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For all media requests, please contact Payal Patel (ppatel@navypier.org) or Anna Schapiro (aschapiro@navypier.org).

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Please see the links below for more information regarding film, photo, and public requests. To note, Navy Pier is only able to consider requests submitted 3 weeks in advance of the proposed filming date.

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Press Releases (2020)

Navy Pier Hosts Third Blood Drive with American Red Cross on June 8

As Navy Pier approaches its initial phase of reopening on June 10, the Pier and the Red Cross are teaming up once again to host a third blood drive, with availability for nearly 140 donors.

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CHICAGO – Navy Pier is hosting its third blood drive with the American Red Cross on Monday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pier’s Food Experience following two successful blood drives in May. This event kicks off an important week for the Pier, as Chicago’s iconic destination moves into Phase 1 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, June 10. As always, the Pier is proud to continue to utilize its large open space to support the Red Cross’ initiative to help boost community health efforts and encourage blood donations from healthy individuals during these challenging and uncertain times. Those interested in participating in the upcoming blood drive can schedule an appointment here. Slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As a token of gratitude, Navy Pier will be distributing complimentary Centennial Wheel tickets and branded cooler bags to everyone who attempts to donate. The Pier will also host a raffle with gifts from on-site establishments. On behalf of the American Red Cross, all who attempt to donate will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card.

Navy Pier’s two prior drives occurred on May 4 and May 20, and both exceeded the Red Cross’ Power Red collection goal, as well as welcomed more than 200 donors in total. As part of the ongoing partnership, the Pier has featured the Red Cross logo on the Centennial Wheel hub and distributed complimentary ride tickets to everyone who attempted to donate, along with branded cooler bags and handwritten notes of gratitude. The Pier thanks its on-site establishments who have contributed with a “Navy Pier & Partners” prize package raffle, masks provided by Chicago Shakespeare Theater, refreshments provided by Completely Nuts and more.

City-wide, the Pier joins Guaranteed Rate Field, the Field Museum, Steppenwolf Theater and the Chicago Cubs as host institutions for Chicago Red Cross blood drives. Navy Pier’s participation and partnership with the American Red Cross serves as a nod to the Pier’s history and aligns with its longstanding mission and values. During World War I, the Pier served as a temporary home for military personnel, soldiers and the Red Cross. As a mission-driven organization and iconic Chicago destination, the People’s Pier is proud to continue doing its part to serve and support the local community, especially during this time of need.

Donating blood products is essential to community health and the need for blood supply is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter-in-place declarations. The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.

As a result of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Illinois’ statewide stay-at-home order, Navy Pier was closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16 based on the city and state guidelines and to continue to help curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Navy Pier will look to reopen in phases and safely welcome guests back starting Wednesday, June 10. Please click here to view Navy Pier’s full reopening plan. For more information, please visit www.navypier.org.

PHOTOS: Navy Pier Blood Drive | Credit: Navy Pier

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit www.navypier.org.

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Navy Pier Announces Phased Reopening Plan Following 12-Week COVID-19 Closure

The Pier’s safety-centered reopening plan is set for motion starting June 10,
with Phase 1 including public access to outdoor spaces, restaurant patios, select attractions and more.

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CHICAGO — Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic destination, introduces its phased approach to cautiously reopening and resuming operations, with state and city guidelines for health and safety at the forefront of each phase. As part of Phase 1, which begins Wednesday, June 10, the following will be open and available to the public: Navy Pier parking garages (free access), Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Dock, Pier Park (rides remain closed), East End Plaza, outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats and select free programs. Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and may vary per establishment. Navy Pier has been closed since Monday, March 16 due to COVID-19.

“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we, along with the rest of Chicago, are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier over the next few months as we work collectively to restore our local economy,” said Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier President and CEO. “We recognize that our new reality is now accompanied by new standards, and as the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all who visit the Pier. Our goal is to provide guests with a safe space to reconnect with Chicago through our free public programs, on-site local dining, retail and attractions, and our beloved vistas and vast greenspace. We believe we have outlined a framework that will allow us to serve as a resource for the community while protecting our guests’ well-being.”

