The MCA’s 5th Birthday

1970s Events Ontario Street Parties Visitors

The rain held off and thousands of people came for hot dogs and beer.

We put together the fifth-birthday party for the museum. And we were able to get the street shut down, Ontario, which was unheard of because it's a state roadway, between the Eden's and Lake Shore Drive. But they shut it down for us. And we had one of our members put together what amounted to a fifth-birthday poster, which we printed up. Another one constructed all the places where we would sell hot dogs and hamburgers, and—we didn't have hamburgers, we had hot dogs, and a lot of beer. We had a beer truck sitting in the alley there next to the museum.

And we must have gotten—we thought we might get a few hundred people. We got thousands of people, because one of the traffic helicopters kept telling everybody about the party on Ontario Street, and people just stormed in. And we had thought about getting a tent. I mean it would have been worthless. So we were lucky we didn't do that. And the rain held off. So that was maybe the first major event that the museum had. The first party that the museum had, as I remember it anyway—going back to the fifth birthday.

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Video still, Behind the Scenes at an Art Museum. © MCA Chicago.

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MCA staff members are interviewed in 1997 about their work. Interviews include Torri Johnson, security officer; Margaret Farr, assistant director of education; Pablo Helguera, coordinator of public programs; Dominic Molon,. . . more
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