The Arts Lawn Grand Opening

Oct 7, 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
"Arts + Public Life JOIN US FOR THE GRAND OPENING 337 E. Garfield Blvd. | Chicago, IL 60637 Join us for a community celebration to commemorate the grand opening of the Arts Lawn, with live dance and music performances, DJs, kids activities, a photo booth, and the return of Arts + Public Life's beloved Vends + Vibes Arts Marketplace! Stay for an outdoor sunset screening of the first film by Black chamber music collective, D-Composed.

The University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts, is thrilled to announce the official grand opening of the highly anticipated Arts Lawn. APL’s first outdoor venue will be a dynamic green space offering arts programs and activations for area residents. Community members are invited to experience the Arts Lawn during the grand opening festivities on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. CT. 

The Arts Lawn is set to become a vibrant hub in Washington Park, fostering cultural enrichment, connection, and economic vibrancy on the Arts Block located on Garfield Boulevard between Prairie and King Drive, a historic corridor in the Washington Park neighborhood. The Arts Lawn will provide equitable access to a multitude of outdoor arts programs, including film screenings, live theater and performances, outdoor music experiences, wellness, youth education initiatives, and arts marketplaces. 

The Arts Lawn includes performance space, outdoor seating, and a great lawn, along with a pavilion and planter seating created in close collaboration with youth from APL’s Design Apprenticeship Program (DAP). The Arts Lawn will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.,  April 1 - October 3, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., November 1 - March 31. 

“The Arts Lawn is a testament to our commitment to supporting the cultural fabric of Washington Park,” stated Adrienne Brown, Arts + Public Life Director. “We are excited to open this multi-use green space, offering a platform for many forms of artistic expression and engagement. We hope the Arts Lawn will serve as an economic catalyst in the neighborhood while fostering a sense of unity and creativity among its visitors.”

The inaugural ceremony on October 7 will feature leaders of the University of Chicago and the City of Chicago, as well as performances by Kuumba Lynx and the King High School Marching Band. In addition, there will be family-friendly activities and a photo booth. The event will conclude with the world premiere of a short film by D-Composed, projected on the exterior screen wall of the adjacent Green Line Performing Arts Center.

Throughout the day, guests will be invited to #SupportingSouthSideArtists at Vends + Vibes, a beloved annual arts marketplace showcasing the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of local South Side vendors. More than 20 entrepreneurs with curated products, including handmade goods and art, will be present. In addition to Vends + Vibes, visitors can shop at the L1 Retail Store (319 E. Garfield Boulevard) and purchase products created by APL’s current L1 Creative Business Accelerator fellows Samantha Jo of Samantha Jo’s Balm Yard, Jamica Harper of Red Elephant Candle Co. and Keyon Huggins of Hyde & Park Co as well as our Legacy Fellow Peter Gaona of Reformed School.

This eagerly anticipated addition marks the fourth space to be managed by Arts + Public Life, further enhancing the dynamic Arts Block. The Arts Incubator (2013), Green Line Performing Arts Center (2018), and the L1 Retail Store (2021) share the block with privately owned dining and event spaces, including the Retreat at Currency Exchange Café and Miyagi Records. For more information about programming events and activities hosted at the Arts Lawn, please visit the website at artsandpubliclife.org.