Welcome to Chicago’s Culture Coast,
a collection of artistically vibrant
neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

Stay Tuned

February 15, 2015

We are pleased to announce that the new Culture Coast website will launch at the beginning of March. In the meantime, check our calendar and stay tuned for more updates on the new website.

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Call For Creative Entrepreneurs

November 14, 2014

Apply for a free booth at Vends + Vibes: An Arts Marketplace taking place Dec 7, 2014

Application Deadline: Sun, Nov 16
Online ApplicationArts + Public Life’s Creative Business Incubator is accepting applications for Vends + Vibes, an arts marketplace and music event featuring local DJs, artists, and entrepreneurs.


All Chicago-based artists and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply, but priority will be given to those living or operating businesses on Chicago’s south side. Selected vendors will be provided with a booth, table, and chairs free of charge.

Selected vendors will be notified by Tue, Nov 18.

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November Member Meeting Announced

November 5, 2014

Do you represent an arts or cultural institution on the south side of Chicago? Become a Culture Coast member. The Culture Coast Advisory Committee invites you to the Culture Coast Network member meeting on Thursday November 13 at 3:30 pm at the Smart Museum of Art, 5550 South Greenwood Avenue.

In addition to providing an opportunity to learn more about Culture Coast and network with other members, this event will feature guest speaker Will Towns, Assistant Vice President in the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement who leads the department’s Neighborhood Initiatives team. Mr. Towns will be speaking with the Culture Coast Network on how the group can help bring the Obama Presidential Library to the South Side.

This member meeting will take place in the Smart Museum of Art’s Gallery X, a flexible, open space at the center of the museum that will serve as a hub for creative discussions and experiences of all sorts during the Smart’s 40th anniversary exhibitions. Space is limited, RSVP.

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2015 Individual Artists Program Grants

October 13, 2014

The DCASE Cultural Grants Team has announced its 2015 Individual Artists Program which offers project-specific and professional development funding for artists and creative professionals. The application for this program will be available on Friday, October 24 and due on Wednesday, December 17. Details about the grant criteria are available on their website www.chicagoculturalgrants.org.

To prepare interested applicants DCASE is offering Application Assistance Workshops where they will review current grant guidelines and provide tips and guidance to help applicants to prepare the strongest, most competitive applications possible. The same content will be repeated during each workshop. All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend, as they have made several updates to the program.

All workshops are free of charge however advance registration is required.

2015 IAP Grant Training Workshops

  • Wednesday, October 8, 2014 – 6:30-8:30pm (Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 Lincoln Ave.)
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 – 5-7pm (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. –
    5th floor Millennium Park Room)
  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – 10am-noon (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. – 5th floor Millennium Park Room)
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014 – 11am-1pm (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. – 1st floor Garland Room)
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014 – 5-7pm (Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. – 1st floor Garland Room)

To register, please click here.

This program is partially supported by a Grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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SSCAC Board Selects New Executive Director

August 20, 2014

The Board of the South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) today announced the selection of Maséqua Myers as Executive Director. Myers assumes the position held by Interim Director Arcilla Stahl since February of this year.

Myers is a seasoned arts executive who has provided leadership and advocacy for nonprofit arts organizations for more than twenty years. She comes to SSCAC with extensive experience in the development of multidisciplinary arts programming, arts education and program development and will be instrumental to the SSCAC’s continued development as it approaches its 75th anniversary in 2015.

“We are excited about Maséqua accepting this position with SSCAC,” said Board President Sammie Dortch. “We work with a broad spectrum of constituents including artists, educators, youth, partner organizations and elected officials and we believe she has the depth and breadth of experience to represent SSCAC with each of these groups.

“I am honored to take the reins of this important historical and cultural institution,” said Myers. As SSCAC enters its 75th year it is poised to continue being a force in the arts community and a contributor to the cultural life of Chicago and beyond.” For more details, contact P. Andrews-Keenan at 312.206.2821 or pkeenan1@comcast.net. – P.A. Keenan

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Bronzeville Bikes Spoketacular

August 7, 2014

The South East Chicago Commission and Bronzeville Bikes cordially invites you to attend the Bronzeville Bikes Spoketacular!  The event will include bike safety tips, a sustainability bike tour at 3pm, a bike sale for refurbished bikes, a bike donation drop off site for unwanted or used bikes, and ice cream social!

Check out this great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYVjz0Spu7g

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Secret of the Mummies

August 1, 2014


Location: The Oriental Institute Museum
Date: Wednesday, August 6, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Recommended for children ages 8-12

Help us prepare our ‘mummy’ for the afterlife, meet some real mummies in the galleries, and discover tomb treasures. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Registration required. Free.  Register at: https://oi.uchicago.edu/order/classes


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The Moving Body: At Play

July 30, 2014

August 23, 2014.  The Moving Body: At Play is a 2-hour workshop and performance event featuring Red Clay Dance Company and Ayodele Drum and Dance. This is an all ages event. Join us for a 1-hour workshop in African and Afro-Contemporary Dance followed by a 1-hour high energy and engaging performance. This is a FREE OUTDOOR event! Bring your dancing feet, your lawn chairs and spend your Saturday with us!   www.redclaydance.com

NOTE: Fuller Park is located at 331 W. 45th St. Chicago, IL  60609. FREE STREET PARKING.

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Wine and Beer through Ancient History: A Scavenger Hunt

July 28, 2014

A Night of Fun and Philanthropy at the Oriental Institute of Chicago
October 16, 2014

Young Professional Leaders invite you to join them for a fundraiser benefiting the Oriental Institute Museum Feature Exhibits.  The night will bring together the community in support of refreshing the galleries with feature exhibits that allow Museum Staff to present rarely seen artifacts from the Oriental Institute’s extensive collection or explore a unique topic.

At this evening reception, guests will enjoy:
Open Beer and Wine Bar
Delicious Bites
An exclusive brew from a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer recipe recreated by Great Lakes Brewing Co. & Oriental Institute scholars,
A scavenger hunt through the Museum’s galleries paired with
Wine and beer tasting from regions in corresponding galleries and other ancient empires.

Ticket Costs:

$40 Members in advance
$50 Non-members in advance
$150 for a four-person team in advance
$60 for all at door based on availability

The event will take place on October 16, 2014 from 6:30-9:30pm.  Visit oi.uchicago.edu/hunt for more information.

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July 18, 2014

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts – Through August

The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life initiative, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, and Logan Center Exhibitions present Testimony, an exhibition featuring the 2013/2014 Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture artists-in-residence. Coming from diverse disciplines and approaches but finding common ground in their interest in oral culture (both musical and discursive) David Boykin, Krista Franklin, and Andres L. Hernandez set out to develop ambitious new works that move beyond the act of witnessing towards laying truth claims and also grounding fantasies.

Special Events:

Sunday, July 20, 12–1:30 pm, Café LoganPublic discussion with Andres L. Hernandez as part of the ongoing series

Absence is Fullness: A (E)utopian Assembly

Wednesday, July 23, 6–7:30 pm, Café Logan

Krista Franklin in conversation with Alexander Weheliye

Wednesday, August 27, 6-7:30 pm, Café Logan

David Boykin in conversation with Nicole Mitchell

Photo Credit: David Boykin in collaboration with Angel Elmore and Kasandra Skistad, 2014, Drone of Testimony: A Vigil Against US Drone Attacks, installation view, four channel video and sound (20:36), paper; photo by Mitch Marr

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In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East

July 11, 2014

Oriental Institute Museum – through January 4, 2015

More than fifty artifacts show how the living and dead interacted to commemorate ancestors in the ancient Middle East. The exhibit includes vessels used in ancient rituals, effigies that preserved the memory of the deceased, and video that recreates such an offering rituals that was enacted in about 735 BC.  FREE with donation.   For more information visit http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/special/remembrance/

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Serial Drawings: Robert Barnes, Barbara Rossi, Robert Lucy

July 2, 2014















The Smart Museum presents an intimate exhibition of three sets of drawings by three generations of artists associated with Chicago.

“Serial Drawings: Robert Barnes, Barbara Rossi, Robert Lucy” considers three sets of drawings by three generations of artists associated with Chicago. Robert Barnes, Barbara Rossi, and Robert Lucy all work in a figurative mode, though each assumes a different and highly personal approach to the human form. They all have explored drawing’s expressive or narrative potential through unified cycles of drawings, ranging from four to eleven works.

The exhibition reunites ten drawings by Barnes that are based on Ezra Pound’s Cantos(1961). Also featured are Rossi’s series Very Rich Hims and Hers (1970) and Lucy’s suiteSea Fashions (2002–03).

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Free Concert Series in Nichols Park

July 2, 2014

The Nichols Park Advisory Council and 4th on 53rd Parade Committee are hosting free music in the park this summer in Nichols Park in Hyde Park.  The George Franklin Memorial 2014 Summer Sunday Concert Series will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sundays from July 13 to Sept. 14 at the Nichols Park North Fountain Patio at 1355 E. 53rd St. The park has been hosting public musical performances for twenty years but this summer promises to be the most diverse line up to date.  The 2014 series will host every genre from R&B/soul and blues to indie rock, reggae, cumbia, and funk.  As Stephanie Franklin, George Franklin Memorial Summer Sunday Concert Series event chair notes, “It’s a really pleasant thing to do when you’ve spent the weekend running errands and cleaning the house and then on Sunday late afternoon you can sit for a couple hours in the park, enjoying some interesting music.”

This summer’s lineup includes:

July 13: Bernard Crump (“James Brown Review” & “Muddy Waters Tribute”)

July 20: Bruce Henry (R&B/soul)

July 27: The Damn Choir (indie rock)

Aug. 3: Billy Flynn (blues)

Aug. 10: Akasha (reggae)

Aug. 17: Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquestra (Latin/cumbia)

Aug. 24: The Heard (funk)

Aug. 31: Dave Herrero (Texas rock)

Sept. 7: Strictly Jug Nuts (jug band)

Sept. 14: Billy Branch (blues)

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Shakespeare in Nichols Park

July 1, 2014

Spectralia Theater will present Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” on Sunday July 6 at 5 pm at Nichols Park 53rd St. Kenwood Ave. Free and open to the public but donations to the Spectralia company welcome.

Spectralia Theatre, in cooperation with Friends of the Parks and the Chicago Park District, presents William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona against the backdrop of the 1896 Yukon Gold Rush featuring prospectors, saloon gals, and outlaws in a search for love and fortune. This family-friendly, 90-minute version of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is a great introduction to Shakespeare as well as a new take on a classic comedy. Patrons are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and/or chairs to this outdoor production.

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Logan Family Saturdays

March 13, 2014

Every month, the Logan Center partners with local artists, arts organizations, and student organizations to host affordable matinees and free, interactive workshops for families with children between the ages of 2 and 14. Past matinees have showcased the work of performers like the soulful violinist Lee England Jr., and the lively ensemble Third Coast Percussion. For children more interested in hands-on learning than performances, the Logan Center has offered workshops as diverse as lessons with Hyde Park School of Dance, a DJ academy, and Lego animation projects.

On March 22 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, the Logan Center will host a new set of family-friendly workshops, along with a colorful new matinee. Asian American storytelling duo, Eth-Noh-Tec, will tell their unique stories through music, dance, and rhythmic dialogue in a performance geared towards parents and children ages 6 and up. Children under the age of 6 have the chance to enjoy the afternoon creating arts and crafts with Windy City Arts ditty or singing along to Mama Zahra’s folk songs. After the matinee, families are invited to join Hyde Park Suzuki for a series of games that will teach the basics of music theory, including reading simple rhythms and singing the notes of the musical alphabet. Children ages 7 to 11 are also invited to learn the basics of DJing with DJ Mastermix Academy.

Logan Family Saturdays will run monthly until July 12, at which time new programs will be announced for the coming academic year. The Logan Center offers discounted family passes for its Saturday matinees, and the workshops are always free. Register for both through the UChicago Arts Box Office, and be sure to like Logan Center Family Saturdays on Facebook for updates on upcoming events.

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March Culture Coast Meeting at the Southside Community Art Center

March 12, 2014

This month’s Culture Coast Member meeting will take place at the South Side Community Art Center, where in addition to networking with other members and discussing new and upcoming projects and events, you will also have the opportunity to experience one of the most historic and culturally rich arts organizations on the South Side.

Originally opened in 1940, the South Side Community Art Center is the oldest African American Art Center in the United States. It emerged onto the art scene with a splash, showing the works of local artists Henry Avery, Charles White, and William McBride, as well as a list of several other renowned painters and sculptors. Legendary first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, dedicated the space in a 1941 a ceremony that attracted the likes of actress Ethel waters and Harlem Renaissance leader Alain Locke. Despite ups and downs during World War II and the 1950s, the center thrived in the 1960s, serving as a hub for community artists. Throughout the last few decades, the Center has acquired an invaluable collection of works by African-American artists.

Today, the art center continues its legacy of showcasing emerging and established artists with curated gallery exhibitions, while also providing arts education programs that support budding arts enthusiasts of all ages.  Learn more about the space and its various resources and exhibitions during the member meeting on March 27 from 3:00-5:00 pm. Please make sure to RSVP at info@culturecoastnetwork.com.  South Side Community Art Center address: (3831 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60653).