Navy Pier’s framework, which aligns with Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan and City of Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” outline, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, prioritizes stringent cleaning measures and safety practices to support the health and wellness of those at the Pier. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting: Navy Pier is utilizing electrostatic anti-microbial spray treatments and sanitizing high-touch surfaces, common areas and Pier-wide attractions after each use with a disinfectant that is of the same quality found in healthcare facilities. In addition, more than 75 hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed and made available for guest use.
  • Preparing and equipping employees with appropriate resources: Face masks or coverings will be required for employees while in public spaces. Temperature screenings will be conducted prior to each shift. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided to staff. Guest-facing employees will be required to wear face masks and gloves at all times. Employees have been equipped with guidance on individual health and safety measures and will receive ongoing training as new information becomes available from the CDC and health leaders at the state and local level.
  • New physical distancing practices: Navy Pier has designated Social Distancing Ambassadors, who will be circulating the Pier to cordially remind guests to practice physical distancing. Signs marking appropriate amount of space are placed throughout the Pier for guidance. The volume of people at Navy Pier’s public programs, events and within indoor and outdoor spaces at a given time will be limited to a number that is proportional and conducive to physical distancing for that space. Gathering of large groups of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited. Guests in violation of this practice will be subject to removal from the premises.
  • New Pier Park measures: Upon the reopening of Pier Park rides (to come at a later date), digital ticketing kiosk screens will be sanitized frequently; Centennial Wheel riders will only be placed in gondolas with those within their party; high-touch surfaces will be wiped down after each ride; and the Wheel will shut down for 15 minutes every two hours for a full-sanitary wipe down. All Pier Park rides and attractions will operate at reduced capacity and be cleaned after each use.
  • New parking garage measures: Parking personnel have been trained on physical distancing practices, proper handwashing, glove usage, disinfection protocol and other best practices for infection control. Navy Pier offers the following self-parking, touchless payment options:
    • 1. Apple Pay and Tap features at pay stations and in-lane equipment
    • 2. Online parking reservations through Navy Pier Website, ParkWhiz and SpotHero
  • Standard CDC and Chicago Public Health guidelines: Guests must bring and wear a face mask at all times while visiting Navy Pier and try to maintain six feet of distance between individuals who are not from the same household. Guests should also wash hands regularly and/or utilize the hand sanitizers provided throughout the Pier. Those who are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or diagnosis within the last 14 days should stay home or visit their healthcare provider.

The cleaning and safety measures outlined above will apply indefinitely throughout each phase until further notice. Given the fluidity and nature of the situation, Navy Pier is prepared to modify procedures as necessary.

Please note, all interior spaces, including flagship cultural anchors, such as Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will remain closed during the Pier’s initial reopening phase. All fireworks and large-scale events are also canceled through Phase 1. The subsequent phases will consist of paced-out reopenings of additional spaces, businesses and attractions, such as Pier Park rides, Miller Lite Beer Garden, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, indoor dining and retail establishments. The final phase will look to fully restore the Pier’s operations with events returning to the Aon Grand Ballroom, Festival Hall and Crystal Gardens, the opening of the new hotel (The Sable at Navy Pier), and other remaining businesses. Additional details and decisions related to upcoming phases will be made with guidance and input from the State and City.

A top civic space and nonprofit institution in Chicago, Navy Pier is home to nearly 70 independent businesses, several pop-up neighborhood markets, countless annual events and hundreds of local artists who regularly showcase their works at the Pier, enriching the lives of Chicago residents and visitors, alike. Collectively, the on-site restaurants, retailers, attractions and nonprofit partners employ more than 3,000 people annually and contribute to the Pier’s reputation as one of the largest first employers for youth in the city. As such, Navy Pier recognizes its responsibility to the greater Chicagoland community and is committed to restoring the vitality of the Pier, its partners and the local economy as the city works to recover from the pandemic and its harrowing impact. The three-part framework will allow the Pier to set that plan in motion, while continuing to prioritize public health and safety.

Click here to view Navy Pier’s full and detailed reopening plan. For more information, visit www.navypier.org.

PHOTOS: Navy Pier | Credit: Navy Pier

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its

second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit www.navypier.org.

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder

A Note from Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner in Response to Nationwide Racial Injustices

Our message to the African American community at the Pier, across Chicagoland and around the globe is this: We see you. We value you. We lift you.

