Free events at Daley Plaza under the Picasso. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents FREE cultural programs year round in Daley Plaza under the Picasso.
When: Performances begin @ 12 Noon (Schedule is subject to change).
Where: Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington (Corner of Washington and Dearborn Streets).
Tuesday, April 3 National Stepper’s Society
Join the National Stepper’s Society for a lunchtime dance hour.
Wednesday, April 4 Senegalese Celebration – Flag Raising
The West African country, Senegal will celebrate their 58th year of independence with short program and flag raising.
Friday, April 6 Southwest High School SAVAPA Dance
Enjoy the 36 member dance group as the perform a variety of dances to popular music.
Wednesday, April 11 Vino Louden
Join us in the Daley Center lobby for an afternoon performance by blues artist, Vino Louden.
Monday, April 16 House Music Lunch Jam
Mother Diva will present an afternoon of House Music for your lunchtime listening pleasure.
Wednesday, April 18 Spring Music Festival (Salvation Army College)
Enjoy performances by the Salvation Army College CFOT Brass Band and the Cadet Chorus.
Friday, April 20 DJ Kenny G
Get your groove on for a House Music Dance Party.
Tuesday, April 24 Acero Cruz Dance Ensemble
Noon performance by a community dance group with a focus on anti-bullying and social justice.
Wednesday, April 25 National Poetry Month
To celebrate National Poetry Month, stop by the plaza for live spoken word filled with inspiration.
Thursday, April 26 Knox College Dance Ensemble
The Knox College dance ensemble will present spring pieces of modern, jazz, and contemporary dance.
Friday, April 27 Visitation Middle School Choir & Orchestra
Join us at noon on the plaza to listen to an array of world and folk music.
How did the Picasso end up in Daley Plaza? Per the City of Chicago website:
The Chicago Picasso was commissioned in 1963 by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center to anchor the plaza on the east side of the building. Most public art in large cities at this time was calm and stoic, mainly depicting historical figures, but in the 1960s, architecture in American cities began to reflect the many cultural and modern changes taking place throughout the country. The Daley Center’s architects decided to commission the renowned Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, to create a monumental sculpture for their plaza.
Picasso worked on this commission for two years, combining and modifying sketches and motifs from some of his earlier works in the design of the sculpture. This resulted in a 42-inch tall maquette, or model, of the sculpture. Both the maquette and sketches of the sculpture may be seen today at the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Chicago Picasso is built of Cor-Ten steel, the same material as the exterior of the Daley Center, and was assembled not far from Chicago at the U.S. Steel Company in Gary, Indiana. On August 15, 1967, thousands of people gathered in Daley Plaza to witness the unveiling and dedication of the city’s newest piece of public art. In his dedication letter, Picasso gave the sculpture as a gift to the people of Chicago, without ever explaining what the sculpture was intended to represent.
Standing 50 feet tall and weighing over 160 tons, the Chicago Picasso in Daley Plaza is much more than just artwork to Chicagoans. The untitled Picasso sculpture that originally sparked controversy in the city has now become one of Chicago’s most famous sculptures and beloved icons.