On April 16–19 the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will hold the inaugural Lake FX Summit + Expo, a free series of panels, workshops and showcases that are geared toward local artists, creatives and entrepreneurs. The event's programming is split into five tracks, focusing on the music, film, culinary, fashion and visual/performing arts industries. Lake FX packs a lot of events into a four day span, so we looked through the schedule and picked out 12 panels that you shouldn't miss out on. See something that you're interested in? Don't forget to register and reserve your spot.
THURSDAY, APRIL 16
The "Lake Effect" (5:30pm, Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park)
This summit keynote will explore how successful creatives have launched their careers while living in Chicago, featuring conversations with Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin, television writer (Girls, Looking) Tanya Saracho and iO Theater founder and director Charna Halpern.
FRIDAY, APRIL 17
Keynote with Seymour Stein (10:30am, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago)
The Sire Records co-founder and Warner Bros. Records VP sits down with Greg Kot to talk about his career in the music industry and signing acts like Madonna, the Ramones, Talking Heads, the Smiths and the Cure.
Get In: Learn from Buyers How to Get Your Work in Stores! (12pm, Virgin Hotels Chicago)
Find out what fashion buyers are looking for at this conversation with a Columbia College Fashion Studies professor, Hanig's Shoes owner Peter Hanig, Macy's regional planning manager Andy Gallaher and Floradora owner Michael Blossom.
Fiscal Sponsorship for Filmmakers (1:30pm, Gene Siskel Film Center)
Making a movie is an expensive proposition, so a little financial help never hurts. A group of local filmmakers will be joined by Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler to discuss the intricacies of finding and working with a fiscal sponsor when funding a film.
Neo-Futurist Performance Workshop (1:30pm, Storefront Theater)
Founding director of the Neo-Futurists Greg Allen leads a three-hour, hands-on workshop that introduces attendees to the theater company's approach to writing and performing original work for the stage based on personal experiences.
Intro to Crowdfunding + Fiscal Sponsorship (1:30pm, Chicago Cultural Center)
Thinking about crowdfunding your next creative endeavor? Get the scoop on how to optimize your campaign from Indiegogo Chicago Outreach Director Kate Drane.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18
Outside the Brick and Mortar: Making it Work without a Storefront (10:30am, Macy's on State Street)
A few years ago, establishing a successful Chicago food truck was a dicey proposition. Representatives from the Salsa Truck, Hoosier Mama Pie, and the City's Department of Health will discuss how to become a licensed food truck and make waves in the crowded mobile dining scene.
The State of the Chicago Music Industry (12pm, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago)
Local music industry players like Bloodshot Records co-founder Nan Warshaw, Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber and White Mystery frontwoman Miss Alex White will discuss the current state of the Chicago music scene and the ways in which it can continue to flourish and attract new talent.
Sound Recording & Scoring for Film (12pm, Gene Siskel Film Center)
Skywalker Sound recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones will discuss her career and offer advice about recording orchestral soundtracks for film and video games. Don't even think of asking her about The Force Awakens spoilers.
Get Connected: Community Engagement and Activation with Shinola (12pm, Virgin Hotels Chicago)
Watch and leather good manufacturer Shinola, which recently opened a storefront in Wicker Park, has brought locally manufactured products back to Detroit. The company's Art Director Michael Haener will discuss how the brand has engaged with its community to create jobs and foster cultural partnerships.
The Evolution of Chicago's Restaurant Scene. How Did We Get Here and What Can We Expect in 2016 and Beyond (1:30pm, Macy's on State Street)
David Manilow of Check, Please! hosts this discussion about the future of Chicago's dining scene with notable guests like DMK Restaurants founder Michael Kornick, Frontera Restaurants owner Rick Bayless and Hogsalt Hospitality empire builder Brendan Sodikoff.
Resource Speed-Date (1:30pm, Chicago Cultural Center)
You probably won't land a date at this afternoon panel, but you might find some great artist resources. Find out more about applying for art contests from WESTAF Café, learn how to build a portfolio website with the help of Other People's Pixels, or track down volunteers to help you achieve your vision with assistance from Catchafire.