and See It), Spain
September 6 - Nowhere Special, United Kingdom
September 13 - Shabu, The Netherlands
September 20 - Så jävla easy going (So Damn Easy Going), Sweden

Celluloid Now, presented by The Chicago Film Society
Saturday & Sunday, September 23 & 24, 2023
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North

The Chicago Film Society returns with another edition of Celluloid Now, which will feature screenings and workshops celebrating contemporary analog film exhibition and artist filmmaking, projected entirely on film. The public is invited to watch screenings of 16mm films from around the world.

Mid-Autumn Festival Screening, presented by Asian Pop-Up Cinema
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor North

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with a screening of HACHIKO, the touching story about a loyal dog named Ba Tong who waited for the return of his owner for ten years after his owner's death. This film is a remake of Kaneto Shindo's 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari. The original film told the true story of the Akita dog named Hachikō who lived in Japan in 1923-1935. All attendees will receive an individually wrapped moon cake after the screening, courtesy of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago.


Dance Programming:

Dance Residency Open Studio Series returns in October 2023.

Stay tuned as each month the public is invited into the Dance Studio to get a sneak peek at work-in-progress showings, artist talks, and more hosted by the current Chicago Cultural Center resident artists. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Walder Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Neighborhood Cultural Spotlight:

Features people, places and things nominated by Chicagoans for their cultural contribution to their neighborhood’s vitality. Check out the features at the Welcome Center, off the Randolph Street Lobby.

FORTUNEHOUSE Art Center” Bronzeville
Fridays & Saturdays, September 1, 2, 15 & 16, 2023

Mission centered around empowering artists and change makers by generating access to creative entrepreneurial resources.

Son Monarcas” Garfield Park, Pilsen, Little Village
Fridays & Saturdays, October 6, 7, 20 & 21, 2023

A Latin Folk Fusion ensemble comprised of musicians well-versed in the Afro-Mestizo genres of folk music from Latin America that blend the traditional with the contemporary by creating original arrangements of "son" while retaining the foundation of the traditional style.

“Ms. Brazhal MSB Dance” Washington Park
Fridays & Saturdays, November 3, 4, 17 & 18, 2023

MSB Dance Ensemble has an Elite performance team dedicated to sharing their talent across the Chicagoland area. MSB Dance Elite Performance Ensemble creates the opportunity for youth to use dance as an escape, a release, and to provide structure and balance in their lives.


Additional Programming:

Gallery Talk
Wednesday, September 13 & Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Welcome Center, 1st Floor North

Join a behind-the-scenes conversation with curators of a Chicago Cultural Center exhibition

Buddy Store

Located on the 1st floor, the Buddy store supports more than 200 local artists and small manufacturers selling Chicago-made art, objects, and more. This collaboration between Public Media Institute and DCASE furthers both institutions’ goals of providing visibility and opportunities to artists across the Chicagoland area. Details at

Ongoing: Buddy presents: Chicago Film Society’s Celluloid Now
Through October 2023
Film Projection Loops by Jiayi Chen

Upcoming: “Tote Bags for Refugees Art 4 Sale” Exhibition
Buddy’s series of curated exhibitions dedicated to specific themes, artists, products, and organizations rotating periodically throughout the year.

Upcoming: Opening Reception, Tote Bags for Refugees Art 4 Sale
Friday, August 25, 2023

Upcoming: Writing and Producing Fwd: Museums - [Redacted] Issue Launch Event & Panel Discussions
Friday, September 8, 2023
Two Panel discussions asking: In what ways is a community, culture, history redacted in museums?

Upcoming: Opening Reception, Chicago Film Society’s Celluloid Now
Saturday, September 23, 2023

Upcoming: Guided Tour @ Buddy
Saturday, October 7, 2023
Stories behind featured works by Chicago artists

Upcoming: Table Top Holiday Trees Art 4 Sale
October-November 2023
Through January 1, 2024

“Meet an Artist”
Friday & Saturday, August 25 & 26, 2023
Learning Lab, 1st Floor South

Visitors are invited to join Summer 2023 Artist in Residence, Aquil 'AQ" Charlton, a musician and teaching artist, for several great DIY instrument making workshops and jam sessions with other collaborating artists. AQ will have a mobile studio set up to generate a library of sounds that will be woven into music and played through the sound dome in The Learning Lab. View the schedule on the website.

September – December 2023 (2nd and 4th Friday & Saturday of month)
Learning Lab, 1st Floor South

Mobile Makers Chicago will be in residence in the Learning Lab this fall. This nonprofit organization makes design education accessible to all. Their bright orange renovated mail truck can be spotted around the city encouraging conversation about positive change in the built environment. Join us for design and skill-building workshops on the second and fourth Friday and Saturday of the month (September through December).


Building tours reveal the storied history of the landmark Chicago Cultural Center and are offered year-round on Thursdays and Fridays at 1:15pm. Tours are free and led by volunteer docents and/or staff. Limited to the first 25 people who sign up at the Randolph Street desk upon arrival.


Chicago Cultural Center
Completed in 1897 as Chicago’s first central library, the building was established as the Chicago Cultural Center, the nation's first and most comprehensive free municipal cultural venue, in 1991. One of the most visited attractions in Chicago, the stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free art exhibitions, performances, tours, lectures, family activities, music, and more – presented by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and many others. Learn about the latest events and news at and by following the Chicago Cultural Center on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder, and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city—to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city—serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For details, visit and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.


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