Columbia College Chicago Announces Manifest--Largest Student-Run Arts Festival

Photo: Phil Dembinski '08
Manifest festival to feature hundreds of free public programs with live music, dance, and art exhibitions from more than 2,000 student artists

CHICAGO (April 12, 2018)—Manifest, Chicago’s largest student-run arts festival, presents more than one hundred free public programs celebrating the creative work of more than 2,000 Columbia College Chicago students on Friday, May 11, 12-9 p.m. Now in its 18th year, Manifest includes live bands and DJs throughout the day, pop-up fashion shows, art-making in the streets, dozens of dance and theater performances, gallery walks of 20 group art exhibitions, special family-friendly creative activities, and more. Events are centered along Columbia’s Wabash Arts Corridor in Chicago’s South Loop, with Wabash Avenue closed from 9th to 11th streets for the duration of the festival. For more information and the most up-to-date programming, visit

“Manifest is Columbia College Chicago’s way of celebrating and showcasing the accomplishments of our graduating students as they embark on their careers,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Sharon Wilson-Taylor. “Our students are poised to succeed in their profession because they have combined the skills acquired in their field of study with the skills that employers are seeking.”

Manifest is curated and managed by more than one thousand Columbia students. It celebrates and showcases students’ final bodies of work—an essential part of preparing for creative professions. This year’s festival design is led by Creative Director Angel Smith, a senior Illustration major.

Highlights of Manifest 2018 include:

  • A kick-off hip-hop performance, special guest speakers, Manifest 2018 song competition winner Chinaa and more
  • 40+ musical performances throughout the day, ranging from pop rock bands to hip-hop, DJs, blues, jazz, folk and gospel ensembles
  • Family-friendly activities including a clothing swap, student Tarot card readers, Manifest Time Capsule, fashion photo station, interactive UV light activity, screen printing and more
  • On-site food trucks from famous Chicago mobile food vendors
  • Pop-up fashion shows and performance art campus-wide
  • ShopColumbia, offering student art, photography, fashion, jewelry, cards, gifts, books and 2018 Manifest gear
  • Original student plays and dance concerts choreographed and performed by students across hip-hop, African, jazz, tap, musical theater and contemporary styles
  • Gallery walks of 20 group exhibitions with student art for sale
  • 15+ premiere screenings of student films, ranging from original animation to documentary, experimental and narrative forms
  • VR and AR student-created video games including the popular 24-Hour Game Jam


Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for nearly 7,500 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit

About the Wabash Arts Corridor

The Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) is Chicago’s “living urban canvas.” Founded in 2013 and led by Columbia College, the WAC is one of the city’s major cultural assets comprised of eight educational institutions, 19 galleries, 14 performance spaces, five major hotels and more than 40 restaurants. Connecting local businesses and commerce with education, cultural programming and the visual, performing and media arts, the WAC is an urban lab for creative expression, innovation and excellence in the arts. For more information, please visit


Elizabeth Neukirch
The Silverman Group, Inc.

Kessel Cherney
The Silverman Group, Inc.