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, September 4 National Steppers Society
Gotta get your groove on! Join the National Stepper’s Society for a lunchtime dance hour.
Wednesday, September 5 Chosen Few
Join Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs at a lunchtime dance party celebrating Chicago’s House Music legacy.
Thursday, September 6 House Heads United
Enjoy House music for your lunchtime entertainment.
Friday, September 7 Dance With Janet
Enjoy a group of talented young Line Dancers for your afternoon pleasure.
Monday, September 10 Ceasefire Plus
Join Chicago’s very own inspirational rapper “The Goodest” for a lunchtime rap session.
Tuesday, September 11 Mother Diva
Enjoy house music featuring Mother Diva.
Wednesday, September 12 Central American Independence Day
A special celebration and program followed by a musical performance by children.
Thursday, September 13 Line Dancing
Join us for Line Dancing at noon, hosted by the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Friday, September 14 Turkish Festival
Come join us on the plaza for a special Turkish celebration.
Monday, September 17 Anniversary of Peace Day
Join us on the plaza for the 40th anniversary celebration of Peace Day.
Tuesday, September 18 Constitution Day
Join us on the plaza for an afternoon with The Secretary of State Jessie White.
Wednesday, September 19 Latino American Heritage Month
Join us on the plaza for a celebration of the Latin American Heritage Community.
Thursday, September 20 Roy McGrath Quartet
A showcase of Jazz music hosted by the Roy McGrath Quartet.
Friday, September 21 Pep Rally
Celebrating college bands and cheerleading performances from competing schools.
Monday, September 24 This is Australia
Enjoy a show containing a show and dance versions of Australian rock songs.
Wednesday, September 26 Australian Day Celebration
Enjoy a musical celebration of Austrian and Viennese Music.
Thursday, September 27 Ballet 5.8
Come join us for four seasons of the soul, an original ballet by Julianna Slager.
Friday, September 28 Chinese American Celebration
A special flag raising and program followed by a musical performance celebrating their 69th anniversary.
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.