Open Doors Open Minds – Chicago Architecture Center’s Gala 2020

The Chicago Architecture Center’s annual fall festival, Open House Chicago, celebrates 10 years in October. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center

Design lovers from across Chicago and around the globe are welcome to attend the Chicago Architecture Center’s Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The free, hourlong virtual event will feature conversations between leading architects and aspiring young designers, highlights from CAC Education programs for teens, and a preview of the CAC’s tenth annual Open House Chicago festival.

All are welcome to attend the Chicago Architecture Center’s free online gala on July 23. Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds presenters include Destiny Brady, former CAC Teen Ambassador and later Teen Fellow, now at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Photo by Anna Munzesheimer

The Gala begins at 6pm Central Time. It can be viewed online at architecture.org/opendoors or via the CAC’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/chicagoarchitecture. All proceeds from the event support the CAC, its education programs and Open House Chicago.

Proceeds from Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds support CAC Education programs and the tenth annual, longest-ever Open House Chicago festival. Photo by Anna Munzesheimer

This FREE VIRTUAL EVENT offers viewers the chance to toast the two extraordinary honorees, Edward J. Wehmer and Nila R. Leiserowitz, while also sharing in an entertaining and mission-driven program that is sure to have some enjoyable surprises along the way!

Edward J. Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust Financial Corporation, will be honored during Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds for Wintrust’s continued, generous sponsorship of Open House Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center

Awards will be presented, to Edward J. Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust Financial Corporation, for Wintrust’s generous sponsorship of Open House Chicago; and Nila R. Leiserowitz, FASID, FIIDA, recently retired Regional Managing Principal at Gensler, for her 40 years of extraordinary service to the design industry.

Nila R. Leiserowitz, FASID, FIIDA, retired Regional Managing Principal at Gensler, will be honored during Gala 2020: Open Doors Open Minds for 40 years of extraordinary service to the design industry. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center

A special round table discussion will be aired during Open Doors Open Minds, between three alumni from CAC Education programs for teens and four world-renowned architects: Jeanne Gang, Juan Gabriel Moreno, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. Other special guest speakers include former CAC Teen Ambassador and Teen Fellow Destiny Brady, now a student at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning; CAC President and CEO Lynn J. Osmond; and CAC Trustees Andy Gloor, John W. Rutledge and Ann Thompson.

WTTW host and producer Geoffrey Baer, also a CAC docent, with CAC President and CEO Lynn Osmond. Photo by Michael Courier

Gala attendees will be the first to hear about the CAC’s revised plans for Open House Chicago (OHC), which will return for a tenth consecutive year, in-person and online, October 16−25, 2020. At least 20 neighborhoods will be highlighted during OHC 2020 with an intentional focus on, and engagement with, neighborhoods prioritized by the City of Chicago’s INVEST South/West initiative.

Open House Chicago will be reconfigured in 2020 to feature neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides, and will include more online and remotely accessible experiences. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Center.

Proceeds will support the CAC and Open House Chicago. Hosted by the CAC every October, Open House Chicago (OHC) is a free festival that gives the public behind-the-scenes access to hundreds of architecturally significant buildings across the city. OHC opens doors and opens minds by sharing the richness of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods with all, bridging gaps between communities and turning strangers into neighbors.

Learn more about Gala 2020: Open Doors OpenMinds and to register in advance of the event. Advance registration is not required, but highly recommended.

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