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The world is a heavy place. The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others spanning over centuries; the discrimination that targeted Christian Cooper; and the injustices that followed across the nation have been devastating to many communities, most especially the African American community. This anti-black violence is a clear example of continued racial injustice and inequities in our world. In addition to navigating the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities, more of this country’s harsh racial realities have been brought to light and unfolded on full display.

Navy Pier has spent the days following the recent tragic incidents listening, watching and hearing the stories and experiences of struggle, exhaustion, fear, outrage and pain from our local community, staff, partners and guests. Our hearts break as we continue to bear witness to the implications of a deeply flawed system that has failed our black and brown people. It is clear that our world is in need of radical change. As stewards of the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing our part to serve as allies to the African American community in our collective mission to fight systemic racism and seek justice and peace.

As our most immediate show of support, Navy Pier will be making a contribution to My Block, My Hood, My City’s small business relief fund to help repair and restore the small black-owned businesses in Chicago impacted by recent lootings. However, our hope is to extend our outreach and support well beyond this measure through our ongoing work to elevate the black voices within our community and spotlight their work via year-round arts and cultural programming, which remains free and accessible to all.

We recognize that these are incredibly painful and trying times. In such times, coming together, educating ourselves and listening to and supporting each other is one path by which we can find our way. We will no doubt discover more.

In the meantime, our message to the African American community at the Pier, across Chicagoland and around the globe is this: We see you. We value you. We lift you.

Black lives matter, today and every day.

 

Marilynn Gardner

President and CEO

Navy Pier

Preserving a Legacy and Protecting the People’s Pier

The People’s Pier was envisioned more than 100 years ago by famed architect Daniel Burnham as a place for and of the people. That sentiment is critical to the organization’s nonprofit mission and holds true now more than ever.

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The People’s Pier was envisioned more than 100 years ago by famed architect Daniel Burnham as a place for and of the people. That sentiment is critical to the organization’s nonprofit mission and holds true now more than ever.

It’s a privilege to steward this historic, lakefront treasure and an honor to offer free arts and cultural programs to our millions of annual guests. Yet we find ourselves facing a challenge that we’ve never seen before. No one is immune to the impacts of this crisis, and like our fellow cultural institutions, we have had to make difficult decisions. We acknowledge that further difficulty lies ahead. Yet, we look toward the future with great optimism. We know we have the support of the community, a team of dedicated staff members, corporate and philanthropic partners and partner businesses who believe in our mission.

Since 2011, Navy Pier has operated as an independent nonprofit organization. Although we maintain facilities on publically-owned property, we receive no public tax dollars to support our operating costs. The Pier relies on generous philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and corporations with the majority of revenue earned through the diverse businesses that operate on the Pier every day. As a top cultural destination for residents and visitors alike, we also generate millions of tax dollars contributing important revenues for the city and state.

When Navy Pier closed its doors on March 16 and the shelter-in-place order began, every source of earned revenue came to an abrupt halt. This has not only impacted the Pier, but has hurt the local artists and cultural organizations with whom we partner, our nearly 70 independent on-site business partners, pop-up neighborhood markets and the shows and events that call Navy Pier home while enriching the lives of local residents and visitors to Chicago. Collectively, the restaurants, attractions, retailers and nonprofit partners, including Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Chicago Children’s Museum, employ 3,000 people annually, with a majority of revenues earned during the summer season.

As one of the largest first-employers of youth in our city and as a significant supporter of local artists and cultural organizations, Navy Pier’s leadership has assessed every option available with the aim of lessening the impact felt by individuals and preserving as many jobs as possible.

To cut costs, Navy Pier’s CEO took a salary reduction of 25% with executive leadership staff taking a 20% reduction, planned capital improvements were postponed, hiring of critical positions was suspended, and budgets were reduced wherever possible. Each decision, none of them easy, was made with our mission and people in mind. We hope that the decisions we make will mean that our team members, partner artists, and on-site businesses will be ready and able to welcome guests back to the lakefront to experience the very best of Chicago. We know we’re not alone in these challenges. We’ve all had to make difficult choices as we navigate this economic stalemate, protect our workers, and cautiously, yet optimistically, plan to safely reopen.

