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My Ticket Backstage

Given that Hamilton mania is sweeping the nation, tickets have been through the roof in both Chicago and New York. What to do when you’re living on a college student’s budget but have a burning desire to see Hamilton live? (I may or may not have listened to the Original Broadway Cast Recording on repeat since July.)

Enter ArtsPass.

Your UChicago ID is more than it seems. In addition to getting you into important places around campus (ie: the dining hall), it serves as your ArtsPass to the multitude of attractions—from unlimited free access to the Art Institute of Chicago, to discounted tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This quarter, one of the biggest events was a raffle for discounted tickets to Hamilton for students that attended a lecture relating to themes found in Hamilton and the applicable part of American history. And with renowned lecturers from multiple disciplines, what more could you ask for? After hearing about it through my old House (#alper), I immediately signed up for a lecture and attended the one featuring Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, and William Baude, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law. It was (almost) as engaging as singing and dancing along to the album in my room! All jokes aside, hearing about how the concepts of envy and status played a significant role in American history made seeing the live musical all the better.

Approximately 80 students (including me!) won the discounted tickets to Hamilton, which were $25, much less than the thousands of dollars they have supposedly been going for in New York. And while I thoroughly enjoyed (understatement of the year) seeing the show, I think the most valuable of this event is that it made me dig deeper into what the ArtsPass can actually do.

The ArtsPass covers several cultural and multi-disciplinary, dance, film, visual art, music, and theater attractions in Chicago, and some of the partnering organizations include:

  • The Second City

  • Chicago Architecture Foundation

  • The Revival

  • Joffrey Ballet

  • Hyde Park School of Dance

  • Gene Siskel Film Center

  • Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Museum of Science and Industry

  • Lyric Opera of Chicago

  • Broadway in Chicago

  • Steppenwolf Theater Company

  • Blue Man Group

...and many, many more!

For a few select events each quarter, Arts Pass Exclusives offer behind-the-scenes access with panel discussions or artist conversations, reduced admission, and often include receptions and free transportation.

In addition to all of these great events, ArtsPass also gives students the opportunity to change up their study spaces by opening up venues like the Smart Museum of Art, Logan Center, Arts Incubator, and the Oriental Institute during reading period (the weekend before UChicago finals week each quarter). Complete with endless coffee and snacks, the newly formed study venues provide students a much-needed respite from the busyness of finals week, while allowing them to write papers next to a Rothko.

Art is all around you at UChicago; you just have to go out and look!

Submitted by Shana M. on Monday, November 21, 2016