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#381 The Wabash Lights: Creating Chicago’s First Interactive Public Arts Platform



The mission of The Wabash Lights is to create Chicago’s first interactive public art platform. Across Chicago, on iconic public infrastructure, they are building a place where art and technology come together in a canvas of light to foster public discourse and personal expression. The nonprofit is installing programmable LED lights on the underside of el tracks. You can connect the lights to movements and sounds like your heartbeat, the tap of a drum, or to the rhythm of your favorite song. The result will be a canvas of light for any person, anywhere, to use as a vehicle for expression.

Through partnerships with Comcast, TableXI and DePaul University, the Wabash Lights team has developed a STEAM (STEM + Arts) curriculum to take mobile light demos into classrooms across the city and conduct workshops aligned with Illinois State Learning Standards. In the workshops, students use light, pattern and sequence inputs to develop a light show or installation.

At Chi Hack Night, the team will discuss how they’ve grown from two people into a thriving volunteer-run organization, the project’s evolution and next phases for installation and programming, and the ins and outs of designing technology for public use and access while working across multiple layers of civic stakeholders.


RSVP required Braintree now requires all attendees to RSVP beforehand by 12:00 PM (noon). Walk-ins will not be allowed!

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.

Food Food and drinks will be provided. We encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles to reduce waste.


Agenda and meeting notes
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