To that end, Navy Pier recently sought and secured a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, which granted the organization $2.5 million to help preserve the salaries and benefits for eight weeks to retain 55 full-time administrative employees while revenue generation is completely halted. The loan has also made it possible for the Pier to retain and provide essential job training remotely with pay to 170 part-time seasonal guest service and Pier Park employees to prepare for summer and retained 26 full-time tradespeople, 21 whom were previously laid off who were able to return and begin preparing the Pier for its impending reopening. As outlined within the parameters of the PPP loan, funds may cover up to $100,000 of each full-time employee’s salary, support benefits, satisfy rent/mortgage payments, cover utilities, etc.

Unlike other similar nonprofit cultural institutions, Navy Pier does not receive public funding from city, county or state tax revenue nor does it have an endowment to rely upon. The PPP loan was a critical source of funding that is helping to bridge the gap created by the Pier’s closure and lost revenues.

It’s during challenging times like these when we must rely on our mission and values to guide our decisions. We have adapted our programming to share digital experiences with the public – showcasing local artists and performers who have lost all in-person performance opportunities. While closed, we have also repurposed the Pier’s available open spaces to host community blood drives in partnership with the American Red Cross. We are collaborating with partner institutions across the city to determine how we can all adapt, safely reopen, and continue to serve the community.

As the People’s Pier, we are determined to remain a truly great civic space and resource for the community that is accessible to all with no admission fee. We look forward to one day soon welcoming artists from neighborhoods across Chicago to our stages and again gathering together in an environment like no other. Until then, we continue to wish good health and safety to all.

Navy Pier Set to Host Second Blood Drive with American Red Cross on May 20

After May 4’s blood drive successfully drew 100 donors, the Pier is partnering with the Red Cross to host another round in its large open space while the destination remains closed due to the pandemic

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CHICAGO – Following a successful blood drive on Monday, May 4, Navy Pier is teaming up with the American Red Cross once again to host a second drive on Wednesday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Pier’s Food Experience. While Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination remains closed through the statewide stay-at-home order amidst the ongoing pandemic, the Pier is proud to utilize its large open space to support the Red Cross’ initiative to help boost community health efforts and encourage blood donations from healthy individuals during these challenging and uncertain times.

Monday’s event drew 100 generous donors, producing 94 productive units and exceeding the Red Cross’ Power Redcollection goal for this drive. As part of the partnership, the Pier featured the Red Cross logo on the Centennial Wheel hub and distributed complimentary ride tickets to donors, along with branded cooler bags and handwritten notes of gratitude. Additionally, Chicago Shakespeare Theater provided 150 face masks as part of their ongoing “Masks for Faces and Noses” project in partnership with UIC’s College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. Completely Nuts, one of the Pier’s on-site establishments, also provided snacks and refreshments for donors.

The May 20 drive will also include free Centennial Wheel tickets for everyone who attempts to donate, along with a “Navy Pier & Partners” prize package raffle, which can be redeemed for complimentary experiences at select on-site establishments when the Pier reopens. Those interested in participating in the second blood drive can schedule an appointment here. Slots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

City-wide, the Pier joins Guaranteed Rate Field, the Field Museum, Steppenwolf Theater and the Chicago Cubs as host institutions for Chicago Red Cross blood drives. Navy Pier’s participation and partnership with the American Red Cross serves as a nod to the Pier’s history and aligns with its longstanding mission and values. During World War I, the Pier served as a temporary home for military personnel, soldiers and the Red Cross. As a mission-driven organization and iconic Chicago destination, the People’s Pier is proud to continue doing its part to serve and support the local community, especially during this time of need.

Donating blood products is essential to community health and the need for blood supply is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter-in-place declarations. The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.

As a result of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Illinois’ statewide stay-at-home order, Navy Pier is closed to the public through Saturday, May 30 based on the revised city and state guidelines and to continue to help curb the COVID-19 outbreak. Please note, this date may change again as the situation remains fluid and the Pier continues to follow the guidance of local government and public health officials. Please click here to view Navy Pier’s official COVID-19 statement. For more information, please visit www.navypier.org.

PHOTOS: Navy Pier Blood Drive | Credit: Navy Pier


About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit www.navypier.org.

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

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