Press Releases

Chicago History Museum Announces New Exhibition “Designing for Change: Chicago Protest Art of the 1960s–70s”

Mar 14 2024

A dynamic experience that will transport visitors back to a pivotal time in Chicago and US history and connect to the present.

CHICAGO (March 14, 2024) The Chicago History Museum is thrilled to announce its upcoming exhibition, “Designing for Change: Chicago Protest Art of the 1960s–70s.” Set to open on Saturday, May 18, 2024, this exhibition is a dynamic experience that will transport visitors back to a pivotal time in Chicago and US history and connect that era to issues of the present. Through the lens of protest art, visitors will gain a deeper understanding of one of the most tumultuous periods in US history, how it continues to shape our world today, and the role that art played in effecting change. 

The exhibition features more than 100 thought-provoking artifacts, including posters, fliers, signs, banners, newspapers, magazines and books from the 1960s and ’70s. These expressive works convey the often-radical ideas regarding race, war, gender equality and sexuality that challenged the social norms of the time. The exhibition also features period photography and first-person interviews delving deeper into Chicago’s tradition of activist art, now called “artivism.” A concluding section features works by a new generation of artivists who are carrying on Chicago’s rich legacy of protest art in response to critical issues of our time. 

When asked about the significance of the exhibition, curator Olivia Mahoney said, “Chicago artists helped change the world by creating powerful signs, symbols, and imagery for the Civil Rights, Black Power, anti-Vietnam War, women’s liberation and early LGBTQIA+ movements. We hope the exhibition will remind visitors of the critical role that free expression plays in a democratic society, and that it will inspire them to become more involved in civic affairs and work for positive change.”  

The Chicago History Museum invites the public to join them in exploring the profound impact of protest art and its ability to shape society. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the transformative power of design and be inspired to create positive change. 

A preview week for “Designing for Change” will be held May 13–17, during which members of the press are invited to view the exhibition and engage with the powerful narratives it presents. For more information, please visit the Chicago History Museum’s website or contact the Museum’s press office. 

Media kit available here:  


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