WBEZ Chicago and National Public Housing Museum Partner -Free Summer Concert

On The Lawn
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Free concert August 25 features artists with meaningful connections to public housing.

The National Public Housing Museum and WBEZ Chicago are hosting a free concert in Millennium Park on Friday, August 25 from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring artists with meaningful connections to public housing. The National Public Housing Museum is the only cultural institution dedicated to telling the story of public housing in the United States.

Legendary rapper Roxanne Shanté will host the evening with music by hip-hop icon DJ Spinderella and performances by local favorites acclaimed R&B and soul musician Isaiah Sharkey and celebrated ragtime pianist Reginald Robinson and surprise appearances by special guests. The evening will kick off with a community conversation hosted by Erin Allen, host of WBEZ’s daily Rundown podcast.

DJ Spinderella

DJ Spinderella, who is also the curator of the museum’s music room exhibition and lived in the Pink Houses in New York City, NY, said “The National Public Housing Museum’s On the Lawn concert at Millennium Park is a vibrant evening of performances by artists with meaningful connections to public housing. I’m looking forward to celebrating the significant impact of public housing on American music and culture on August 25!”I can’t wait to host the evening and share the stage with other talented artists with connections to public housing. As I reflect on major music history milestones, like the 50th anniversary of hip hop this year, I’m continually inspired by public housing’s profound influence on American music and culture more broadly,” said Roxanne Shanté, who lived in Queensbridge Houses in New York City, NY.

Roxanne Shanté

The concert will be complemented by a weekend-long installation throughout the park focused on civic love and engagement based on the National Public Housing Museum’s 36 Questions for Civic Love, a toolkit that helps strangers get to know one another. This program is made possible by a grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with funding from the Millennium Park Foundation and Pritzker Foundation.

Civic love is one’s love for society, expressed through a commitment to the common good. According to the National Public Housing Museum, it is a belief in the idea that we’re all better off, when we are all better off, and is manifested through all kinds of actions like volunteering, marching, speaking against systemic injustice, and making reparations. Learn more.

Registration information:

  • On the Lawn: Hosted by Roxanne Shanté with Music by DJ Spinderella
  • Friday, Aug. 25, 6-9 p.m., Millennium Park (Jay Pritzker Pavilion), 201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, Ill., 60601
  • Free! Register here
Isaiah Sharkey

In addition to the free Millennium Park concert on August 25, this summer WBEZ is also partnering with Harmonica Dunn and Suburban Unity Alliance to present Food Aid Festival 2023, a two-day musical celebration addressing food insecurity in Chicago’s West Side communities and neighboring suburbs. The festival will be held at Exit Strategy Brewing Co. Forest Park on August 26 and in Scoville Park in downtown Oak Park on August 27; admission is $20. More information is available here.

Reginald Robinson

For more about WBEZ’s live events, visit www.wbez.org/events. For more to do around Chicago all summer long, check out the WBEZ Summer 250, an epic summer guide filled with concerts, arts, family activities, workshops and more. Chicagoans can explore the summer guide at wbez.org/summer or by texting SUMMER to 312312 to get the best summer picks sent to their phone.

Photos are courtesy of The National Public Housing Museum and WBEZ

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