A Glimpse Into MCA Prime Time: Ascend

Chicago transformed into an incubator of the arts this past Saturday. Thanks to MCA Prime Time: Ascend - an after-hours series hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art, every creative, art enthusiast and social butterfly gathered from different backgrounds to enjoy an eclectic mix of live music, performance art, film screenings and interactive video installations.


This year, MCA partnered with online music magazine Pitchfork to transform the museum into the ultimate social experience. The event titled Ascend explores a variety of themes such as growth, renewal, ritual, and harmony. As my friend and I walked through each level, we couldn’t help but to appreciate the smell of eucalyptus incense that added to the ambiance, immersed with a kaleidoscope of white and purple lights that illuminated every corner.

Every inch of the museum was filled with unique art installations including Asrai Garden - Chicago’s dark but alluring lush floral shop. The Fantasorium - a magical and interactive world that encouraged guests to explore variations of art curated atmospheres created by artist Claire Arctander. Followed by interactive video installations by artists Ben Baker-Smith, Sara Ludy, and Sam Rolfes. Artist Joshua Kent welcomed guests curiosity to sit in a chair made of hundreds of flowers. Kent’s overall goal, for guests to sit on a throne and reimagine the feeling of empowerment.


Drinks and food options including Corned Duck Biscuits, BBQ Skewers and Cold Sesame Noodles (to name a few) were offered to guests for purchase throughout the museum. Throughout the night, Ascend featured a line up of musical artists including a DJ set by Slo’Mo Party’s Audio Jack, experimental sounds by indie-rock duo Homme, all women trio Adaci Taiko who performed a fusion of Japanese folk dance and synchronized movement that put the crowd in a trance with their intense drumming, followed by Chicago’s very own Jamila Woods and Noname who graced the stage with good vibes. The Godfather of Footwork (if you’re a true Chicagoan, you’ve probably foot-worked at some point in your life) RP Boo closed out the night.


I truly felt honored to share a creative space filled with so many talented locals. It feels good to reign from Chicago.

Stay up to date on MCA Chicago’s calendar of events here.

Until next time…

Catch you at the next after-hours series :)

Photo Credit: Nathan Keay, Kamerin Chambers