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11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo 2014

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The 11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo, March 14th and 15th at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) will provide important resources and information to Chicago’s creative community with more than 40 workshops and over 160 exhibitors. The Expo is free admission; hours are 10am–4pm daily with workshops and vendors located throughout the building.

The many workshops being offered and the participating exhibitors will contribute to make this event a must-do for professional and aspiring designers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, chefs and others. Workshop presenters include Kickstarter, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Kartemquin Films, Links Hall, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Fractured Atlas, Second City Training Center, 3Arts and others.

Expo highlights include the Inventables “Fab Lab” for the latest in digital fabrication – desktop carving, 3D printing, and laser cutting with traditional and exotic inspirational materials. Expo attendees will want to catch a panel discussion on local manufacturing with Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan and representatives from OnPoint Patterns, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center among others on Friday, March 14 at 1:30pm. Expo workshops have tracks for fashion, fundraising, business development, marketing, community/space and music. Complete workshop descriptions and all participating vendors are available online at creativechicagoexpo.org.

The 2014 Expo theme, Moving Forward, is exemplified by the event’s four keynote speakers. Friday, March 14 will feature artist Theaster Gates at 10:30am and fashion designer Maria Pinto at 3pm. On Saturday, March 15, chef Carrie Nahabedian will speak at 10:30am and filmmaker Robert Teitel will speak at 3pm.

All members of Chicago’s creative industries, the keynote speakers pioneered strategies and creative practices that have gained national and international recognition. Keynotes take place in Claudia Cassidy Theater (second floor north) and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For each talk, doors will open 30 minutes prior. Attendees will have an opportunity to text a question to the keynotes via Textizen: 312.533.4101 prior to the Expo. Their questions may be selected and answered during the keynote address.

The NOSH, a popup lunch service at Block 37, will present several local food and beverage vendors with items for purchase each day. Featuring some of Chicago's most innovative chefs and restaurants, The NOSH will provide Expo attendees with a taste of some of the city's most unique and delicious dishes. Bites for sale include nontraditional tamales from Pilsen’s Dia De Los Tamales, Asian fusion from Bucktown’s Bento Box and meat-free specialties from The Vegan Food Truck. The Salsa Truck will also be onsite serving their mouthwatering, traditional Mexican tacos, along with Cup & Spoon providing expertly brewed Metropolitan Coffee, tea and pastries.

Additionally, Expo attendees will be able to sign up for health care through the Affordable Healthcare Act both days and receive free eye examinations from the Illinois College of Optometry on Saturday.

The 11th Annual Creative Chicago Expo is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by WBEZ, Power Tower and CAN-TV. For more information, visit creativechicagoexpo.org, Facebook (Creative Chicago Expo) and Twitter @ChicagoDCASE (#ChiXpo). [from Creative Chicago Expo press release]

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