The Commons Online


The Commons Online is a digital space where we can connect as a community. Discover new events, discussions, and learning resources weekly.

Image of People and Lanterns in the Commons

People gather under the ceiling light planters in the MCA Commons.
State Matters Midterm Election Watch Party, 2018
Photo: Patrick Engman

A Letter from Madeleine Grynsztejn

Hello and welcome.

The MCA's chief priority, in all instances, is our community. For the health and safety of our visitors and staff, the MCA is temporarily closed.

Although our doors are closed, we remain active—and our community remains our priority. That’s why, over the coming weeks, we’ll be offering exciting digital content and programming through the Commons Online, the museum's digital hub. From virtual talks to art activities for kids and families, join us as we reaffirm the way art can strengthen the bonds between us all—even over great distances.

Madeleine Grynsztejn
Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Featured image of Madeleine

Madeleine Grynsztejn, Photo: Maria Ponce



Creativity is not canceled! Tune in for virtual programs.

Open Dialogue: Generational Inequality and the Environment

A dark-skinned older man sits at a table illuminated by a desk lamp on an otherwise pitch-black stage. He looks at one sheet of paper and tosses another to the floor.

Still reflecting on the discussion during this timely continuance of the 2020 Dialogue Series? Rewatch the virtual discussion, originally hosted on April 19, and find more of our published videos in the archive.


From the MCA Collection

Highlights chosen by the MCA community.

Featured image

Four vertical images show the sky and a body of water. The clouds, clarity of the sky, and color of the water are slightly varied in each panel.
Catherine Opie, American, b. 1961
Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer (Lake Michigan), 2004–05
Chromogenic development prints
4 prints, each framed: 51 × 41 in. (129.5 × 104.1 cm)
Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Joseph and Jory Shapiro Fund by exchange, 2006.1.a-d

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


I’ve chosen Catherine Opie’s Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer (Lake Michigan), 2004–05. I love these photographs so much, particularly because they make me feel calm, and at this moment calm is a precious feeling. There’s one from each season, but as I look at them I think about the sameness of all four. They could be from the same day, knowing the weather in Chicago. I think a lot of people are feeling that “sameness” in their lives right now, and I wonder what things people are documenting to look back on. The lakefront is closed, but someday I’ll be able to spend some time looking at the lake again, and that’s something to look forward to. — Bridget Reilly O’Carroll, Video Producer



Dig into our archives to discover videos, interviews, and more.



Find creative projects for artists of all ages.

CONSIDER: The Frame, Your Body, Residue

A large and neat stack of white paper with a black border sits on a concrete floor.

Consider three artworks in Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago through activities created by teaching artist Joelle Mercedes.



Tweet. Post. Share.


Find an archive of past and upcoming events below.

Virtual Event Archive


Lead support for the Commons is provided by Rebecca W. Knight and Lester B. Knight, Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, and the Thomas Wilson—Jill Garling Foundation.