Community Engagement




Civic Practice Partnerships bring Lookingglass artists to organizations to help address a need, challenge, or goals identified by the organization or community. In 2018, Lookingglass Civic Practice Partnerships worked with more than 1,300 participants.

Current partners include:

  • Art on Sedgwick: Art on Sedgwick is dedicated to fostering creativity and connecting our community through the power of art. Lookingglass artists are working with youth and adults to build community in the economically and racially diverse Old Town neighborhood.
  • Chicago Park District: As part of the Chicago Park District’s strategic plan, Lookingglass works with the Culture, Arts and Nature unit to co-design and implement Re:Center, a 4-Phase process to transform 15 Chicago parks across the city into Cultural Centers where the arts thrive.
  • Chicago Worker’s Collaborative: CWC organizes and advocates for temporary workers across the Chicago-land area, collaborating with educational institutions, communities of faith and other labor groups to make a real impact on local communities. Lookingglass artists work with women workers in low-wage jobs to develop better tools for self-advocacy in the workplace.
  • ReCharge: Arts for Brain Health: A coalition of leading Chicago hospitals and arts organizations creating arts programming for those with early-stage memory loss, diminished cognitive and neuro-motor function and those who care for them.

I used to walk and watch out for the holes. When you are looking down, it’s like you are looking down to yourself. You are not confident. I walk with my head up now and I can feel the difference…I can face anybody now.”

— Chicago Worker’s Collaborative participant



Community Partner Subscriptions bring constituents from partner organizations, at no charge, to Lookingglass to see all the shows in our season, with pre and post-show visits from Lookingglass artists. This is part of our commitment to lowering barriers and increasing accessibility to the experience of theater. Each year, Lookingglass hosts 100 Community Partner Subscribers at each of our mainstage productions, at no cost to the individuals or the partner organizations.

Our 2018–19 Community Partner Subscribers are:

  • Art on Sedgwick: Art on Sedgwick is dedicated to fostering creativity and connecting our community through the power of art.
  • By the Hand: This Chicago-based after-school program emphasizes academic excellence while nurturing the whole child. Operating in five sites across Chicago, By the Hand provides 1,270 kids after-school instruction, tutoring, mentoring, and leadership development to children from Chicago’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.
  • Chicago Help Initiative & The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) provides meals to the homeless, underprivileged, and today’s jobless citizens of the near North Side of Chicago, and connects them to the resources and social services they need in order to thrive under difficult circumstances. Red Line Service creates cultural experiences for and with Chicagoans currently experiencing and/or concerned about homelessness.
  • Latinos Progresando/La Familia Unida: Latinos Progresando has built the largest Latino-led family based immigration legal services program in Illinois; runs Teatro Americano, a theater ensemble and arts education program that writes and performs the stories of Chicago’s Latino community; and convenes the Marshall Square Network, a coalition of more than 20 organizations working to transform Chicago’s southwest side. La Familia Unida Agency is dedicated to the well-being and development of individuals, families, and their communities, offering counseling services, intervention programs for domestic violence, parenting education programs, and anger management programs.
  • My Block My Hood My City: My Block, My Hood, My City provides underprivileged youth with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. We take students on explorations focused on STEM, Arts & Culture, Citizenry & Volunteerism, Health, Community Development, Culinary Arts, and Entrepreneurism.

Thank you again for the opportunity to see '20,000 Leagues under the Seas'!! We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the play! The students especially enjoyed the stage and special effects. We all did! It was amazing and really gave you the feeling of being under the sea. We're grateful for the chance to see such an excellent production!“

— Robin Tyrell, By the Hand


Production Coalitions bring together organizations whose missions align with the content and themes of our mainstage productions. Participating partners get a sneak peek into the artistic development process, bring their expertise to REFLECT panels, and collaborate on programming around the production.


Lookingglass’ REFLECT Series of panel discussions offers a deep dive into the varied themes and content of each production, with local experts offering insights and diverse perspectives during Sunday post-show conversations.   REFLECT post-show discussions are free and open to the public, and take place directly following the 2PM matinee on select Sundays at Lookingglass Theatre.



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