When you've run out of things to do and see at the best Chicago museums, try heading to the Ukrainian Village neighborhood. "Ukie Village," as it's called by some Chicago residents, is chock-full of some of the best Chicago restaurants, as well as a hefty helping of Ukrainian, Polish and Eastern European culture. If you're looking to make the most of your time, go for a stroll along the neighborhood's busy borders, where the best attractions can be found.
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Best Ukrainian Village attractions
Get a dose of Polish history and culture at an institution dedicated to one of Chicago's most celebrated and predominant nationalities. The museum has permanent and rotating art exhibits, lectures by Polish arts and cultural figures, a set of archives and a library.
The Ukrainian National Museum plays host to a variety of cultural events and activities, including exhibits that focus on heritage artifacts, paintings, the country's involvement in World War I and pysanky, or ornate Ukrainian Easter eggs. The on-site library houses over 16,000 books and periodicals as well as a document archive that keeps track of Chicago's own Ukrainian community.
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art contains one of the largest collections of abstract and minimalist artwork made by Ukrainian-Americans during the 1950s, 60s and 70s in the world. The museum ensures variety in its collection by requiring most exhibiting artists to donate one piece of work to the museum's permanent collection.
One of the more creative storefront theaters in Chicago is the Chopin. Located on the border between Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, the theater reflects its demographic by showcasing performances geared toward the young, and occasionally hosting visiting European theater companies. Some of Chicago's most-talented rising theater companies such as the Hypocrites and the House Theatre of Chicago are regulars on the stage.
Corbett vs. Dempsey packs the varied interests of its owners all into one exhibition space. Founded by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey in 2004, the gallery on the third-floor of the Dusty Groove building explores the art landscape to find pieces and talent that are overlooked or lies undiscovered. Expect themes related to film, jazz and American Modernism.