Events / Activating the Loop’s Community

Activating the Loop’s Community


To promote economic development and placemaking in the Loop, Chicago Loop Alliance launched a program called ACTIVATE in 2014. ACTIVATE transforms alleys from overlooked passageways into pop-up celebrations of art and public space. Six seasons later, ACTIVATE has grown into a beloved Loop staple attended by thousands with a loyal following of creative Chicagoans. 

ACTIVATE provides something the Loop previously lacked — a celebratory, artistic experience meant specifically for locals. By engaging with curators from around the city, ACTIVATE has also created a platform for diverse groups in the city’s downtown core. 

This talk will discuss lessons about placemaking learned from ACTIVATE and explore the role of civic organizations in designing for community development.

Speakers include Chicago Loop Alliance’s Director of Planning, Kalindi Parikh, David Broz (Principal, Gensler), Sam Kirk (Artist), Missy Perkins (Independent Curator) and Barrett Keithley (Artist).