For the first time ever ACTIVATE extends its eminent alley transformations to the streets of Chicago Friday, September 18

2015 Jennifer Catherine Photography

Chicago Loop Alliance turns Wabash Avenue into an all-American varsity aesthetic fashion show


CHICAGO (September 1, 2015) –Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) will transform Wabash Avenue (between Monroe St and Madison St) into an urban celebration with ACTIVATE on Friday, September 18 from 5-10 p.m. As part of an ongoing monthly series that immerses the public in a spectacle of sound, art and performance, this event will be the first to take place in an underutilized space that is not a Chicago alley. Guests who RSVP in advance at  will receive a complimentary drink ticket at the event, with additional beverages available for purchase on site.


“With the construction on Wabash Avenue, we thought it a great opportunity to bring ACTIVATE and, in turn, a few thousand people to this specific street in order to highlight surrounding area businesses,” says CLA President and CEO Michael Edwards. “Merchants will be encouraged to take part in our Linger Longer initiative which offers attendees special discounts before and after each ACTIVATE event. Benefiting adjacent businesses is an extremely important deliverable of our ACTIVATE program, as is placemaking. We want to encourage people to explore all parts of the Loop by transforming nontraditional public spaces into a setting that inspires residents and visitors to experience the Loop and Wabash Ave in a new way.”


ACTIVATE will transform Wabash Avenue with an all-American varsity aesthetic that includes an astroturf runway, track and field floor, and a suspended t-shirt installation. The event will feature interactive performances, immersive art, and live styling from over 20 Chicago fashion designers and artists. Questioning fashion as it relates to transformation, psychology, and physicality, designers will display a variety of styles that range from ready-to-wear outfits, to avant-garde collections. Curated by Cheryl Pope, participating designers and artists include Misanthrope, Iridium, Vex, Paola Lopez, Kaleigh Moynihan, Jasper Drummond, Kristin Mariani, and Jake Vogds, along with special music guest performers and rising star Ric Wilson.


The specific location and details of the final ACTIVATE event of the season taking place on Friday, October 23 will be announced three weeks prior at ACTIVATE is made possible by presenting sponsor Blue Moon, with additional support from Columbia College Chicago, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Zipcar, WeWork, PNC Bank, KIND, Chicago magazine, Do312, SPRITZOLOGY and WXRT.


Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area #1, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit


The Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) corporation that develops, supports, and promotes artistic, cultural, and public events that benefit businesses, individuals, and stakeholders within the service area of Chicago Loop Alliance. The Foundation backs programs and initiatives in priority areas, such as increasing arts participation, strengthening cultural programming in the community, fostering cross-sector partnerships, supporting public arts education, and more. For more information, please visit