The mission of the Culture Coast Network is to promote and position Chicago’s South Side as a premier cultural destination, support audience building efforts of organizational members, and serve as a catalyst and collective for city-wide cultural programming and destination marketing partnerships.

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October Culture Coast Meeting at the New Hyatt Place

October 9, 2013

If you are interested in networking with other Culture Coast members and learning more about the new Hyatt Place, located on 5225 S. Harper Ave., and its relationship with the south side community, please join us there on the ground level for our event on Wednesday, October 9 from 4 – 6 pm. Maurese Nelson, Director of Sales, will give a brief presentation on the new hotel and its relationship with the south side community, and Hyatt Place staff will be available to answer questions and share information. During the remainder of the event, you will have the chance to update one another on new events or projects taking place in the community. Please RSVP at info@culturecoastnetwork.com if you are able to attend.

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Obama Presidential Library One Step Closer to Calling Chicago’s Culture Coast “Home”

September 20, 2013

The Barack Obama Foundation announced on Sept. 15 that the collaborative effort led by the University of Chicago to bring the Obama Presidential Library to Chicago’s South Side has been selected for the final round in the foundation’s site selection process.  The three other finalists are University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Hawaii.

In a release on the University’s website, President Zimmer said, “Today’s news affirms our strong belief that the library could be transformative for the heart of the South Side, bringing new economic and cultural opportunities to all of Chicago. We will move forward with a bid that honors the rich history and traditions of the South Side and the promising future of our city.”

 After a final proposal deadline in December and review period by the President and First Lady the final decision will be announced in early 2015.  To learn more about the South Side’s bid go to oplsouthside.org.
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Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2013

August 22, 2013

The 7th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival starts the last weekend of September, featuring renowned local and international jazz acts across the Culture Coast. This year, the festival has expanded to more than 18 hours of free music across two days.

On Saturday, September 28th, some of Chicago’s premier jazz artists will perform throughout the Culture Coast neighborhood, from the Midway Plaisance, to Kenwood Academy and the DuSable Museum. On Sunday, September 29th, outdoor stages on the Midway will play host to another full day of programming, including Chicago’s own Jazz Orchestra, directed by Jeff Lindberg.

Over the past six years, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival has grown into one of the city’s top music festivals, reaching an audience of nearly 20,000 jazz fans in 2012. With even more fantastic, nonstop jazz carrying across the neighborhood, join in to make the weekend’s festival even bigger and brighter.

For more information, including the schedule and full list of performers, please visit hydeparkjazzfestival.org

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Redevelopment along 53rd Street energizes community

May 28, 2013

The redevelopment efforts along 53rd Street are benefiting the growth of Hyde Park’s vital commercial corridor. The University of Chicago is partnering with local businesses, residents, and elected officials to promote economic development in the area and attract customers from both inside and outside of Hyde Park.

In addition to providing more entertainment, dining, and retail options for the entire community, the redevelopment of 53rd Street nearby aims to create approximately 1,320 new jobs. Among the various revitalization projects in the corridor, are the construction and opening of the Harper Theater and the completion of the Harper Court development. Harper Court will feature a Hyatt Place hotel (opening this summer) and a 150,000-square-foot office tower with new administrative space for the University. Retail tenants will include restaurants Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ja’Grill, Park Tavern, and Porkchop, along with Ulta Beauty and LA Fitness. The development will also include expanded space for farmers markets and other community gatherings.

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April Culture Coast Network Membership Meeting with Melissa Cherry from Choose Chicago

April 1, 2013

If you are interested in learning more about Culture Coast Network membership, please join us on Wednesday, April 3, 3:30-5 pm, at the Arts Incubator in Washington Park, located at 301 E. Garfield Boulevard. Melissa Cherry, Vice President for Cultural Tourism & Neighborhoods at Choose Chicago, will be joining us as a guest speaker. Please RSVP if you are able to attend at info@culturecoastnetwork.com or contact us for additional membership information.

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HyPa is now the Culture Coast Network

September 11, 2012

HyPa officially changed its name to the Culture Coast Network on August 7 to better reflect the geographic diversity of our current (and future) members, and to encompass all of the arts and cultural excitement taking place throughout the South Side of Chicago. The mission of our membership driven group will not change and we will continue to support networking and audience building of our organizational members, collaboratively promote and position Chicago’s South Side as a premier cultural destination, and serve as a collective voice in citywide partnership building and engagement. We will benefit from the Hyde Park Arts Center’s role as our fiscal agent for 2013.

