The Chicago Cultural Center, opened in 1897, is a Chicago Landmark building operated by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events that houses the city's official reception venue where the Mayor of Chicago has welcomed Presidents and royalty, diplomats and community leaders. It is located in the Loop, across Michigan Avenue from Millennium Park. Originally the central library building, it was converted in 1977 to an arts and culture center at the instigation of Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg. The city's central library is now housed across the Loop in the spacious, post-modernist Harold Washington Library Center opened in 1991.
As the nation's first free municipal cultural center, the Chicago Cultural Center is one of the city's most popular attractions and is considered one of the most comprehensive arts showcases in the United States. Each year, the Chicago Cultural Center features more than 1,000 programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of the performing, visual and literary arts. It also serves as headquarters for the Chicago Children's Choir. MB Real Estate provides events management for the center.Chicago Dramatists
Chicago Dramatists is a theatre in River West, West Town, Chicago, Illinois, focused on nurturing playwrights and developing new plays. It was founded in 1979 by Russ Tutterow and is notable for its Network Playwright Program, which offers classes, readings, and critiques to writers of all abilities, and readings of new works for the general public. In 1998, the theatre received a special Jeff Award for its almost two decades of developing plays and playwrights in a manner that has enhanced Chicago's reputation for being a cradle for new theatre works. The theater space itself is small and intimate, seating 77.
Along with nurturing new playwrights, Chicago Dramatists lists many established playwrights as part of their community. Current resident playwrights include Keith Huff (whose award-winning play A Steady Rain was developed at Chicago Dramatists), Lydia R. Diamond, and Mary Ruth Clarke. The interim artistic director is Meghan Beals McCarthy.Chicago History Museum
Chicago History Museum (formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society) was founded in 1856 to study and interpret Chicago's history. It is located in Lincoln Park at 1601 North Clark Street at the intersection of North Avenue in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood. It was renamed the Chicago History Museum in September 2006.Chicago Public Library
The Chicago Public Library (CPL) is the public library system that serves the City of Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois. It consists of 80 locations, including a central library, two regional libraries, and branches distributed throughout the city's 77 Community Areas.The American Library Association reports that the library holds 5,721,334 volumes, making it the 9th largest public library in the United States by volumes held, and the 30th largest academic or public library in the United States by volumes held. The Chicago Public Library is the second largest library system in Chicago by volumes held (the largest is the University of Chicago Library). The library is the second largest public library system in the Midwest, after the Detroit Public Library.Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891. The ensemble makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival. The music director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010. The CSO is one of five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five".DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum of African American History is dedicated to the study and conservation of African American history, culture, and art. It was founded in 1961 by Dr. Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, her husband Charles Burroughs, Gerard Lew, Eugene Feldman, Marian M. Hadley, and others. Taylor-Burroughs and other founders established the museum to celebrate black culture, at the time overlooked by most museums and academic establishments. The museum is located at 740 E. 56th Place at the corner of Cottage Grove Avenue in Washington Park, on the South Side of Chicago. The museum has an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.Garfield Park (Chicago)
Garfield Park is a 184-acre (0.74 km2) urban park located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. It was designed as a pleasure ground by William LeBaron Jenney and is the oldest of the three large original Chicago West Side parks (Humboldt Park, Garfield, and Douglas Park). It is home to the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest plant conservatories in the United States. It is also the park furthest west in the Chicago park and boulevard system.Garfield Park Conservatory
Garfield Park Conservatory, located in Garfield Park in Chicago is one of the largest greenhouse conservatories in the United States. Often referred to as "landscape art under glass", the Garfield Park Conservatory occupies approximately 4.5 acres (18,000 m2) inside and out and contains a number of permanent plant exhibits incorporating specimens from around the world, including some cycads that are over 200 years old.
