After School Matters Showcase In Millennium Park

"After School Matters is dedicated to helping these talented teens find and express their special gifts," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "We can't think of a better way to cap off their summer program in the Park than by showcasing their work on the stage of the magnificent Jay Pritzker Pavilion."

The summer program was open to Teens interested in visual arts as well as music. They also have been working since late June under the guidance of professional artists in the After School Matters tent in Millennium Park's Chase Promenade South. They studied 2D-3D Design, Architectural Drawing, Board Game Design, Bookmaking, Creative Writing, Decorative Painting, Metal Arts, and Video Production.

After School Matters is a non-profit organization that offers Chicago teens innovative out-of-school activities through science37, sports37, tech37, word37 and the nationally recognized gallery37 programs. They provide these programs through a network of private and public partnerships that include the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library and more than 100 community-based organizations. Through hands-on programs, they expose teens to rewarding careers and help them to develop marketable job skills. After School Matters is recognized nationally as one of the largest program providers of its kind.

Finalists in the national Poetry Out Loud contest will open Sunday's showcase. The national program encourages high school students to learn about great literary works while incorporating aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into English classes. Finalists appearing in the Rising Stars series are from the Chicago area and the Midwest.

For more information on the showcase and other events at Millennium Park visit

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north and Monroe St. to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and at the Grant Park North and East Monroe Garages, all located within a short walking distance to Millennium Park.

Millennium Park is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and the philanthropic community, the 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. Among Millennium Park's prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Since its opening in July 2004, Millennium Park has welcomed more than 12 million of people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.

August Events at Millennium Park

Summer continues in Millennium Park with a full list of concerts and events in August. Here are some highlights; most performances take place in Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz

Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers Large Ensemble
Thursday, August 7, 6:30pm
Chicago-born, Iraqi-American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar fuses traditional Iraqi Maqam music along with modern jazz, in a new work written for a 16-piece ensemble of Arabic and Western instrumentation. In this concert, ElSaffar contrasts the Iraqi modalities with the heavy grooves and free textures of jazz, yet, always maintaining the feeling of blues. Also appearing are Chicagoans Jeff Parker (guitar); Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone); Zafer Tawil ('ued, violin, percussion) and other special guests

Phil Cohran and the Legacy of the Sun Ra
Thursday, August 14, 6:30pm
Composer, pianist and poet Sun Ra's cosmic philosophy, rooted in the swing music of Fletcher Henderson led many to experiment with connecting new and old jazz traditions. Former Sun Ra band member, Kelan Phil Cohran, continues to redefine this music. Cohran's ensemble of instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers join his sons' Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to celebrate the revolutionary tradition of Chicago's creative music.

Brass Band of Battle Creek
Sunday, August 17, 6:00pm
The Brass Band of Battle Creek is best known for its ability to expertly perform many styles of music, from swing to brass band classics, show tunes to pop, dance and Dixieland. The BBBC performs with stunning energy, power and technical virtuosity, featuring conductor Sarah Ioannides, soloists Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Mead and Rex Richardson.

A Rabbit's Tale
Don't miss the original tale by Fast Fish Puppet Theater that the Chicago Tribune calls "a sweet unexpected find in the park." Created by Chicago's award-winning puppet artist, Blair Thomas, this delightful story tells the tale of a young boy's voyage through a magical forest and the many characters he meets along the way.
Wednesday at 3pm - August 13
Sundays at 11am - August 10 and 24

Grant Park Music Festival
Final weeks to see the critically acclaimed Grant Park Music Festival in Millennium Park.

Grieg's Piano Concerto
Friday, August 8, 6:30pm
Saturday, August 9, 7:30pm

Act 1: Wagner's die Walküre
Wednesday, August 13, 6:30pm

Great Opera Choruses
Friday, August 15, 8:30pm
Saturday, August 16, 7:30pm

Chicago Greeter Tours
Daily, Thru October 13, 11:30am and 1pm
Meet at the Millennium Park Welcome Center, 201 E. Randolph Street

Guided Tours of the Lurie Garden
Sundays, Thru September 28, 10am - 1pm (Tours leave every 10 minutes) Meet at the BP Bridge

Family Fun Festival
Thru September 1, 10am - 4pm
Chase Promenade North

Summer Workouts
Thru September 27
Great Lawn of the Pritzker Pavilion

Mark di Suvero Gallery Talks
Thru August 28, 12:15pm - 1pm
Meet at the North Boeing Gallery

Audio Picnic
Mondays, August 11 and 18, 6pm - 9pm

Audible Architecture
Mondays, August 11, 18 and 25, 12:15pm - 1:30pm

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