Arts History

An Artistic Heritage

Historically active arts organizations and venues include the Chopin Theater and the Flat Iron Artists Association. The Chopin Theater, built in 1918, at the Polish Triangle, has been home to innovative, international and award winning theater for well over two decades. At the physical heart of the neighborhood, the Flat Iron Building has evolved into a collective of artist's studios whose doors are always open, inviting passersby to take a look. The Flat Iron's 'First Friday' open gallery events kick-start the neighborhood action every month.

Celebrating the Arts

WPB also hosts a number of neighborhood arts festivals each year, including the acclaimed Bucktown Arts Fest held during last week end of August at Holstein Park, 2200 N Oakley, which provides an outdoor experience for artists, performers and artisans. The fall calendar is anchored by the Coyote show at the Flat Iron, 1579 N Milwaukee, named for the iconic tower building across the street at the intersection of Milwaukee, North and Damen Avenues whose likeness is that of a coyote howling at the moon. Other festivals include Wicker Park Fest, Renegade Craft Fair, Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest, and Out of Site Chicago.

The popular handmade movement is strongly anchored in Wicker Park and Bucktown. Our very own Renegade Handmade, 1924 W Division Street, produces the incredibly popular Renegade craft fairs in the Wicker Park community and across the country. Renegade takes over Division Street the second weekend of September, with their cornerstone Renegade Craft Fair. They do it again the first weekend of December with the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair at the historic Pulaski Park field house in Wicker Park. Renegade has developed into an international phenomenon, producing not only their marquee Chicago craft fairs, but also producing fairs in Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London!

Pick a direction to explore with aid of our arts directory and prepare to immerse yourself in WPB, a vibrant neighborhood that embraces arts in all forms.