— Save the date — Tuesday, October 17 at 6 PM — and gather with Chicago’s civic leaders and cultural elite for a festive evening of musical entertainment at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park for the Grant Park Music Festival’s sixth annual Advocate for the Arts Awards benefit.
A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the award to Anish Kapoor, creator of Millennium Park’s “Cloud Gate,” who will return to Chicago for the first time since 2006 to receive this award. Other honorees include the civic and arts leader Ginger Meyer, and the Arts Club of Chicago, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. All will be lauded for their distinguished leadership, their impact on the Festival and their outstanding contributions to the arts in Chicago.
The evening will be hosted by Ron Magers, a longtime member of the Grant Park Music Festival. The Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit is presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association, and co-chaired by Sally and Michael Feder.
The funds raised will support the Festival’s free ten week classical music series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, and help to underwriteFestival Connect, its artistic and community engagement activities that benefit more than 800,000 children and adults from Chicago and around the world.
For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago’s summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus can have a transformative impact on the city. Showcased in the city’s most spectacular setting, the Festival continues to be the summer gathering place for all of Chicago. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park is the official home of the Grant Park Music Festival, with free seats available for every concert. For more information about the Grant Park Music Festival and the 2017 season, running June 14—August 19, visit gpmf.org or call 312.742.7638.
Festival Connect is a comprehensive initiative aimed to increase music education and engagement opportunities for audiences of all ages. Working with the Chicago Park District and Mayor Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks program, Festival Connect focuses on the neighborhoods with performances by the Grant Park Orchestra, the Grant Park Chorus, Project Inclusion Choral and String Fellows and the Festival’s Apprentice Chorale.
In Millennium Park, the Festival Connect suite of programs includes Classical Campers, a half-day music immersion program for children, along with itsYoung Artists Showcase series, an opportunity for students from local music schools and summer music programs to perform in front of the Great Lawn at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, prior to select Festival concerts. Additionally, patrons can learn more about the Festival’s performances and guest artists through pre-concert lectures and open lunchtime rehearsals.
The Festival is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, along with Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell, Grant Park Orchestral Association President and CEO Paul Winberg, and Board Chair Stephen Smith. The Festival is proudly presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association with key support from the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.