Along with the Lincoln Park Conservatory on Chicago's north side, the Garfield Park Conservatory provides significant horticultural collections, educational programs and community outreach efforts.Harold Washington Library
The Harold Washington Library Center is the central library for the Chicago Public Library System. It is located just south of the Loop 'L', at 400 S. State Street in Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is a full-service library and is ADA compliant. As with all libraries in the Chicago Public Library system, it has free Wi-Fi internet service. The building contains approximately 756,000 square feet (70,200 m2) of space. The total square footage is approximately 972,000 square feet (90,300 m2) including the rooftop garden penthouse, according to the Zoning department of the city of Chicago. It is named in honor of Harold Washington.List of museums in the United States
A list of museums in the United States by state. According to a government statement, there are more than 35,000 museums in the US.Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma. The company was re-organized by Fox in 1956 under its present name and, after her 1981 departure, it has continued to be of one of the major opera companies in the United States. The Lyric is housed in the Civic Opera Building, which the company now owns.Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum, in Lisle, Illinois, is a public garden and outdoor museum with a library, herbarium, and program in tree research including the Center for Tree Science. Its grounds, covering 1,700 acres (6.9 Square kilometres), include cataloged collections of trees and other living plants, gardens, and restored areas, among which is a restored tallgrass prairie. The living collections include more than 4,100 different plant species. There are more than 200,000 cataloged plants.As a place of recreation, the Arboretum has hiking trails, roadways for driving and bicycling, a 4-acre (16,000 m2) interactive children's garden and a 1-acre (4,000 m2) maze.
The Schulenberg Prairie at the arboretum was one of the earliest prairie restoration projects in the Midwest, begun in 1962. It is one of the largest restored prairies in the Chicago suburban area.
The arboretum offers an extensive nature-centered education program for children, families, school groups, scouts, and adults, including tree and restoration professionals. The Woodland Stewardship Program offers classroom and online courses in ecological restoration techniques. The arboretum also offers credit courses through the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, a regional consortium.Museum Campus
Museum Campus is a 57-acre (23 ha) park in Chicago that sits alongside Lake Michigan in Grant Park and encompasses five of the city's most notable attractions: the Adler Planetarium, America's first planetarium; the Shedd Aquarium; the Field Museum of Natural History; Soldier Field, home of the NFL Chicago Bears football team; and the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place. Museum Campus sits adjacent to Northerly Island along the waterfront.National Museum of Mexican Art
The National Museum of Mexican Art (Formerly known as the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum) is a museum which features Mexican, Latino, and Chicano art and culture. The museum was founded in 1982 by Carlos Tortolero and Helen Valdez. Located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, the current building in Harrison Park opened on March 27, 1987. The museum is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the museum is to display Mexican culture as one sin fronteras (without borders). The museum describes itself as the largest Latino cultural institution in America.Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a nature museum located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1857 by the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the museum, which opened in its present facility in October 1999, is located at the intersection of Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park. The museum focuses on the natural history of the Chicago region, and offers educational programs for children and adults. It is known for its live butterfly house.Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation is a Chicago-based American foundation created to promote poetry in the wider culture. It was formed from Poetry magazine, which it continues to publish, with a 2003 gift of $200 million from philanthropist Ruth Lilly.According to the foundation's Web site, it is "committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience." In partial furtherance of this objective, the Foundation runs a blog called Harriet. Poets who have blogged at Harriet on behalf of The Poetry Foundation include Ange Mlinko, Christian Bök, Stephen Burt, and Rigoberto González. In addition, the Foundation provides several awards for poets and poetry. It also hosts seminars, readings, exhibitions, and a poetry library.
The Poetry Foundation is a non-profit, charitable, 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible.Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is a Chicago theatre company founded in 1974 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise in the Unitarian church on Half Day Road in Deerfield and is now located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Halsted Street. Its name comes from the novel Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse which original member Rick Argosh was reading during the company's inaugural production, And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little, in January 1974.The Second City
The Second City is an improvisational comedy enterprise, best known as the historically first on-going improvisational theater troupe, continually based in Chicago. It also has training programs and live theatres in Toronto and Los Angeles. The Second City Theatre opened on December 16, 1959, and has since become one of the most influential and prolific comedy theatres in the world.The Second City has produced television programs in both Canada and the United States, including SCTV, (SNL), Second City Presents, and Next Comedy Legend. Since its debut, The Second City has consistently been a notable starting point for comedians, award-winning actors, directors, and others in show business, including Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Del Close, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Nia Vardalos, Ryan Stiles, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and many others.Tourism in Chicago
Chicago tourism recorded 55 million visitors in 2017.
In 2016, Chicago saw 54.1 million visitors; a 2.9% increase from 2015. In 2015, it was estimated that 50.1 million visitors came to Chicago, which was a 4.5 percent increase from 2014. From 2010 through 2014, the tourism and hospitality industries have added 9,800 jobs, generating $13.7 billion in direct spending by visitors and $871 million in total tax revenue.
In 2017, Millennium Park was the top tourist destination in Chicago and the Midwest, and placed among the top ten in the United States with 25 million visitors that year.
Museums in Chicago