A breakdown of some of the arts Evanston has to offer


Photo courtesy of Staci Page

The Licky Lab & Alpaca Gallery, a small pop-up art gallery found in Evanston.

Laya Neelakandan, Senior Staffer

Looking for a play to watch? A gallery to walk through? A concert to attend? Evanston has got it all — if you know where to look. After over a year of virtual performances, dive back into the thrill of in-person arts with Evanston’s art community.

From theater to art to music, the opportunities in Evanston’s vibrant arts community are endless. Take a break from classes and extracurriculars to experience some of the city’s richest cultural experiences. We’ve got you covered — here’s a breakdown of just some of the arts Evanston has to offer.


Pull back the curtain of Evanston’s theater community, which boasts multiple theaters and companies who are making the return to in-person performances. 

First on the list is the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, located at 927 Noyes St. This theater, which has been around for over three decades, celebrates African-American and African diaspora-centered storytelling through plays and other performances. Over the past year, the theater has been coordinating high-quality and diverse virtual programming.

2nd Act Players, a relatively newer theater, has been producing plays for the North Shore area that tackle the major “2nd act” events in people’s lives, such as divorce, war, heart disease and assimilation of immigrants. The theater is located at 2515 Central Park Ave. 

The Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre engages the audience in a cabaret-style theater through reimaginings of Broadway musicals and stagings of cabaret shows. The not-for-profit theater is the Resident Theatre Company at Howard Street Theatre, located at 721 Howard St. 


Paint a picture of vibrant arts scenes in Evanston with its many art opportunities. From galleries to organizations, there is no end to the talent of local artists in Evanston.

Evanston Made is perhaps the city’s most well-known art organization. It is a membership organization showcasing the talents of the city’s artists through mediums of all kinds. Evanston Made’s programming includes Group Shows, Maker’s Markets and artist shops. 

The organization is located at 1100 Florence Ave., which is also a popular gallery setting for freelance artists. The gallery has easy street access and large windows perfect for a walk-through show.

Another popular art organization in the area is Evanston Art Center, located at 1717 Central St. EAC is an art exhibition and education center encouraging freedom of artistic expression through classes and galleries. During the pandemic, the Center has been offering online classes. 

Music, concerts and series

After over a year of sitting at home, get ready to jam out to live music with Evanston’s array of music and concerts.

Evanston SPACE is a live music hall located at 1245 Chicago Ave. It hosts shows from across a variety of genres and has welcomed artists like The Lumineers, Graham Parker, Lucinda Williams to its stage. The venue has been adhering to COVID-19 protocols with outdoor concerts and capacity limits.

The Starlight Concert and Movie Series features free outdoor concerts and movies at parks throughout Evanston. The locations change for each event, and featured movies and performers have included Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Greatest Showman (2017), Luciano Antonio and Chicago Loud 9.

Lastly, if you’re a music student interested in teaching your instrument to disadvantaged children, check out Evanston Young Artists, which was created by Bienen students who provide opportunities for Evanston youth through music education on NU’s campus. Not only will you improve your teaching and arts administration skills, but your student will also gain valuable skills and form a close relationship with you.


But Evanston’s arts aren’t limited to just theater, art and music — the city has even more to offer.

Bookends & Beginnings, located at 1712 Sherman Ave., is a beloved Evanston staple. It’s easy to get lost browsing through the shelves at the store, which has a book for everyone. The store also hosts engaging programs, like a recent conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

Evanston is also home to countless jewelry and clothing shops, so if you’re up for an aimless adventure through the city, you’re bound to walk past a store that will pique your interest. From Ayla’s Originals to Swantiques to Artem Pop Up Gallery, Evanston’s arts shops are waiting for you.

So as you prepare to embark on your Northwestern journey, spend some time exploring the arts Evanston has to offer — you won’t regret it.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @laya_neel

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