• July 21, 2018, 10:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Art Institute of Chicago Block Party

Art Institute of Chicago

111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60603

Join fellow artists, historians, storytellers, performers, and a crowd-sourced roster of community contributors of all ages and backgrounds for open conversations, gallery experiences, and creative responses to the Art Institute's renowned collection. 

This daylong gathering highlights the deep and lasting contributions of Chicago's creative communities. Experience a progression of events activating the museum's galleries, libraries, study rooms, gardens, and public spaces, culminating in exciting music performances, all celebrating our city's rich history and bright future. 

Program Highlights


Ben LaMar Gay     

9:30 p.m. (1 hour)  

Griffin Court

Composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ben LaMar Gay leads his quartet in an ecstatic performance, weaving together free jazz, sensuous funk, Brazilian rhythms, and dixieland to present a living portrait of Chicago music today. 



Mikel Patrick Avery: Parade      

5:00 1 p.m.(1 hour)  

North Garden to Griffin Court

Interdisciplinary artist Mikel Patrick Avery, in collaboration with up to 14 Chicago musicians, puppeteers and yo-yo artists, presents Parade, a procession and composition developed in response to stories collected with residents on the south side of Chicago.



Mobile Street Art Cart with William Estrada  

10:30 a.m. –3:00  p.m.

Modern Wing Entrance        

Add your words and pictures to a silkscreen print.



Tour the Block with Julia Bachrach

11:00 a.m. (1 hour), Meet in the North Garden Terrace 

1:00 (1 hour) and 3:00 p.m. (1 hour) Meet in the South Garden 

Learn about the fascinating history of the Art Institute and its outdoor museum setting within Chicago’s “Front Yard” with Julia Bachrach, author of The City in a Garden: A History of Chicago’s Parks.



Reading Charles White with The Lucky Trikes

11:00 a.m. (15 minutes)

Griffin Court

Performance artists The Lucky Trikes celebrate a brand new children’s book about Chicago artist Charles White. Recommended for families with young children.



The American Indian Center and the National Cambodian Heritage Museum

11:00 a.m. –2:00 p.m.

Ryan Learning Center, Studio A

Cambodian community members and American Indian community members explore their cultural identities through the arts.



Drawn From Chicago: Make and Mail Postcards with Intuit

Ryan Learning Center, Classroom 5

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Make your own Joseph Yoakum-inspired postcard image of Chicago city sites and mail it to someone special. 



Axiom Brass–Into the World Came a Soul Named Ida        

3:00 p.m. (20 minutes) and 4:00 p.m. (20 minutes) 

Gallery 261   

Hear Axiom Brass perform a new composition inspired by Ivan Albright’s painting.