Chicago Cultural Center Learning Lab

Chicago Cultural Center, 1st Floor South

FREE Admission * Open during Meet an Artist, 12-2pm

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Learning Lab is an interactive studio that offers sights, sounds, and experiences for visitors of all ages and a wide range of abilities. Reinvigorated by design team Made in Englewood (Eric Hotchkiss and Andre Westhelle).

If you have an inspiration for presenting in our Meet an Artist series, please review the criteria and submit a proposal online.  Meet an Artist Proposal Application

Meet an Artist Schedule, 12-2pm:


Ten Thousand Ripples

Indira Johnson, Ten Thousand Ripples

Indira Johnson is an artist and peace activist who uses art as a catalyst to foster dialog about peace and non-violence. Her residency marks the 10th anniversary of the Ten Thousand Ripples Project (TTR) in which 100 fiberglass and resin Emerging Buddha sculptures were installed at sites in ten Chicago-area neighborhoods. TTR is a partnership between artist Indira Johnson and Changing Worlds. “A powerful and profound need exists within each of us to know that peace is possible in spite of the violence that surrounds us,” Johnson says.

On Friday, September 30, 6-10pm in conjunction with the Ragamala festival, Johnson invites all visitors to join in the creation of Community Blessings Rangoli drawing in the Learning Lab, using flowers, herbs, dirt, and other natural materials. The Rangoli Drawing will continue October 14 and 15, 11am-3pm with a closing ceremony at 2:30pm involving Maggie Bridger and dancers from Unfolding Disability Futures. All are invited to participate.

Influenced by a South Asian folk-art tradition. the Community Blessings Rangoli drawing is created from natural materials that embody wishes for the well-being of our community and demonstrate our collective hopes for a peaceful world.

  • Friday, September 9
  • Saturday, September 10
  • Friday, September 23
  • Saturday, September 24
  • Friday, September 30, Ragamala special event, 6-10pm
  • Friday, October 14, 11am-3pm
  • Saturday, October 15, 11am-3pm

Maggie Bridger, Cultivating Chicago’s Disability Dance CommunityMaggie Bridger, Cultivating Chicago’s Disability Dance Community

Maggie Bridger is a sick and disabled dance artist and scholar whose work centers around disabled bodyminds in dance, with a focus on reimagining pain through the creative process. In residence at the Learning Lab, Maggie is partnering with High Concept Labs and local disabled dance artists to develop a pilot program to support and platform Chicago's disabled dancemakers."

  • Sunday, October 23, 1-3pm
  • Friday, October 28
  • Saturday, October 29
  • Friday, November 11
  • Saturday, November 12
  • Friday, November 25
  • Saturday, November 26

Stay Connected

Visit us:

Chicago Cultural Center

Admission is FREE
Open Daily, 10am–5pm
Exhibitions close 15 minutes before the building closes
(Closed Holidays)

Plan Your Visit


Self-Guided Public Art Tour Guide (PDF)

Find us:

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602


Take CTA to Chicago Cultural Center

  • From the elevated lines: exit at Washington/Wabash and walk east.
  • From the subway: exit at Lake (Red Line) or Washington (Blue Line) and walk east.
  • Served by Michigan Avenue buses 3, 4, 19, 20, 26, 60, 66, 124, 143, 147, 151, 157 and Washington St. buses 4, J14, 20, 56, 66, 147


Meet an Artist

  • Friday, December 9
  • Saturday, December 10
  • Friday, December 23
  • Saturday, December 24

Education and Engagement

  • Learning Lab / Learning Light - Explore how your movements affect light and color in this installation by Liviu Pasare visible from both inside and outside the Learning Lab.





  • Rolling Walls - Divide and define the space with two mobile walls inspired by CTA cars and feature exhibition space for small objects as well as storage for the A-frame tables.


  • Pop-ups - A-frame tables create a spot for artists to engage with visitors up close. Tables are easily folded and tucked away in an instant inside the rolling walls to create wide open space.


  • Interactive Wall - Explore making your own music by tightening strings and pegs or tapping on a slotted drum, peer into spaces for intimate viewfinder surprises, or relax with a book off the shelf.


  • Mobile Art Cart - Hands on exploration of color, light, tone, and space on the go. Created by Rich Faron and Museum Explorer.

Enjoy these features from beyond the glass doors:

  • Explore how your movements affect light and color in this installation by Liviu Pasare entitled, “Learning Lab / Learning Light.”
  • Enjoy selected artwork and videos of programs from artists around the world projected onto the wall as part of a curated series, "Now Playing…Sights and Sounds.”

Educational Resources


Comics with Elgin Smith and Stanford Carpenter at the Learning Lab

Chicago: Where Comics Came to Life (1880-1960) - Comics are meant to be read and not just seen. Check out this amazing exhibition of Comics that tell stories of everyday existence rooted in Chicago's neighborhoods. Learn about the important work of the first African American and woman cartoonists widely published in newspapers. Meet contemporary cartoonists and discover how they are continuing (or bucking) the traditions that came before them. Originally aired on Streamables, Inc. on Sept 8, 2021.