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To present great live music in a widely accessible and intimate environment through free, world-class concert events in Chicago.
We believe in "Great Muisc for Busy Lives" that:
- is accessible to all audiences
- is relevant to contemporary lifestyles
- is aesthetically nourishing
- fosters a sense of community
Once known as a weekly summer concert series, Rush Hour Concerts has grown into a year-round arts organization, offering varied programs throughout the year and throughout the city. Each program reflects Rush Hour's civic commitment to Chicago by presenting live music to residents and neighborhoods of all types in ways that engage contemporary lifestyles, nourish aesthetic appreciation, and foster a sense of community. All of Rush Hour's programs are completely FREE.
Summer Concert Series: Now in its thirteenth year, Rush Hour's flagship Summer Series at St. James Cathedral continues to delight audiences with its innovative format that brings uncompromising artistic excellence to a comfortable, accessible environment where all are welcome. Each Tuesday from June through August, upwards of 600 people gather to enjoy food and drink, mingle with one another, and experience great performances by internationally-recognized musicians.
Make Music Chicago: In October 2010, Rush Hour was asked by French Consul General Graham Paul to bring the global "Fête de la Musique" to Chicago. Celebrating the ability of everyone to make music, Make Music Chicago debuted in 2011, joining over 460 cities in 110 countries - the largest music even in the world. The second annual Make Music Chicago, held on June 21, 2012, doubled the first event in size and scope, featuring 800 musicians at 65 sites, performing 200 separate performances for a total of 175 hours of music of all genres - all of it FREE. In an unprecedented operation, 98.7 WFMT broadcast the festival live and uninterrupted throughout the day. Learn more at makemusicchicago.com.
Community Engagement Pilot Programs: In 2012, Rush Hour created two yearlong pilot residencies in Back of the Yards (with the Davis Square Park Community Band) and Garfield Park (with Providence St. Mel School), giving professional assistance to communities that are seeking new opportunities for their cildren and families through music. Both pilots grew organically from these communities' participatin in Make Music Chicago 2011.