For Our Neighbors


Overlooking Lake Michigan to the east and the historic Water Tower to the west, the MCA is located in the heart of Streeterville. Nestled between two neighborhood parks—Seneca and Lake Shore—we are proud to be an asset to our local community, and we care deeply about being a good neighbor. Below is an overview of information and programs that benefit our neighbors.

Featured images

Virgil Abloh. Photo: Fabien Montique.
A band plays under the new, overhead garden installed in our second-floor Commons space. Photo: Tim Tab Studios.



The MCA is open every Monday from 10 am-5 pm, in addition to regular museum hours, during the run of Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech." On view from June 10-September 22, Virgil Abloh: "Figures of Speech" is the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer Virgil Abloh (American, b. 1980). Abloh pioneers a practice that cuts across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, and architects.



This summer, enjoy all the MCA has to offer outdoors! Every Tuesday starting June 4, join us for Tuesdays on the Terrace, our free live jazz series on the museum's back terrace and garden, and shop at the SOAR Farmers Market on the MCA Plaza. Vendors at the open-air market offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, cut and potted flowers, baked goods, cheeses, spices, and more. The museum's back gate is open during regular museum hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day and we invite you to relax, picnic, and soak up the sun in our backyard.



This August, we invite you to attend three weekends of music, dance, and storytelling on the MCA stage. Please email komalley@mcachicago.org to reserve up to two comp tickets to these performances including the code "Neighbor for Stage" in the subject line.

Dahlak Brathwaite, Try/Step/Trip

August 16, 7:30 pm Dahlak Brathwaite is a hip-hop artist, poet, actor, and activist whose work was featured on the television series Def Poetry Jam. His work-in-progress, Try/Step/Trip, reimagines his personal journey through a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program. Directed by Roberta Uno, the performers use step dance, spoken word, poetry, and gospel-inspired singing to examine his struggle for vindication in the eyes of the law and society, looking at what the artist sees as a cultural rite of passage for many young black men. Try/Step/Trip is presented as part of the MCA’s New Works Initiative.

Rennie Harris: LIFTED

August 23, 7:30 pm August 24, 2 pm Legendary hip-hop dance theater choreographer Rennie Harris presents Rennie Harris: LIFTED, a new work and loose adaptation of Oliver Twist that follows a teen orphan through his time of grieving to find spirituality and morality in his everyday life. He is then awakened by the liberating spiritual experience of house music and dance often referred to as “going to church.” Performed by a group of local hip-hop dancers and church choir, Rennie Harris: LIFTED is set to an original soundtrack of gospel-inspired house music and follows a community in their deep examination of communion and redemption.

Thurman Barker and Ben LaMar Gay, South Side Suite and Hecky Naw! Angles!

August 30, 7:30 pm Two generations of Chicago-born composers share an evening honoring the history and future of musical experimentation and the profound influence that Chicago’s music played in shaping the minds and lives of the members of the AACM and beyond.

Percussionist, composer, and educator Thurman Barker presents a quintet version of South Side Suite, a new long-form work set to be released in 2019 that looks at how Chicago’s music scene influenced his body of work. Ben LaMar Gay, a next-generation member of the AACM, offers a new dance and video collaboration Hecky Naw! Angles! The performance, which includes choreography by Columbia College professor Raquel Monroe, explores the shapes and sounds of black social dances in Chicago, and is presented as a work-in-progress as part of the MCA’s New Works Initiative.


You Pick 2

The MCA presents a bold, global, and topical lineup of performances and programs that take place throughout the museum, from the theater to the Commons. Receive 20% off your order when you pick 2 events or more.* Exchanges are free; members receive an additional 10% off.

*Applies to select ticketed events. Please call Box Office at 312-397-4010 for more information.


Tuesday and Friday Evening Programs

Did you know that the MCA offers free public programming every Tuesday and Friday evening? Experience live performances, workshops, talks, and screenings led by Chicago artists in the Commons when the museum is open until 9 pm. Take a look at our calendar to plan your next visit.

Featured image

An aerial view of the MCA shows the museum in its bustling city surroundings with Lake Michigan in the distance.
Photo: T McDonald Photography @tmcd.chi.

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Questions? Please email Katy O'Malley.