Lake Fx Summit + Expo Schedule Announced, Registration Is Open

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the full schedule for the inaugural Lake FX Summit + Expo presented by Google. The region’s largest FREE conference for artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs, running April 16-19, will welcome thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations for keynotes by industry leaders, professional development panels and workshops, networking opportunities, music and film showcases, the Expo resource fair and a marketplace featuring local artisans. This year’s Summit will explore the theme “Improvisation and Innovation” to reflect the fluidity, flexibility and ingenuity that artists and creative professionals need in order to build and maintain viable careers. Summit tracks will focus on the music, film, fashion, culinary and visual & performing arts industries as well as cross-industry topics such as new media and technology, branding and career development for emerging and established artists.

FREE pre-registration is now open at Pre-registration for the summit is encouraged and allows registrants access to a “Fast Pass” to some programs at the Chicago Cultural Center in the Claudia Cassidy Theater (priority seating based on availability) and special giveaways including a commemorative Lake FX Summit + Expo poster created by internationally renowned Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón/DZINE (while supplies last). Only the Google Workshop on Friday, April 17, requires advanced registration, and this registration will open at 10am on Monday, March 23.

New to the previously announced scheduled, the Thursday night keynote of the summit features a conversation on the “Lake Effect” and how Chicago has incubated and catapulted the careers of many notable creative professionals. Laura Schwartz, a professional speaker, best-selling author and regular television commentator, will moderate the exchange among local artists – Max Tempkin, designer and creator of the wildly successful Cards Against Humanity; Hebru Brantley, internationally-exhibited visual artist; Tanya Saracho, playwright (“Our Lady of the Underpass”) and television writer (“Looking,” “Girls” and “Devious Maid”); Charna Halpern, founder and director of the iO Theater; and Alex Kotlowitz, the award-winning journalist and author (There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America) – as they share the influence that this city has had on their art and their careers.

“The Lake FX Summit + Expo will offer resources and networking for creatives across the region as well as provide a platform to showcase those living and working here,” said DCASE Commissioner Michelle T. Boone. “Chicago’s creative community is one of this city’s greatest assets. We are always looking for new opportunities to support their efforts and industries – and to leverage their expertise.”

“Technology plays an essential role for artists today, launching thousands of careers and helping to reach huge audiences. Google is excited to empower Chicago creators with online tools to continue to inspire innovation in creative industries,” said Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Americas Customer.

The conference will be headquartered at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Other participating venues in the downtown, walkable campus are the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park (205 E. Randolph St.), the new Virgin Hotels Chicago (203 N. Wabash Ave.), the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago (230 N. Michigan Ave.), the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) and Macy’s on State Street (111 N. State St.).

The April 16-19 weekend will also host several showcase events organized by CIMMfest and The Recording Academy® Chicago Chapter. These events will feature local talent at venues located throughout Chicago, including the Hyde Park, Pilsen, West Town, Logan Square and Uptown neighborhoods.

For more information, please visit, join the conversation on Facebook (Lake FX Summit) and follow us on Twitter, @LakeFXChicago. To plan your trip to Chicago for the Lake FX Summit + Expo, visit

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