May 06, 2020

Sharing the Love

Highlighting our neighbors in Chicago's arts scene

From dance recitals to symphony orchestra performances to virtual theater and virtual museum tours, Chicago’s arts and culture scene has gone digital while patrons are still staying home and staying safe. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re “sharing the love” and highlighting some of the things we’re excited about.

The Joffrey Ballet
Dance fans are spoiled for choice when it comes to digital content from the world-class ballet company (and our soon-to-be roommate in the Lyric Opera House). Visit The Joffrey Ballet’s website to watch “Studio Series,” an interactive virtual season, “On Cue,” intimate conversations with Joffrey legends, and “Stage Notes,” performance excerpts with artist commentary.

Join Joffrey on February 26 at 7:00 PM for the world premiere of Boléro, set to the acclaimed orchestral piece by composer Maurice Ravel and choreographed by Joffrey Company Artist Yoshihisa Arai. This production will be filmed at the Gerald Arpino Black Box Theatre at Joffrey Tower and streamed for free via

Gene Siskel Film Center
Pop some popcorn and settle into the best seat in the house—your sofa! The Gene Siskel Film Center is presenting “Film Center from Your Sofa,” virtual screenings and interactive Q&As with filmmakers, cast, and crew. Learn more on their website.

Auditorium Theatre
Curious about what the dinosaurs were like? Want to see what mysteries the oceans hold? Auditorium Theatre is offering a “Nat Geo Live” 6-Show Virtual Series. Learn more and buy your package on their website.

From The Art Institute of Chicago: Bisa Butler. The Safety Patrol, 2018. Cavigga Family Trust Fund. © Bisa Butler.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
From on-demand streams to biweekly radio broadcasts to CSO’s own podcast to video archives, there is a wealth of opportunity for music lovers to connect with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Join them for one (or all!) of their offerings on their website.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
Join CYSO for a night at the symphony—from home! The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra premiered “A Virtual Celebration” in December 2020 featuring pieces by Duke Ellington and Frédéric Chopin, and it’s available to stream with a pay-what-you-can donation.

Goodman Theatre
Until we can gather in the Owen or Albert Theatres, The Goodman has been streaming productions and events online. Currently, you can watch Dael Orlandersmith’s powerful drama about race and justice in America, Until the Flood.

The Art Institute of Chicago
If your idea of a perfect day is wandering through works of Monet and discovering new favorite artists like Bisa Butler, you will want to be first in line when the Art Institute opens on February 11. Read up on their safety guidelines before your visit. 

The Lincoln String Quartet, featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, perform on the stage of Symphony Center. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2020


Grant Park Music Festival
Pretend you’re sitting on the lawn in Millennium Park with a picnic while you enjoy performances like Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Ellen Taafe Zwilich’s “Jubilation” from Grant Park Music Festival. Tune in on their website.

Porchlight Music Theatre
Get your musical-theater fix from Porchlight. Join them online for roundtable discussions about Sondheim’s work, a series of radio broadcasts of classic musicals, and a livestream of “Hershey Felder Presents—Before Fiddler.”

Chicago History Museum
Chicago History Museum and filmmaker Geoffrey Alan Rhodes teamed up to create The Chicago00 Project, a series of augmented and virtual reality experiences to showcase the Museum’s archives and share Chicago’s stories. Go back in time and experience the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition or get a new look at the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests online at

Urban Gateways
Urban Gateways is celebrating its 60th anniversary by sharing performances, arts learning workshops and residencies, and professional development opportunities online. Participants can learn about the history of hip hop or tune in to a slam poetry performance virtually, and Chicago teens can get their live-event fix with the “Quaranteen Arts Pass,” a social distance-friendly way to enjoy the benefits of the Teen Arts Pass program.

Bella Voce
Bella Voce is taking listeners on A Musical Journey with their 38th season. The professional chamber ensemble is offering a free online course about the origins of Western music from the Middle Ages to Baroque to modern times. Courses are available on Bella Voce’s Youtube channel, and more information about the series and their 38th season is available on their website

From Urban Gateways: Screenshot from a Virtual Performance of “Breakin’ It Down: Hip Hop History” with Chicago Dance Crash.

Header image: Todd Rosenberg