Complete with rich cultural performances, delicious food and vibrant artwork, Neighborhoods of the World helps families discover diversity right in their own backyards at Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most visited nonprofit cultural institutions.
Chicagoans know that their city offers much more than just hotdogs and baseball. Our neighborhoods are brimming with so much cultural diversity and rich traditions that it can be tough to take it all in.
The urge to explore this vibrant tapestry is what brought Albany Park resident Andrew Gold and his family to Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World, running through March 26.
“Especially now, I want my kids to know about other cultures, distinctive heritages and histories and how we can celebrate our differences,” says Gold, who participated in a celebration of Chinese New Year Feb. 12.
The Golds are one of thousands of families experiencing global learning — for free! — without leaving city limits. The Navy Pier series, now in its seventh year and sponsored by ComEd, highlights a rotating weekly celebration of different communities from Italy to Mexico, Poland and more. Last year, more than 25,000 visited the event, says Jennifer Kramer, Navy Pier’s director of entertainment and special events.
The series spotlights art and artisans from each country, native costumes, traditional dance, hands-on programs, international cuisine and live, on-stage performances. Navy Pier collaborated with community arts organizations, consulates and museums for each cultural tribute.
“Chicago is a city of neighborhoods — comprised of cultural riches and artistic vibrancy,” Kramer says. “Guests of Navy Pier and of Neighborhoods of the World may not ordinarily have access or exposure to the diverse culturally enriching experiences being showcased. Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, and we’re proud to provide these experiences, and many others, in a centralized, accessible and free public place. It’s a part the Pier’s mission to reimagine and revitalize its year-round programmatic offerings.”
Want to join the festivities? Visit Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens on Sundays, noon to 4 p.m., through March 26. For more information, check out a schedule of upcoming celebrations below and at www.navypier.com/neighborhoods-world.
March 5: Celebrate Italy
Presented in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute
March 12: Celebrate Lithuanian Independence
Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Lithuania
March 19: Celebrate Mexico
Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico and the Mexico Tourism Board
March 26: Greek Celebration
Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Greece