Crystal Ball – Celebrating The Magic of Community
May 14, 2022


Chicago, IL – Chicago Art Department (CAD) is proud to announce the return of the Crystal Ball on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 7-11pm, celebrating the Magic of Community. CAD will recognize its 18th year as a non-profit arts organization, with a mission to provide space and resources for socially minded artists to grow their practice while questioning the city we live in. 

The event will bring together CAD resident artists, partners, and supporters to celebrate in-person for the first time since 2019, including alumni artists who will showcase work in a Silent Auction. The event will also feature artist interventions that celebrate bright futures through live tarot, crystal gazing, and magic. The space will be transformed into a magical oasis by CAD Resident artist and Crystal Ball Curator, Jane Georges, who will be creating immersive experiences for guests to enjoy. On display in CAD’s Main Gallery will be Everything Must Go, an exhibition featuring the works of Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist Jeffrey Michael Austin, best known for their uncanny and illusory sculptural installations. 

The evening’s Emcee and Deejay will be DJ LOKari, formally known as Elgin Smith, who is a CAD Alum and 3Arts and Illinois Humanities Envisioning Justice Grant Recipient. Sharing a special musical performance will be members of the critically acclaimed group Black Monument Ensemble, led by CAD Co.Lab artist, educator, and musician, Damon Locks.

The Crystal Ball also will honor three individuals who exemplify the Magic of Community and are making a catalytic difference in Chicago. Receiving the Artist Recognition Award is CAD Resident, CPS teacher, and activist Silvia Inés Gonzalez; receiving the Community Recognition Award is 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez; culminating with the inaugural Crystal Award for Public Service honoring CAD Vice-Chair, Hyde Park Art Center Vice-Chair, and President of Urban Growers Collective, Erika Dudley, who shares Everything worth doing is done with others. Our work is my work. Our beautiful city is rich with people working together to make it more equitable. I am honored to be recognized as part of a community of change and thank Chicago Art Department for this acknowledgment. See you on May 14th and in the streets!”

All of the night’s events, performances, and guests will honor the mission and magic of CAD, which has provided artists with equitable and accessible opportunities for artistic development through subsidized Studio Residencies, Think-Tank programs, Community Events, and Contemporary Exhibitions and Programs. Since creating the Studio Residency program CAD has worked with over 100 resident artists, and through partnerships and exhibitions, has exhibited works by over 1,000 artists.

I am deeply thankful and proud to be associated with CAD’s community of communities,” said Mike Nourse, CAD Board Chair and Co-founder. “I am excited to celebrate the people that make magic happen.”

Early Bird discounted tickets are available through April 14, with regular rates going into effect on April 15, 2022. Reduced ticket prices are also available for artists and students, or for guests wishing to attend the Afterparty-only portion from 9-11pm. 

The Crystal Ball will be held at CAD inside the historic Fountainhead lofts building, located within Pilsens’ Arts District at 1926 S. Halsted Street. CAD’s physical spaces features 11,000 square feet with soaring 22’ ceilings, 3 public galleries, private studios for up to 20 artists, and a large community event area.

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