settlement and the work of its residents, showing how Addams was able to help
transform the dismal streets around her into stable inner-city environments.
Allow a half-hour.
University of Illinois at Chicago, 800 S. Halsted St. (at Polk St.). & 312/413-5353. www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull.
Free admission. Tues-Fri 10am-4pm; Sun noon-4pm. Subway/El: Blue Line to Halsted/University of Illinois.
Martin D'Arcy Museum of Art Ages 5 & up. A treasure trove of medieval,
Renaissance, and baroque art, the Martin D'Arcy Museum of Art covers the
years A . D . 1100 to 1700. All the rich symbolism of Catholicism through the
baroque era is embodied in such works as a gem-encrusted silver and ebony
sculpture of Christ's scourging, a head of John the Baptist on a silver platter,
golden chalices, rosary beads carved with biblical scenes, and many other highly
ornamented ritual objects.
Loyola University, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd. & 773/508-2679. Free admission. Tues-Sat noon-4pm. Closed Aug.
Subway/El: Red Line to Loyola. Bus: 151.
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum All ages. Chicago's vibrant Pilsen
neighborhood, just southwest of the Loop, is home to one of the nation's largest
Mexican-American communities. Ethnic pride emanates from every doorstep,
taqueria, and bakery and the multitude of colorful murals splashed across build-
ing exteriors and alleyways. But this museum, the largest Latino cultural insti-
tution in the country, may be the neighborhood's most prized possession. That's
quite an accomplishment, given that the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum was
founded in 1987 by a passel of public schoolteachers who pooled $900 to get it
The museum is very family-oriented, offering a deluge of educational work-
shops for kids and parents: It's truly a living museum. There are wonderful
exhibits to be sure, showcasing Mexican and Mexican-American visual and per-
forming artists, and often drawing on the museum's permanent collection of
more than 2,400 works. But it's the visiting artists, festival programming, and
community participation where the museum really shines. Its Day of the Dead
celebration, which runs for about 8 weeks beginning in September, is one of the
most ambitious in the country. The Del Corazon Mexican Performing Arts Fes-
tival, held in the spring, features programs by local and international artists here
and around town. And the Sor Juana Festival, presented in the fall, honors Mex-
ican writer and pioneering feminist Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz with photography
and painting exhibits, music and theater performances, and poetry readings by
The museum also has a splendid gift shop, and it stages a holiday market, fea-
turing gift items from Mexico, on the first weekend in December. Allow 1 hour.
1852 W. 19th St. (a few blocks west of Ashland Ave.). & 312/738-1503. www.mfacmchicago.org. Free
admission. Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Subway/El: Blue Line to 18th St. Bus: 9.
Museum of Broadcast Communications Ages 3 & up. This museum,
formerly housed in the basement of the Chicago Cultural Center, closed its
doors in 2004 and plans to reopen in 2006 in a new, 50,000-square-foot home
on State Street at Kinzie Avenue. The Museum of Broadcast Communications
claims to be one of only three broadcast museums in the nation. Its new home
will include expanded archives and exhibit galleries, seminars and public events,
a radio and television studio, a gift shop, and a cafe. Stay tuned for more, as they
say in the business.
400 N. State St. (at Kinzie), Suite 240. & 312/245-8200. www.mbcnet.org.