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LGBTQ Art Installation Revealed at Chicago's Northalsted Market Days

Wednesday Aug 15, 2018
LGBTQ Art Installation Revealed at Chicago's Northalsted Market Days
  (Source:The Illinois Office of Tourism)

The Illinois Office of Tourism debuted a new larger-than-life art installation celebrating its "Amazing for All" LGBTQ and diversity campaign during Northalsted Market Days in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood. Designed and created by local Chicago artist, Matthew Hoffman, the 6 by 23-foot wooden #AmazingForAll sculpture was made to both celebrate and welcome the LGBTQ community from around the world to Chicago and Illinois.

"The #AmazingforAll sculpture is a visual representation of our commitment to continue to make Illinois a welcoming and inclusive place to visit and explore," said Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. "As America's first recognized gay village, Boystown is the perfect location to unveil this incredible piece of artwork that champions diversity."

Launched in March 2018, the Amazing for All campaign was launched by the Illinois Office of Tourism to welcome locals as well as domestic and international visitors to experience the places and people that make Illinois amazing. Later this year, the #AmazingForAll will move to a permanent location in Boystown on the southeast corner of Halsted and Addison.

Known for "You Are Beautiful," a global project that aims to better the world in little ways, Hoffman was the ideal partner for the Illinois Office of Tourism to create this meaningful piece of art. His public art displays featuring positive messages have been exhibited around the world, with nearly 30 currently featured in the Chicagoland area.

"The fact that you can put a message out into the world that might stop someone in their tracks and completely change their outlook for that moment -- it doesn't get any better," said Hoffman. "To me, everyone is amazing in their own way."

During the art installation event, thousands of festival-goers engaged with the installation and shared photos. They also sent postcards to friends and family as a way to encourage visitors to experience Chicago and celebrate the local LGBTQ community.

Northalsted Market Days is the largest street festival in the Midwest with nearly 200,000 attendees. Founded in 1980, the celebration spans a half mile of North Halsted in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood -- America's first recognized gay village.

"Boystown is the perfect neighborhood to showcase this stunning sculpture," said Chad Honeycutt, executive director of Northalsted Business Alliance. "The Amazing for All campaign embodies our spirit of pride and mirrors our mission of equality."

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