ACTIVATE: SEE transforms downtown alley with visual experience

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area SSA1-2015, launches its fourth ACTIVATE event of the year, SEE, on Friday, 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 receive a complimentary drink ticket for beer or wine at the event, 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 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 will delight and intrigue as clips are projected down the length of the alley. Guests are encouraged to VIEW ACTIVATE: SEE’s dress code catalogue for suggested attire.

20% of ACTIVATE drink proceeds will go to Snow City Arts, a non-profit organization that educates and inspires children and youth through the arts in hospitals throughout Chicago.

ACTIVATE is made possible by Lagunitas, with additional support from Bai, Columbia College Chicago, Homeadvisor, KIND, Perrier, PNC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Skinnypop, TimeOut, Vitacoco and Zipcar.

Over the past two seasons, ACTIVATE has generated nearly $900,000 in estimated economic impactto Loop businesses, with more than 30,000 people in attendance over the course of the series. EachACTIVATE 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 the following dates:

  • Thursday, September 15
  • Thursday, 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.

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for SSA1-2015, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit