Sights and Sounds to Enliven Chicago Loop Alleyway in "Activate: See" this August

Ever thought you’d have the most stimulating time indulging your senses in a Chicago alley? That’s what Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) has in mind when it plans to launch its fourth “Activate” event of the year, See, on Thursday, August 5 from 5-10 p.m. in the Couch Place Alley, 170 N State St, between E. Lake Street and W. Randolph Street. This year’s Activate series explores a unique overarching theme of the five senses—touch, hear, smell, see and taste—through dynamic art, music and lights. Guests who RSVP in advance at will even receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer or wine at the event to get them started, with additional beverages available for purchase on site.  

Attendees will rethink how they See the world around them as the Loop’s ordinary spaces transform into extraordinary works of art. Local artists will manipulate the alleyway walls, turning them into canvases for light, color and shadow. Highlights from the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Black Harvest Film Festival intrigue visitors as clips are projected down the length of the alley. 

Over the past two seasons, Activate has generated nearly $900,000 in estimated economic impact to Loop businesses, with more than 30,000 people in attendance over the course of the series. Each Activate event is paired with special promotions from Loop businesses through “Linger Longer,” a program introduced to attendees last summer.

Additional 2016 Activate events will pop up in the Loop on September 15 and October 13.

​Activate is part of CLA’s Loop Placemaking Initiative—an expansive series of innovative public space activations throughout the Loop that continue the organization’s commitment to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences in downtown Chicago.

Guests are encouraged to view Activate: See’s dress code catalogue for suggested attire at Twenty-percent of Activate drink proceeds will benefit Snow City Arts, a non-profit organization that educates and inspires children and youth through the arts in hospitals throughout Chicago.

​For more information, visit

Chicago Loop Alliance's "Activate" event at Haddock Place in Downtown Chicago (photo courtesy of Jennifer Catherine Photography).