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The Water Tower Arts District is a coalition of cultural organizations, within walking distance of the historic Chicago Water Tower, that brings synergy to the group’s creative efforts, strengthens the cultural vigor of the community, and encourages citizens and visitors to enjoy and explore the multitude of diverse cultural opportunities in the District.

Inspired by the resilience of the Chicago Water Tower—built in 1869 and one of the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871—the Water Tower Arts District extends the legacy of the area which thrived in the early twentieth century as Towertown, an epicenter of the arts. Today, the District offers world-class programming in architecture, art, dance, design, film, history, literature, music, performance, and theater.


  • Welcome all Chicagoans and visitors through programming that attracts wide-ranging interests and audiences, reflecting the diversity of Chicago
  • Strengthen relationships between member organizations to expand creative dialogue across different fields
  • Reactivate the cultural history of the area and establish the District as a current cultural destination
  • Deepen connections between the District and surrounding communities by collaborating with civic and business leaders and organizations
  • Develop special events and integrated programming throughout the District
  • Bring joy and cultural verve to the District and Chicago in ways that highlight the city’s deep cultural heritage

Artist Commission

The District commissioned Assaf Evron to create portraits of all member organizations. Evron in an artist and a photographer based in Chicago.  His work investigates the nature of vision and the ways it is reflected in socially constructed structures by applying photographic thinking in two and three-dimensional media and has exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. Evron holds an MA from The Cohn Institute at Tel-Aviv University as well as an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where he currently teaches. He has received numerous awards and highlights include Artis, DCASE, Graham Foundation, Israel Lottery, the Gerard Levy Prize from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the James Weinstein Fellowship from SAIC.

In 2019 he debuted a special project at the Mies van der Rohe McCormick House in Elmhurst, IL that premieres a series of photographic interventions in van der Rohe’s architecture. His first solo US museum show opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in fall 2019.