ACTIVATE event, 2015 (photo courtesy of Chicago Loop Alliance).

During its 62nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Atlanta this week, the International Downtown Association recognized Chicago Loop Alliance with a Certificate of Merit award for its work and initiatives related to ACTIVATE.

This year’s ACTIVATE series, which explores a unique overarching theme of the five senses—touch, hear, smell, see and taste—through dynamic art, music and lights, was among 16 qualified entries in the category of Events and Programming. This category features programs and events that improved the image and vitality of downtown and attracted visitors and projects that communicate the vision, mission, function and achievements of the downtown or business district association.

“This year, we wanted to take audience participation to a next level. We didn’t want attendees to only experience art; we wanted to encourage them to be immersed in it,” says CLA president and CEO Michael Edwards. “Each year, ACTIVATE continues to grow and evolve. We’re always thrilled to present a series of events to residents and visitors of Chicago who have attended in the past and to those who are experiencing it for the first time.”

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. 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.

​Washington, D.C.-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Chicago Loop Alliance, the urban place management organization representing the interests of property owners in Chicago, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Chicago Loop.

For more information about CLA programs and initiatives, visit

Chicago Loop Alliance Receives Merit Award for Dynamic