July 29, 2016

Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit—The Last Picnic of the Summer

Save the date for the last picnic of the summer—Monday, September 12 at 6PM—for the Grant Park Music Festival's signature fundraising event, the Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit, when Chicago's civic leaders and cultural elite gather at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park to celebrate the Grant Park Music Festival's extraordinary 2016 season.

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 underwrite Festival Connect, its artistic and community engagement activities that benefit more than 800,000 children and adults from Chicago and around the world.

Highlighted in Festival Connect’s efforts are programs like Classical Campersthe half-day music and arts immersion program that brings 1,500 Chicago Park District day campers to Millennium Park from all over Chicago for an introduction to classical music.

And professional development opportunities like Project Inclusion, a program that guides young minority musicians in their career, and the Apprentice Chorale, offering performance opportunities for pre-professional voice students from DePaul and Roosevelt Universities and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Longtime Festival patron and beloved broadcaster Ron Magers hosts the Advocate for the Arts Awards Benefit, an evening of fine dining, entertainment, and a time to honor two individuals and one organization whose distinguished leadership has had a transformative impact on the Festival. This year’s honorees are civic and arts leader Sondra Berman Epstein, violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine and the international law firm, Jones Day.

The Advocate for the Arts Awards is the Festival’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and it is an opportunity to support all of the Grant Park Music Festival’s community engagement and education initiatives, increasing music education and lifelong learning opportunities for audiences of all ages. And, because it takes place as the calendar turns to fall, it truly has become the last picnic of summer.