The Simple Good & The Gala: City of Big Dreams


Clear your calendar – It’s going down! The Simple Good & The Gala: City of Big Dreams kicks off on July 19th, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities. 1st Ward at the Chop Shop (2033 W North Ave) is our meeting spot for a night of fun and excitement. Come one, come all, bring a guest, and hang loose. This is going to be epic!

The best just got better.
The Simple Good and The Gala present “City of Big Dreams” – a collaborative pop-up showcase uniting five different mediums of art under a single inspiration, “the simple good of Chicago.”

The evening will debut an original piece, featuring Chicago’s own Grammy-Award Winning Spoken Word Artist/MC Malik Yusef, and Chicago’s own International Street Artist, Czr Prz, uniting with a string quartet, piano, an opera chorus, and dancers to perform under a single inspiration – the simple good of Chicago.

Through the event we celebrate not only the talented local artists Chicago holds, but also the rebirth and transformation of the city which encompasses the good that surrounds us. Through a curated selection of street artists, poets, musicians and dancers, we demonstrate the strength and inspiration that has begun to transform “The City of Big Shoulders” to a “City with Big Dreams.”
An evening full of inspiring Chicagoans – Also Featuring:

The Gala

The Gala is a monthly open mic that brings together a diverse group of artists from across the city to inspire collaboration and encourage up-and-coming artists to share their talent with the collective. Cole Degenova is the Co-founder & organizer of Chicago’s popular artist collective and is a Chicago native who studied at the prestegious Berklee College of Music and leads a funky alternative soul group, Cole Degenova & The People’s Republic. He has worked with of Lupe Fiasco, Brett Dennen, Latin Grammy winner Lucky Diaz, Meshell N’Degeocello, Matthew Santos and many more. Cole has led the curation of “The City of Big Dreams” beautiful closing piece with Malik and artists listed above.

Sandbox Network

Sandboxers are high character, high impact leaders under the age of 30 drawn from one of 10 different streams; Academics (including Scientists), Adventurers, Artists, Builders (Architects, Engineers, Inventors, Developers), Business Leaders, Designers, Entrepreneurs, Politicians, Social Innovators, Story Tellers. Sandbox identifies and accelerates the development of young leaders across the world.

Czr Prz

Czr Prz, (born in 1980 Cesar Augusto Perez De Arguezo) is an artist/designer from Stone Park Il, a western suburb of Chicago. He comes from a line of artists through his mothers’ side that were writers, poets, painters, doctors and professors.

Garrett Belschner

Chicago Native, Entreprenur, and DJ Garrett Belschner has opened and played with the best DJs in the Industry – including, Jamie Jones, Sasha to Art Department to Maceo Plex.

Catalyze Chicago

Led by Engineer, Bill Fienup, Catalyze Chicago is a community for hardware entrepreneurs. Catalyze Chicago is also an avid supporter of the arts and sciences, dedicated to sharing the wonders of design and engineering with local students, colleges and museum communities.

Boy Illinois

Rapping since the age of 15 and with almost 4 official years in the game, The Boy Illinois isn’t a fad. He’s not just selling great singles but is creating a timeless music catalog that can be revisited over and over. He isn’t an artist that was meant to “blow up” quickly either, but rather an artist you take the time to get to know and begin to appreciate over time. The greats often take time to reach greatness, and if anything can be said for William Dalton, it is that he will without a doubt reach greatness in his own time and on his own terms. “Yer.”

Jahmal Cole

Chicago is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It is my goal that it will also be the most interconnected city in the world. MY BLOCK, MY HOOD, MY CITY helps people see beyond their local communities. The residents of Chicago don’t define themselves as Chicagoans—we isolate ourselves according to geographical and community boundaries, limiting our opportunities, possibilities, and worldviews to our immediate vicinity.

Chicago Opera Initiative

Chicago Opera Initiative is dedicated to bringing stunning voices and music to a broader audience. Our goal is to bring opera to a new generation through a new perspective and approach, as well as bring new performing opportunities to emerging artists in the Chicago area. Opera can at times seem high brow but it’s music and stories are universal. We are committed to making opera more accessible to all audiences through language, location and interpretation.

Quartet Datura

Quartet Datura prides itself on performances and collaborations in many musical genres. Through collaboration with up-and-coming artists and composers, the quartet strives to explore the deeper contexts of classical, contemporary, and original music. Recent performances and collaborative recordings have been done with Deltron3030, Sidewalk Chalk, Brendan Forrest, and House of Whales. Quartet Datura is comprised of Amanda Bailey, Katie Klocke, Marta Honer and Nora Barton.

Proceeds of the event benefit The Simple Good, a Chicago based non-profit focused on connecting the meaning of good from around the world through public art projects and art programming in low-income schools in Chicago, as well as supporting local Chicago artists.

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