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Virtual Event Help Page

The MCA is committed to engaging diverse audiences and creating a sense of community by providing a place to contemplate and discuss contemporary art, culture, and issues of our day. Please engage in all of our virtual spaces with the same respect and care you show while physically in the museum.

Virtual Platforms

Here are some tips and hints to get the most out of our virtual programming.


Zoom is a free video communications app that allows people to make video and audio calls, screen share, chat, and more. The MCA often uses Zoom for our programs and events because it allows for two-way communication—just as we would if we were all together in the Commons or in the Edlis Neeson Theater. Here are a few tips for using Zoom:

  1. In order to attend a virtual event, you must first download Zoom on your phone, tablet, or computer. Once you've downloaded the app, just click on the event's link to join. Depending on the event, the event link may arrive in your inbox in a confirmation email or you can access it on the event's web page. If you're unfamiliar with Zoom, check out this article about how to join a Zoom meeting. We recommend downloading the Zoom app and testing your connection 10 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  2. For the best experience, always use the latest version of Zoom. Learn more about updating. Make sure to check for updates before the event—you might need to make space on your computer before downloading new Zoom versions.
  3. Some events call for a little one-on-one time. In those situations, we'll use what are called “breakout rooms” to divide participants into different virtual chats. Learn about the new breakout room features.
  4. In addition to your video call, there’s also a chat feature that allows participants to type out messages to either the whole group or privately to a single participant. When at an MCA event, you can use the chat to interact with the event’s House Manager if you have questions or concerns. Some events, like Q&As, will have chat enabled whereas others, like lectures or symposiums, will keep the chat function turned off.
  5. There are three features in the bottom bar of your Zoom window that will help with large group conversations: the mute function, the video function, and the raise hand feature. You can mute yourself by clicking on the microphone symbol. Remember to unmute yourself when you want to talk! You can make yourself visible to the group, or turn off your camera, by clicking the camera or “start video” button. If you have a question or a comment, you can raise your digital hand by clicking on the hand symbol, which will alert the host that you want to speak next.

Zoom looks and functions a little differently on every device—desktop, mobile, etc. To get the best experience, check the event’s web page for our recommendation on viewing.


Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media app that allows you, the people in your network and community, and your favorite organizations to share content. Instagram is divided into two feeds: a vertical sharing feed that presents static, lasting content and a horizontal sharing feed called “Stories” that presents ephemeral content. Stories disappear after 24 hours.

  1. In order to see MCA updates on Instagram, you have to follow us @mcachicago! You can select what kind of notifications you receive in the settings on your mobile device.
  2. Events hosted in Instagram Live will appear in the Stories feed and on our account profile. Open the app at the time of the event and select the MCA's Story to open the stream. You can also view Instagram Live streams via a desktop browser on the MCA’s profile.
  3. Depending on the event, we may have the chat feature open on the stream. If it’s available, you can type in questions or comments that will be visible to everyone in the event and the host.


Facebook is one of the most popular content-sharing social media apps that allows you, the people in your network, and the organizations you follow to share content.

  1. Be sure to Like the MCA's page, then click the three dots icon to Follow the MCA on Facebook for all of the latest updates and to receive Facebook notifications about our activity. Like Instagram, you can change your notifications on your mobile device and within the platform.
  2. Facebook Live is a livestreaming tool available on the app that directly connects you with content creators. You can RSVP for a Facebook Live event on Facebook to be sure you’re receiving reminders.
  3. Events hosted in Facebook Live will appear on our Facebook page—and you don't need an account to watch them! Open the Facebook app at the time of the event and go to the MCA's page to open the stream. You can also view Facebook Live streams via a desktop browser on the MCA’s profile.
  4. Like Instagram Live, there is a chat feature in Facebook Live. You can comment to the entire audience of the stream, or to your private friends joining you for a virtual watch party. You can also “react” to what’s happening by choosing an emoji to send to the participants in the group.

Other Questions

You can find artworks, event documentation, and more on our Vimeo channel.

Please note that all of our virtual events are hosted in central time, so be sure to calculate your time zone!

Contact the MCA Box Office at 312-397-4010 or email us at [email protected].

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