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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Exploring art in Evanston and Chicago

Daily file photo by Seeger Gray
There’s lots of opportunities to enjoy art and music in Evanston and Chicago.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the arts in Evanston and beyond, you’re in luck. The area is chock-full of places to go for all things arts, from live performances to museums. Don’t be afraid to venture off campus and take part in Evanston and Chicago’s art scene. 


Evanston SPACE is a live music venue, with concerts available most days. Tickets vary in prices. Another performance venue, Studio5, was opened by Northwestern alumni Béa (Communication ’78) and Steve Rashid (Bienen M.M. ’83). Studio5 offers music, dance and theatrical performances. 

The city of Evanston also hosts the Starlight Concert and Movie series, with dates through Nov. 5 and Oct. 7, respectively.


Evanston is home to multiple professional theaters. The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, which opened in 1979, centers around African American and African Diaspora-centered storytelling. Formerly known as Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Theo is a professional, not-for-profit theatre focusing on celebrating humanity and building community via the art of performance. The 2nd Act Players produces original theatre works, focusing on the events in the “2nd act” of people’s lives, like divorce or heart disease. 

Art and Museums 

The Evanston Art Center is a nonprofit that has galleries free to the public. There are also public events, such as the annual Winter Art & Craft Expo. The Block Museum of Art on NU’s campus is also free for all, with art exhibitions, artist talks, symposiums and more. Evanston is also home to speciality museums — with purchase of a ticket — such as The American Toby Jug Museum or the Halim Time & Glass Museum.

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian showcases Indigenous history, culture and art. The museum offers ongoing exhibitions, along with artist spotlights across storytelling, music and the visual arts. 

NU also has museum partnerships with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, so all students receive free admission if they present a Wildcard at the ticket counter

One of the most popular art organizations in the area is Evanston Made, a community nonprofit dedicated to supporting artists. Evanston Made hosts a multitude of events ranging from maker’s markets to artist shops and more. 


Adults are able to take classes at the Evanston Dance Center, with classes costing about $17 or $18 a session. In addition to Studio5, the Evanston Dance Ensemble puts on several productions each year, such as “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” EDE also created ede2, which brings the studio’s productions to underserved areas. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @karapeeler

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