The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is pleased to announce the second-annual Lake FX Summit + Expo, the Midwest’s largest FREE convening of artists and creative entrepreneurs, May 13–15.

Following 2015’s inaugural event, which drew 10,000 attendees, this year’s event will feature nationally-renowned speakers, including: Charles Lake FX Chicago Summit & Expo Immerse Yourself May 13-15, 2016Adler (Kickstarter co-founder, designer); Nick Cave (sculptor, dancer, performance artist); Graham Elliot (chef, restaurateur, television personality); Rodney Jerkins (producer, composer, musician); Ramsey Lewis (composer, pianist, radio personality); Maria Pinto (fashion designer, artist, entrepreneur); Tanya Saracho (playwright, television writer); Regina Taylor (television and film actress, playwright)—and many others.

This year’s Lake FX is themed “I’m in!” and asks attendees to immerse themselves in conversations, demonstrations and networking opportunities. More than 100 talks, panels and workshops – on topics ranging from marketing and engagement strategies to legal, financial and space issues – will be presented by industry experts for those working in the culinary, fashion, film and media, music, performing arts, technology and design and visual arts fields, with select programs identified for emerging artists and creatives.

World Business Chicago’s Jake Trussell will moderate a pair of panels; one on how design is changing business, and another on the use of disruptive new tools helping entrepreneurs get their products to market. He will also introduce a talk by Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler:

Makers + Markets: Different by Design
10:30–11:30am, Friday, May 13
Chicago Cultural Center – Fl 4 – Exhibit Hall

Today’s makers are playing by a new set of rules when it comes to bringing their products and ideas to market. Don’t miss this informative workshop looking at ways that successful entrepreneurs are using design, technology, micro-retail and relationship management to grow their creative businesses


Finding Our Space in Time

12–1pm, Saturday, May 14
Chicago Cultural Center – Fl 4 – Exhibit Hall

We are living in a new renaissance – one in which creatives are at the center and in control of their own direction. Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler explains his visionary endeavor Lost Arts, a blend of laboratory, woodshop, atellier, incubator and playground.


  • Charles Adler, Kickstarter co-founder; Lost Arts founder

Makers + Markets: Making it Personal
1:30–3pm, Saturday, May 14
Chicago Cultural Center – Fl 4 – Exhibit Hall

Get tips on using today’s leading platforms to customize audience experience and build your reach through storytelling, idea sourcing and converting customers into cheerleaders. Some of Chicago’s innovative thinkers and platform builders talk about their experiences taking a product, service or creative idea to market.


The Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) will be the Lake FX hub, with additional events taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) and the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago (230 N. Michigan Ave.). The event is free, and registration is at

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