Free Events This Week: Chicago Architecture And History

We love Chicago architecture and history so each week we pick some of our favorite Chicago architecture and history events to share. We feature three free events this week with a jazz concert in Grant Park, a culinary street festival, and a local artists art and craft fair.

1. Ella, Louis and All That Jazz – MUSIC PERFORMANCE

Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E Randolph St. – Wednesday, July 9th, 8:00pm


Enjoy one of Chicago’s best summertime venues with music that defined an era. The history of jazz in Chicago reaches from the north side in Uptown to the south side in Bronzeville and this Wednesday you can pay tribute to greats who played at both and everywhere in between. Jeff Tyzik and the Grant Park Orchestra honor Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. To be included is the sultry voice of Marva Hicks and the brass stylings of Byron Stripling.

2. Taste of Chicago – STREET FESTIVAL

Grant Park, Jackson Blvd. and Columbus Dr. – Wednesday, July 9th-Sunday, July 13th

FREE Admission

Summer is in full swing in Chicago noted by the ever so popular annual tradition that is Taste of Chicago. This is a five-day food festival that showcases Chicago’s diverse culinary delights with selections from regular restaurants to Pop-Up restaurants to food trucks. As always, the festival includes concerts each night at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park and will feature some of my personal favorites, Emmylou Harris and Jeff Tweedy, among other artists.

chicago dusable museum arts and crafts festival
Photo Credit: Courtesy of

3. 40th Annual DuSable Museum Arts and Crafts Festival – LOCAL ARTS FESTIVAL

740 E 56th Pl. – Saturday, July 12th-Sunday, July 13th


Nearly 200 local artists will be in attendance this year for the DuSable Museum of African American History’s 40th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival. In furthering the museum’s mission to preserve the history and culture of the African-American experience, the festival will showcase work inspired by African-American themes of identity, history and culture. To accompany the visual arts and crafts, performance troupes will perform throughout the festival which celebrates this year the life of the museum’s founder, Dr. Margaret Burroughs.


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K


Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F

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