Skip to main content

Another Northwestern Night at the Art Institute of Chicago

Students, faculty, staff and their guests are welcome to a free night of art and guided tours

  • Tours of the Art Institute of Chicago’s highlights available to Northwestern participants
  • A tour of the museum’s French Art will be conducted in French
  • Art Institute guides will lead a tour of works focused on social justice and equality
  • Student docents from Northwestern’s Block Museum on hand to answer visitor’s questions

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Mark your calendar for the next Northwestern Night at the Art Institute on Thursday, Feb. 26.

All Northwestern students, faculty and staff with a valid WildCARD ID, and as many family members and guests as they invite, are welcome to visit Chicago’s world-renowned art museum free of charge after 5 p.m., via the building’s Modern Wing north entrance, located on Monroe Street. Pre-registration is not required.

While general admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to all Illinois residents every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., Northwestern community members and their guests will be able to take advantage of special benefits during Northwestern Night. The perks include free guided tours of selected galleries; free shuttle service to and from Northwestern’s Evanston campus and the Art Institute; and member discounts that can be used in the museum’s gift shop or café.

Northwestern participants also will have an opportunity to pose for a scheduled group photo, which will cap off the night as a thank you to Northwestern alumna Shirley Welsh Ryan, who fully supports the partnership between Northwestern and the Art Institute, which allows for two Northwestern Nights each academic year, as well as free, year-round access to the museum for all undergraduates.

Hosted by Northwestern’s Center for Student Involvement, the Feb. 26 event is part of a partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago. Northwestern Night is made possible by a generous donation from Mrs. Ryan, who is a member of the Art Institute’s Board of Trustees and the wife of Chicago business leader and Northwestern alumnus Patrick G. Ryan, the former chairman of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

Through this partnership, undergraduate students are granted free admission to the museum during normal museum hours, and have access to all special exhibitions, lectures and programs year-round with their WildCARD IDs. These dynamic learning opportunities are designed to serve a broad spectrum of audiences and enhance perception and spur creativity. “Northwestern Night” is one of the benefits of that partnership Mrs. Ryan funds. For more information on the partnership, visit

Last November’s event attracted 348 Northwestern faculty, staff and students plus their guests, said Joseph Lattal, graduate assistant in the Center for Student Involvement and Northwestern’s Art Institute Partnership Programming Liaison this year.

“November was a record for all Chicago-area institutions that have had a Night at the Art Institute event, and we’re hoping to break that record on Feb. 26,” Lattal said.

Northwestern Night at the Art Institute of Chicago events will include:

• Free guided tours

In addition to free museum access, Northwestern visitors will have the opportunity to join tours of the museum's highlights, including a tour of French Art, which will be conducted in French; and a tour of works focused on social justice and equality -- all led by Art Institute guides.

There also will be a number of student docents on hand from Northwestern's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art in various galleries to answer questions and provide information about specific works on display. For more information about the Art Institute of Chicago’s current exhibitions, visit

• Free shuttle service

Visitors from the Evanston campus can take advantage of a free round-trip shuttle service. Buses will leave Emerson Street near Sheridan Road by 4:30 p.m. -- or earlier, if they fill up -- for convenient drop off at the Art Institute. Northwestern visitors can return to the Evanston campus in the same manner shortly after the museum’s 8 p.m. closing time.

• Member discounts

Northwestern participants also will receive member discounts in the Art Institute’s gift shops and café.

For more information, visit the Northwestern Night at the Art Institute Facebook event page at

Editor's Picks

Back to top