By Michelle Lee
Chicago is a city bursting with art, music, and creative spirit. Unfortunately, the wallets of college students can’t always keep up. So what’s an art-starved student to do? For those seeking free art events, musical performances, and more, UChicago offers no shortage of options. Below is a guide to the best free and discounted opportunities on campus.
The University of Chicago Presents is one of the most generous programs on campus, bringing internationally esteemed musical performances to students free of charge. Students only have to send an e-mail request to obtain one of the 35 free student tickets, which are sponsored by the UChicago Arts Pass and Sponsor-A-Student programs. The catch? They must also write a short thank-you note to their patron. For those unable to grab a free ticket (or disinclined toward writing), they can still get discounted tickets for five dollars and watch famous groups like the Pacifica Quartet perform.
Students can also catch weekly free concerts at Fulton Hall as part of the Noontime Concert Series. Concerts are every Thursday at 12:15 p.m.
The Chicago Arts District hosts a monthly “2nd FRIDAYS Gallery Night,” which is a free tour of galleries and artists’ studios around South Halsted and 18th Streets in the Pilsen district. With 30 creative spaces, this art community is an exciting opportunity for students to explore the newest art installations and meet local artists. Complementary food and drinks are also provided.
Court Theatre is a professional theatre nestled between Ratner and Pierce on the University of Chicago campus. Featuring classic works and named “the most consistently excellent theater company in America” by The Wall Street Journal, Court is a little-known but widely respected theatre that is readily accessible to students. Students can buy ten-dollar advance tickets, five-dollar rush tickets, or catch Wednesday/Thursday 7:30 performances for free by stopping by the box office window one hour in advance. The theatre also offers Student Nights, where students can get tickets, pizza, and drinks for only ten dollars.
For those looking to get their hands dirty with charcoal and paper, Outside the Lines offers figure drawing classes every Tuesday, 6 to 9 p.m., in Cobb 409. Students have access to drawing supplies and live models free of charge, and artists of all levels are welcome to participate.
For UChicago students, the UCID also functions as the UChicago Arts Pass. This pass gives them free access to the Art Institute of Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, Oriental Institute, and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
The Arts Pass also provides various other discounts, such as to the Joffrey Ballet, Blue Man Group, and Lyric Opera. Visit http://arts.uchicago.edu/artspass/orgs.shtml for more information.