props to Chicago Cultural Center

I love the Chicago Cultural Center. I was downtown for a seminar today. I always try to make a quick stop at the Chicago Cultural Center when I’m in the neighborhood.


If you’re looking for a quick Art fix when downtown, the Chicago Cultural Center is your best bet. They have three galleries on the main floor and another on the 2nd floor and two more on the fourth floor. Of course, the more time you can invest, the more you’ll get out of the experience.

But, if you’re on your way somewhere, just enter on Washington (right off Michigan Ave) and look at the three galleries on the main floor. You don’t have to turn around and exit on Washington. You can quickly exit onto Randolph (or vice versa: enter on Randolph and exit on Washington). If anything it’s a great way to walk down Michigan Ave and get out of the heat for one block!!! AND IT’S ALWAYS FREE!!!!

The Art Institute is world-class, but it takes a serious investment of time. The MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is a nice break from your shopping activities on Michigan Ave (especially if you know how to sneak in for free like me. Shhhh). But nothing beats the Chicago Cultural Center when it comes to ease of getting in and out. It couldn’t be any easier, frankly.

Oh, they have nice hours too. They’re usually open till 7:00 p.m. So when the MCA and Art Institute of Chicago are closed, you can likely pop in The Chicago Cultural Center.


They always have at least one art exhibit that is very interesting. You can always find a piece in the CCC that is approachable for novices, yet complex enough for experts. Everyone walks away enlightened. That’s Art, baby. AND IT’S ALWAYS FREE!

The MCA gets stuck in art history and art theory too much. The CCC has the benefit of not having the cash flow to exhibit big-name artists which have a lot of association of established theorical basises behind them. The CCC is able to exhibit artists who earn the right to be exhibited to public through public dollars.

The CCC doesn’t take the easy way out by exhibiting work from conversative artists like landscape watercolorists or traditional portrait painters. (That’s a major gripe that I have with the Elmhurst Art Musuem. Though they exhibit interesting art regularly. Yet, they still exhibit way too much traditional, sleepy stuff.) The CCC must have a wonderful gallery director. They have a great eye for pulling out creative work.


did i mention that doesn’t cost anything to get into the Chicago Cultural Center? Yea. It’s free. And there’s more to the CCC than the art. They have performances and other activities in the beautifully ornate building.


I think i’m going to break up my visit into a blog series. Tomorrow will feature the block with hinges sculpture.

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Laura K.
18 years ago

i have never been in there. can you believe it? i can’t.

Tom Saaristo
18 years ago

I stop at the CCC frequently. Maybe I’ll see you guys there one of these days

18 years ago

Wondering how many oldsters read this blog. Years ago the CCC was the main stay of the CPL. There were other treasures to be found.
However, just look at what happens to a public structure when one has a sense of purpose.
Don’t you just love those stairways!!

Matt Maldre
18 years ago

Wow! i was just at the CCC today too! (For the Chicago’s 10 Most Glorious Park Gardens talk at 12:15). I’m surprised I didn’t run into you.