At our Independence Day event, find out how you can be a Connector! Link with organizations advocating for a better Chicago, hear from local leaders, and leave your mark on the community mural. Enjoy crafts and games outside, hands-on history facilitated by Natalia Virafuentes, then tour the Museum with a Civic Action @ CHM guide. The day includes the first in-person screening of the documentary Represent (2020) by Kartemquin Films, followed by an exclusive Q&A panel with director Hillary Bachelder, as well as Myya Jones and Julie Cho, two of the subjects featured in it.

Presented in partnership with Made By Us, Civic Season is one way we roll out the welcome mat for the future inheritors of the United States, unleashing access to history for informed, inspired civic participation. Anchored by our newest and oldest federal holidays, the Civic Season event series mobilizes a movement to understand our past and shape our future.

All Civic Season events are FREE admission days for Illinois residents.


10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. – Program

Theme of “Remember, Reconnect, and Represent” featuring a keynote speech by Illinois Civics Hub director Mary Ellen Daneels with music from the Americana Concert Band and family-friendly festivities. Be sure to enjoy the Richard M. and Shirley H. Jaffee History Trail in full bloom!

12:00–4:30 p.m. – Museum Opens

Illinois residents get free admission today! Meet local groups advocating for a better Chicago, leave your mark on the community mural, and tour the Museum with a Civic Action @ CHM guide.

2:00–4:00 p.m. – Film Screening | Represent (2020)

1st floor, Robert R. McCormick Theater

  • 1:30 p.m. – Doors open
  • 2:00 p.m. – Welcome, opening remarks, and framing
  • 2:15 p.m. – Screening begins
  • 3:50 p.m. – Panel discussion begins

Kartemquin Films is a collaborative center empowering filmmakers who create documentaries that have consequences in the world and foster a more engaged and just society.

The organization’s films have received four Academy Award ® nominations and won several major prizes, including six Emmys, four Peabody Awards, multiple Independent Spirit, IDA, PGA, and DGA awards, and duPont-Columbia and Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards. Kartemquin is recognized as a leading advocate for independent public media, and has helped hundreds of artists via its filmmaker development programs that help further grow the field, such as KTQ Labs, Diverse Voices in Docs, and the acclaimed KTQ internship.

Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Chicago.

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