Community Partner Spaces

Through the Creative Arts Community Partnership Program, the displays and interactive exhibits throughout Lurie Children’s are the culmination of years of planning and collaboration on the part of more than 20 organizations throughout the Chicago area, Lurie Children’s staff and the hospital’s Kids Advisory Board.

As you tour these halls and rooms, you will encounter Paths of Discovery (a series of images, photographs or illustrations) and Discovery Boxes (three-dimensional dioramas, mounted at a young child’s eye level), as well as stand-alone installations, artwork and murals.

Our Community Partners & Installations

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Shedd Aquarium: Thanks to a one-of-a-kind donation by the John G. Shedd Aquarium, near life-size models of a mother humpback whale and her calf were raised 24 feet into the air and installed on the ceiling of the hospital’s Pritzker Foundation Lobby. In addition, the Shedd Aquarium’s calming and fun presence throughout the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Emergency Center transports guests to lively habitats around the world where unique and fascinating animals thrive.
 
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The Field Museum: In each of its four cases on the first floor, the museum features a scene from Illinois’ prehistoric past: from an underwater reef to a tropical swamp, then a land ruled by dinosaurs and later, a home to Ice Age mammoths. The backlit scenes use lenticular printing technology to create a three dimensional effect. Accompanying the images are real fossils and fossil casts from The Field Museum’s extensive collection.
 
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Art Institute Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago invites the exploration and discovery of 49 reproductions of paintings, sculptures, prints and decorative works of art from the museum’s collection. With young patients and their families in mind, the Art Institute selected works that reflect themes of home and family, animals and nature. Alongside these you will find kids’ interpretations of these artworks.
 
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Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago: The Museum of Contemporary Art’s active family programs are the inspiration for the fourth floor of Lurie Children’s, where guests and kids can enjoy images of art in the making. The MCA’s family programs introduce children and their families to contemporary art, and encourage spending time together viewing, making, questioning and just having fun with art.
 
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The DuSable Museum of African American History: The DuSable Museum of African American History’s mural showcases the founder of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable and everything that has grown from his pioneering beginnings to form this great city.
 
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Little Black Pearl: Symbolic of the transition and transformation of the patient through surgery, the theme of the mural leading to the operating rooms focuses on butterflies. Throughout the world, butterflies are considered symbols of endurance, change, hope and life.
 
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After School Matters: This series of murals, inspired by flora and fauna, was designed by teens in the After School Matters painting program. The dedicated young artists were determined to create an enjoyable, beautiful and welcoming setting that celebrates nature in a magical and fantastic way.
 
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Chicago Public Library: This mural is the gift of Mary A. Dempsey and Philip H. Corboy in honor of Chicago Public Library, and the children and families it serves. It is the work of artist Rafael López, a children’s book illustrator and advocate for literacy.

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Joffrey Ballet Chicago: Photos throughout the 7th floor present the vitality and uniqueness of The Joffrey, captured through the eye of the camera. These fascinating photographic works convey the beauty, elegance, energy and creativity expressed through ballet as art.
 
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Chicago Botanic Garden: Chicago Botanic Garden believes that beautiful natural environments and gardens are fundamentally important to the mental and physical well-being of all people. Research finds that realistic images of nature are preferred by all ages and help to reduce symptoms of stress, pain and confusion. The Garden’s Horticultural Therapy department draws on this evidence to thoughtfully design gardens for specific populations, to deliver programs promoting engagement with the world of nature and to partner with healthcare providers.
 
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National Museum of Mexican Art: “Para los niños” (For the kids) is a vibrant, fired ceramic and mosaic mural created by young artists from the Pilsen neighborhood through the museum’s Yollocalli Arts Reach program. The main objective of the mural is to bring wonder and amusement to children, families and staff at Lurie Children’s while serving as a backdrop to a major donor recognition display. The handcrafted mural measures 27.5 feet wide by 9.5 feet tall.
 
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Chicago Fire Department’s Engine Company 98: Located just down the block from Lurie Children’s on Chicago Avenue, this customized cab was donated by Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton in recognition of Lurie Children’s longstanding partnership with the Chicago Fire Department in caring for Chicago’s kids. It is accessible to kids of all ages and abilities and features some fun and “flashy” activities.
 
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Chicago Cultural Alliance: A dynamic, multimedia installation celebrating Chicago’s rich cultural diversity resides on the 12th floor. A collaborative effort between the Chicago Cultural Alliance and artist John Manning, the display incorporates a series of 15 flat screen video monitors mounted vertically on a 40-foot curved wall.
 
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Snow City Arts: In the children’s hospital setting, Snow City artists work with patients on many different art projects. These collaborations, between young artists and “great” artists, and between the young students themselves, are the nearly invisible stitches and seams that fabricate this gallery just outside the Family Life Center.
 
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Adler Planetarium: Adler Planetarium’s galactic perspective acts as a guiding light on the 14th floor, where the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is located. This exhibit offers an experience of tranquil wonder, and a reminder that though sometimes we can’t see them, the stars are always there, in the skies above us.
 
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Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lookingglass Theatre Company: inspired by their 2010 collaboration on a production of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic work for children, Peter and the Wolf. Through this story, patients and their families can discover the ways in which music and theatre can spark delight, inspire courage and offer comfort and refuge.
 
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Chicago History Museum: Children’s art, partnered with images from the Chicago History Museum’s unparalleled collection of historic photography, invites families to discover new perspectives on the city. Using their imaginations to journey through space and time, children and adults can explore images of Chicago today and over more than a century.
 
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Chicago Children’s Museum: With this installation, Chicago Children’s Museum brings the calming, restorative effects of nature to the patients on the 17th floor. Along the Paths of Discovery, every plant and animal featured in these landscapes lives within 60 miles of Lurie Children’s — and was photographed specifically for this project.
 
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Nature Museum: The Nature Museum brings elements of the natural world to the 18th floor. The hallways are graced with images that depict the interconnectedness of nature and the urban environment, such as a view of native prairie grasses behind a backdrop of classic Chicago architecture.
 
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Lincoln Park Zoo: On the 19th floor, the Lincoln Park Zoo invites us to explore and enjoy the beauty of animals. Whimsical storybook murals, photographs and interactive areas weave the concept together. The interactive area near the elevator bank features larger-than-life turtles that bring a storybook to life and represent the residents of the Nature Boardwalk at the zoo.


Museum of Science and Industry: Visitors arriving on the 20th floor enter a garden of light and images called Shadow Garden. In this garden, shadows make amazing things happen. Thousands of butterflies will perch on their heads and a waterfall-like flow of sand collects in their arms.
 
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Redmoon Theater: Lurie Children’s is the proud recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Grant Award in the Visual Arts category in partnership with Redmoon Theater for this exhibit. Redmoon Theater aims to create the same sense of community and hopefulness that is experienced in its renowned spectacles and events.
 
See more of our spaces.

The following donors contributed generously to support the Creative Arts Community Partnership displays:

  • Susan and Lloyd Berhoff
  • Cal’s All-Star Angel Foundation
  • CN
  • Mary A. Dempsey and Philip H. Corboy
  • Marilyn & Larry Fields and Family
  • James J. & Jamie Thorsen McNulty
  • The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation
  • Evan & Anita Rao
  • Maria and Bill Smithburg
  • The Sunshine Charitable Foundation
  • Rebecca, Daniel, Bobby, Mikey, Flora, Tomi, Dena, Lisi, Mia & Levi Weiss, in honor of Emuna Shir