Loading Events
Hero Image

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

ExPIERience 2019

On Wednesday, October 23rd, Navy Pier hosted ExPIERience 19 to support the free arts and culture programs enjoyed year round by millions of annual guests. The event raised more than $1.3M and was attended by nearly 600 guests from across the business and philanthropic sectors.

ExPIERience 19 completely transformed the Aon Grand Ballroom with 25’ high projection screens that showcased dramatic views of the Pier and engaging local performers. Guests arrived by trolley to individual fireworks displays and enjoyed entrainment by DJ Sadie Woods and Chicago Samba. The night’s program opened with a custom-made music video and live performance to “Can’t Stop the Pier-in” by Chicago artists Russoul, Pinqy Ring and The Happiness Club. Following the People’s Pier Award program, which honored both PepsiCo Beverages and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the program ended with a show stopping performance by Katie Kadan, a contestant on NBC’s The Voice. Many Pier restaurant partners participated in delectable cocktail and dessert receptions and guests had the opportunity to experienceThe Beach Chicago with a miniature, interactive art installation.

Thank you to all the generous event sponsors, donors and partners who made the evening possible. The support of donors enables Navy Pier to live out its mission as the People’s Pier.

ExPIERience19 Gala Photos

Browse our collection of photos from the ExPIERience19 Gala.

Make a Donation

Make a tax-deductible contribution in support of Navy Pier arts and culture programming today!

Donate Now

Host Committee


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Bobins, The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation; Joan & Bill Brodsky; Michelle L. Collins; Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis; Mesirow Financial; Peoples Energy Community Fund; PepsiCo Beverages; Shoreline Sightseeing; Jennifer Steans and Jim Kastenholz; and Donald R. Wilson, Jr., DRW Trading Group


Allstate Insurance Company; BMO Harris Bank; Rita and John Canning; Chicago Cubs; CIBC; The Crown Family; Entertainment Cruises; Exelon Corporation; Fifth Third Bank; Sarah and John Garvey; GCM Grosvenor; Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.; Mr. Bob Habeeb, Maverick Hotels & Restaurants; Brett Hart and Dontrey Britt-Hart; Richard and Martha Melman Foundation; Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority; Polk Bros. Foundation; SMG; Sue and Tim Sullivan; and Wintrust Community Banks.