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Chicago History Museum Introduces First Giving Day Initiative

The Chicago History Museum this month announced its inaugural Giving Day initiative, a fundraising campaign set to raise $50,000 in 24 hours on March 4, 2020. Proceeds will directly benefit Museum programming, education, collections and visitor experiences. In honor of Chicago’s incorporation as a city, Giving Day encourages Chicagoans to support the preservation of the city’s history and further our mission to share Chicago’s stories through a gift of any size.

“The Chicago History Museum is the hub of our city’s history, and we are proud to share Chicago’s stories that honor our past and unite us today,” said Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum. “Our mission is only made possible by support from our donors, members, visitors and beyond, and we look forward to establishing a tradition with Giving Day — one that will fuel the future of our city’s history.”

Giving Day gives Chicagoans the opportunity to make a difference in the future of history and the Museum’s impact on the city. All donations directly support the care and preservation of our renowned collections, such as the  recently acquired 5 million images in our Chicago Sun-Times photography collection, facilitating education programs that connect young people to history, including hands-on learning for students and teachers, and creating exhibitions and digital experiences that immerse visitors in our shared stories.0

Culminating in a public celebration of Chicago’s 183rd birthday, Giving Day provides a lens through which to envision history. At “Give a Toast to Chicago,” which runs 4:00–8:00 p.m., guests will see firsthand how their gifts directly fund the Museum’s work through virtual reality experiences and behind-the-scenes presentations by exhibitions staff. The event is free and open to the public. Activities and entertainment will include:

  • Chicago 00: Delve into the newest virtual reality episode from CHM’s Chicago 00 Project! Chicago 00: 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition takes viewers on an immersive tour of the world’s fair known for its dazzling White City and eclectic Midway Plaisance.
  • Pop-up Activations:
    • Discover objects in our collection including images from the newly acquired Sun-Times Photography Collection.
    • Explore the meaning behind each star on the Chicago flag with CHM staffand get hands-on with history through objects from our teaching collection.
  • Entertainment:
    Smarty Pants Balloonist, 4:306:30 p.m.
    KUD Bosna Chicago folk dance, 4:455:30 p.m.
    Music from Joel Paterson Group, 5:456:15 p.m.
    Music from Son Monarcas, 6:307:00 p.m.
  • Cake Cutting and Remarks: 7:00 p.m.

To learn more about Giving Day and how your gift can make a difference, visit


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories