MCA Prime Time is an after-hours series that taps into the creative pulse of Chicago with an eclectic mix of live music, performance art, film screenings, and interactive programs that transforms the museum in spectacular ways. Occurring three times a year, the series is an electrifying social experience that provides a platform for artists and key cultural groups in the city.
For the inaugural event, the MCA collaborates with Chicago-based Land and Sea Dept., the concept and project development studio behind such famed restaurants as Longman & Eagle, Parson’s Chicken & Fish, and the Cherry Circle Room at the newly reopened Chicago Athletic Association. The collective brings their combined expertise in art, design, music, food, and drink to the MCA for a truly one-of-a-kind event.
Titled Vibes, the event explores themes of collaboration, inspiration, and community with performances and art activations throughout the museum. Elliot Bergman, of indie-pop duo Wild Belle, opens the event with a performance on the plaza, welcoming guests as they arrive at the museum. Electropop star Dan Deacon brings his blissfully frenetic dance music and unpredictable theatrics to a music performance powered by infectious pop beats, audience participation, and general comic mayhem. Chicago artists Drew Ryan (DOMESTIC ANIMAL) and Derek Weber (AFTERGLOWINGS), team up throughout the night with music performance and liquid light. Hit + Run, the world’s originators of live-event screen printing, help visitors create their own, custom-made artworks, while Jeremiah Chiu’s (Plural) Smartphone Symphony, an interactive art piece inviting participants to play tones via their smartphone, allows participants to construct their own user-generated symphonies. In addition, Land & Sea Dept. curate the LSD Mini-Mart, showcasing the work of local makers across various disciplines, including Sonnenzimmer, the Arts of Life, LVL3, The Pitchfork Review, WesternXeditions, Drag City, and many more.
Alongside the interactive art elements, bars and restaurants from the Land and Sea Dept. family pop-up in the museum for the evening. Parson’s Chicken and Fish set up their custom red-and-white umbrellas and picnic tables, as Chef Hunter Moore and bar manager Charlie Schott serve up Parson’s signature dishes and slushies. Tiki bar Lost Lake and adjoining American-Chinese take-out counter Thank You set up shop as well, featuring Paul McGee’s signature cocktails and bites from Chefs Jennifer Jackson and Justin Tootla. Longman & Eagle’s Off-Site Bar is on-site, complete with bar manager Phil Olson’s drinks and Executive Chef Matt Kernery’s culinary offerings.