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). Select dates. Schedule below.
Where: Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington (Corner of Washington and Dearborn Streets).
Monday, August 26 The Ninja Show
Join us for a musical showcase hosted by George Ivey and guest.
Tuesday, August 27 Queens of house
Come join us on the plaza at noon for a lunchtime jam of house music, presented by all female DJ’S.
Wednesday, August 28 House on the Plaza
Join Chicago’s very own Kings of House at a lunchtime house party celebrating Chicago’s House Music legacy.
Thursday, August 29 Michael Jackson 61
Meet us on the plaza for a lunchtime celebration to Michael Jackson’s 61st birthday.
Tuesday, September 3 National Stepper’s Society
Gotta get your groove on! Join the National Stepper’s Society for a lunchtime dance hour.
Wednesday, September 4 The Chosen Few
Join the Chosen Few on the plaza at noon for a hot mix of house music.
Thursday, September 5 Halsted Street Entertainment — Dance Brake
Join us at noon on the plaza for some lunchtime dancing.
Thursday, September 5, 12, 19 & 26 Chicago City Markets presented by Humana®
Daley Plaza Farmers Market Opens (7am–3pm)
Friday, September 6 Ethiopian Community Celebration
Come join us on the plaza at noon for a lunchtime celebration with the Ethiopian community and all its culture.
Tuesday, September 10 National Celebration Day of Costa Rica
Join us on the plaza to help celebrate their independence with music and dance, and the raising of the flag of Costa Rica.
Friday, September 13 Chicago Football Classic
College Bands, Dance Troops and cheer teams will perform on the plaza at noon. Come out and join us!
Monday, September 16 A DJ Set
Join us for a DJ’s rendition of throwbacks performed by Randall Dean.
Tuesday, September 17 Constitution Day
An observance of Constitution Day including a naturalization ceremony presented by the US Citizenship and immigration Services.
Wednesday, September 18 Houseapolooza
Join us on the plaza at noon for a House Music jam session.
Thursday, September 19 Austrian American Day
Come help celebrate a traditional rising of the Austrian flag, with songs and dance on the plaza at noon.
Friday, September 20 The WaughSome Group — Living Her Story Summer Series
Join us for an energetic afternoon on the plaza with the WaughSome all female DJ group, who will display their DJ skills and love for house music.
Monday, September 23 Peace Day in Chicago
Join us on the plaza to celebrate unity and diversity in our city, and the world in cooperation with the United Nations, and the rising of the Peace Flag.
Tuesday, September 24 Chinese Day Flag Ceremony
Join us at noon for the raising of the flag representing the Republic of China, celebrating their 70th anniversary.
Wednesday, September 25 Motown Tribute
Connie Wilson will be out on the plaza at noon celebrating and giving tribute to Motown, backed by Sweet Harmony and The Fantasy Band.
Thursday, September 26 Ballet 5:8 NFP
Ballet 5:8 will perform excerpts from their 2019 season repertoire, plus a sneak peek at their upcoming world premier coming in 2020.
Friday, September 27 Blaq Ice
join us on the plaza at noon for a lunchtime Spoken Word, followed by beautiful poetry.
Monday, September 30 EXPANSE
Join Chicago’s very own for a lunchtime showdown of DJ’s along with a host of new creative artist.
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.