We also celebrated our reverse merger with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which after 6 years of widely successful incubation is now ready to take off as their own 501-C3 with close partnership with the Culture Coast Network to continue and grow! Official launch of the Culture Coast Network will take place during Hyde Park Jazz Festival (Sept. 29 & 30)


American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines, writes about “Chicago’s Culture Coast”


For tools, please visit: culturecoast.org

Thanks to all for your participation throughout our strategic planning process, and your commitment and enthusiasm towards the effort ahead.

Thanks also to our supporters who have invested in our arts and cultural collaboration and the launch of Culture Coast campaign including the National Endowment for the Arts, Southwest Airlines, the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council.

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Announcing 2012 Hyde Park Jazz Festival Artists and New Director

May 10, 2012

Some of the greatest names on Chicago’s jazz scene will be highlighting this year’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival coming up on September 29 and 30 including Dee Alexander, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Parker, and Tomeka Reid. HyPa and the Hyde Park Jazz Society, as co-producers of the Jazz Fest, are also hyped to announce this year’s Festival Director, Kate Dumbleton who joins the Jazz Fest from the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE) at Columbia College in Chicago.

Named by Chicago Magazine as the 2011 Best Neighborhood Music Festival, the 6th annual event will continue to be on the Midway on the University of Chicago campus and in the many creative and unexpected, indoor and outdoor venues throughout the Hyde Park neighborhood.
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175 Ways to Celebrate Chicago’s 175th Birthday!

March 9, 2012

In honor of Chicago’s upcoming 175th birthday, the Chicago Sun-Times compiled a list of the 175 best events, restaurants, and everything else to see, do, hear, eat, and drink in our fair city. From takin’ a drive on Lake Shore Drive, to having a drink at Miller’s Pub, to our own Hyde Park Jazz Festival!

The list, which mixes all the standard favorites with a diverse mash-up of museums, concert halls, theaters, and restaurants many may have yet to visit or even be aware of. Rounding out the list was the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, which will celebrate its sixth year this upcoming September 29th and 30th. With so much to see, hear, and do each and every day in Chicago, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival is proud to be a part of this truly Chicagoan list.

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The “Bests” of 2011

December 21, 2011

2011 was a year of “bests” for HyPa’s arts and cultural organizations.  Whether it was for theatre, museum exhibitions, art, music, architecture or food … the awards and accolades are shining on the Chicago Culture Coast.

In performances the Court Theatre stole the show.  This year the Court earned prestigious Jeff Awards for Director Charles Newell and Music Director Doug Peck in the “Large Musical” category for their new look at “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”  Chris Jones, theater critic for the Chicago Tribune included An Iliad as one of the top 10 best shows of 2011.  And TimeOut Chicago featured both shows in their 2011 top 10 list.
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Things to Do in Hyde Park

November 3, 2011

Reprinted courtesy of Concierge Preferred

When looking for things to do in Hyde Park in Chicago, there’s no shortage of parks, museums, galleries, information centers, architectural sites, education centers, religious institutions, and more. Taking a walk through Hyde Park will expose Chicagoans and tourists alike to the vast array of things to see and do, as well as the chance to admire the elegant houses and apartments that have lined the shaded streets for more than a century. Concierge Preferred is the tourist’s and visitor’s guide to enjoying all that Hyde Park has to offer, as well as the surrounding areas that are all within walking distance.
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Celebrate Chicago Artist Month

October 10, 2011

October in Chicago means fantastic fall foliage and Chicago Artists Month (CAM). “Artful Networks” is the theme for this year’s CAM and we have plenty of Artful Networks here in Hyde Park. This is a great time to focus on the visual arts presented by nature as well as the many visual arts organizations in Hyde Park including the Hyde Park Art Center, Little Black Pearl, Renaissance Society, and Smart Museum of Art. As always, HyPa keeps a calendar of events to help you plan your visits to Hyde Park’s arts and culture organizations. Explore the artful networks  in Hyde Park!

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Hyde Park: A Neighborhood of Thinkers

September 26, 2011

The following article is a guest blog from HydeParkJazzBlog.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture for the last of their 2011 series of “Get Up and Go” Insider Tours – guided tours of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. For this tour, we traveled from the loop down Lake Shore Drive to Hyde Park, home of the 5th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, led by Rebecca Janowitz, author of the book Culture of Opportunity: Obama’s Chicago – the People, Politics and Ideas of Hyde Park and a resident Hyde Parker.
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