Navy Pier To Host “ExPIERience 2019” Fundraiser To Support Arts & Cultural Programming

Navy Pier, Chicago’s nonprofit cultural destination, will host its second fundraising event, “ExPIERience 2019,” on Wednesday, October 23, in support of Navy Pier’s ongoing commitment to offer guests free, one-of-a-kind arts and cultural programming. With nearly 9 million annual guests and hundreds of free programs and performances presented each year, the People’s Pier has invited Chicagoans to celebrate Navy Pier’s generous partners and its tremendous changes at “ExPIERience 2019.”

In 2017, Navy Pier held its first benefit event, “A Celebration ExPIERience,” and raised more than $1.7 million to support the Pier’s free public programs. The spectacular evening set the course for the Pier’s second century and highlighted its dynamic, year-round free programming. The event also honored the Polk Bros. Foundation for their legacy partnership.

This year’s celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.). The menu features dishes from Pier restaurants and the main program includes a performance by the breakout star from Season 17 of NBC’s “The Voice,” Chicago’s own Katie Kadan. Navy Pier is delighted to honor PepsiCo Beverages North America for 25 years of partnership, as well as The Honorable Rahm Emanuel for his many years of public service and tireless advocacy for Chicago nonprofits.

The event would not be possible without the support of its generous Host Committee, composed of the following Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs:

Co-Chairs: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Bobins, The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation; Joan and Bill Brodsky; Michelle L. Collins; Donna La Pietra and Bill Kurtis; Mesirow Financial; Peoples Energy Community Fund; PepsiCo; Shoreline Sightseeing; Jennifer Steans and Jim Kastenholz; Donald R. Wilson, Jr., DRW Trading Group

Vice Chairs: Allstate Insurance Company; BMO Harris Bank; Chicago Cubs; CIBC; The Canning Foundation; The Crown Family; Entertainment Cruises; Exelon Corporation; Fifth Third Bank; Sarah and John Garvey; Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.; Mr. Bob Habeeb, Maverick Hotels & Restaurants; Brett Hart and Dontrey Britt-Hart; Richard and Martha Melman Foundation; Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority; Polk Bros. Foundation; SMG; Sue and Tim Sullivan; Wintrust Community Banks

“ExPIERience 2019” is part of Navy Pier’s ongoing commitment to offer guests free, one-of-a-kind arts and cultural programming, designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. For more information, please visit and

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2019, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with rooftop bar Offshore (now open), a marina and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.