The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has unveiled the full schedule for its inaugural Lake FX Summit + Expo, presented by Google (April 16–19). The Midwest’s largest free conference for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs will welcome individuals, businesses, and organizations for keynotes by industry leaders, professional development panels and workshops, networking opportunities, music and film showcases, the Expo resource fair, and a marketplace showcasing Chicago artisans.

This year’s theme, “Improvisation and Innovation,” reflects the fluidity, flexibility, and ingenuity that artists and creatives need in order to thrive. Summit tracks focus on the visual and performing arts, culinary, fashion, film, and music industries, as well as cross-industry topics such as new media and technology, branding and career development for emerging and established artists.

Featured speakers include visual artists Carlos Rolón/DZINE, Hebru Brantley, and Michelle Grabner — plus Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter; Max Temkin, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity; Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records; playwright Tanya Saracho; author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz; and restaurateurs Michael Kornick, Rick Bayless, Brendan Sodikoff, and Alpana Singh.

The conference is headquartered at the Chicago Cultural Center. Other venues include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, Virgin Hotels Chicago, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Gene Siskel Film Center, and Macy’s on State Street.

For more information, visit lakefxchicago.org and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter, @LakeFXChicago. To plan your trip to Chicago for the Lake FX Summit + Expo, visit choosechicago.com.

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