Chicago Illinois - Soaring Skyscrapers, sweeping Shores of Lake Michigan, and a Warm Midwest Welcome
Chicago Illinois is a city that's known for soaring skyscrapers, outstanding arts and culture, world-famous events, outstanding dining, vibrant urban recreation along the waterfront, and a warm Midwest welcome. Whether you're here for business or pleasure, you'll love everything this city has to offer.
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Art & Culture
As a city and region, Chicago is home to some of the country's most important arts and cultural institutions. These institutions are essential to the economic health of metropolitan Chicago, providing a variety of jobs and a critical source of revenue. They also help attract people from across the United States, promoting cultural tourism and helping to strengthen the regional economy.
Music & Dance
Chicago is the place to see some of the best musicians in the world performing and recording their work. You'll find a wide range of musical ensembles and symphony orchestras throughout the city. There are specialized classical ensembles, jazz, pop and rock bands, and a large number of musical organizations that focus on folk music, including the Old Town School of Folk Music, which is one of the world's most important centers for the study of traditional folk music.
Among the many highlights of the Chicago area are the magnificent skyline, the sweeping shores of Lake Michigan and the city's 77 neighborhoods. Combined with world-class restaurants, exceptional fine dining, and a thriving LGBTQ+ community, you'll discover why so many visitors make this their destination of choice!
Historical & Ethnic Aspects of Chicago
The city has a long history. The first permanent settler in 1779 was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a trapper and merchant from Haiti who built the trading post that evolved into what is now Chicago. He is honored in Chicago with Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive, the DuSable Bridge on Michigan Avenue, and the DuSable Museum of African American History.
In the mid-19th century, Chicago was the center of a rapid growth boom, and its social development varied widely. The 1833 completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal helped to fill Chicago with speculators, but the nation's national economic depression in the 1840s delayed the city's expansion for several years.
During this period, ethnic and racial issues came to the forefront of Chicago's social life. These themes were represented in many works of literature, such as those by Saul Bellow and Nelson Algren. The 20th century brought a new generation of writers to the city, including such diverse voices as Gwendolyn Brooks and Leon Forrest.
Literature has always been an integral part of Chicago's history and culture. The city is home to the largest collection of public libraries in the country and a rich tradition of theater, dance, and opera. In addition to performing arts, the region is home to an extensive network of museums and other cultural institutions.
The region's nonprofit arts and culture sector contributes more than $2.43 billion to the local economy and is an important part of the quality of life in Chicago and its surrounding communities. This sector is vital to attracting and keeping talent, and it plays an essential role in improving the quality of life for residents of all ages.