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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

‘Uptown Gems’ Virtual Tour And Fundraiser Will Showcase Unique Neighborhood Spots

The virtual fundraiser is replacing the Uptown casino night, which was canceled due to coronavirus.

"Uptown Gems" will give neighbors a behind-the-scenes look at some of Uptown's most unique spots.
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UPTOWN — A virtual tour and fundraiser will give residents a behind-the-scenes look at some of Uptown’s most beloved “gems.”

Uptown Gems will take people on a tour of the neighborhood from those that know it best, while working to raise funds for the chamber of commerce. The event is 8 p.m. Thursday.

Uptown United and Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown usually host an annual casino night as a fundraiser for the chamber groups. That event gives behind-the-scenes peeks at local institutions like the Aragon Ballroom.

An in-person casino night could not happen this year. Instead, the business nonprofits will take neighbors on a digital tour of some of the area’s most iconic — and overlooked —features.

“We wanted to take the public into spaces they don’t always have access to, or are just hiding in plain sight,” said Greg Carroll, director of partnerships and events for Uptown United.

The hour-long virtual program will give tours of the Montrose Bird Sanctuary and Graceland Cemetery, which are respites for urban nature lovers.

The program will also give a behind-the-scenes look at the Baton Show Lounge, including a look at how its drag performers ready for a night of shows at one of Uptown’s newest attractions.

A tour of Argyle Street will also be screened. It will include interviews from second- and third-generation Vietnamese Americans who grew up in Uptown and who can speak to Argyle’s importance in the community.

Other neighborhood fixtures to get screen time in the tour include Black Ensemble Theater and the Haitian American Museum.

To close out the program, a clip of a concert held in the Preston Bradley auditorium will be screened. The footage will give neighbors a glimpse into a historical Uptown building that is not always accessible to the community.

Credit: Eric Allix Rogers/Open House Chicago
Preston Bradley Center.

Tickets for the event cost $20 and can be bought by clicking here. The video program will debut 8 p.m. Thursday, but those with tickets can watch for up to a week after its debut, Carroll said.

Money raised from the event will help the Uptown chamber groups provide assistance to local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, Carroll said.

“It’s to help make sure our businesses are thriving through this trying time,” he said.

For more information on the event, click here.

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