Backward River Festival

Come reclaim your water and foster a sense of joy and community through dance, music, food and connection.

Together we will uplift the voices and narratives of those whose lives and communities have been disrupted as private interests manipulate the river—even reversing its flow—to their will, and reimagine what’s possible in moving forward with the Chicago River.

Enjoy knowledge-sharing and performances on the mainstage hosted by The Hoodoisie.

Connect to the river and each other through curated activities and engaging art installations.

Visit the community expo for meaningful exchanges with representatives from community-based organizations.

Join us as we bring to life The Backward River—a digital storytelling project from the Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois Chicago that sheds light on who benefits from the Chicago River, who bears the burden and how differently it is experienced, depending on where you live in the city. This event is free and open to the public.

Image courtesy of the Freshwater Lab.