Rio de Bienvenida / River of Welcome Launch Event

Saturday June 3, 2023

1:00 pm


4:00 pm

About Rio de Bienvenida / River of Welcome Launch Event

Hands-on art and activities for all ages at Canalport Riverwalk Park – 2900 S. Ashland Ave.

Artists from Chicago Public Art Group and the Freshwater Lab at UIC invite you to celebrate the installation of Rio de Bienvenida / River of Welcome — artworks that reflect the history, ecology, and possible futures of Canalport Riverwalk Park. Join us to engage with this unique stretch of the Chicago River, enjoy a wide range of activities, meet neighbors, and share stories.

The Canalport Riverwalk is one of the few water access points on Chicago’s West Side. Its existence is barely known even to longtime residents. The riverwalk lacks amenities and needs love.

The location of the artworks signals how environmental issues disproportionately affect communities along this stretch of the river. Rio de Bienvenida / River of Welcome advocates for public access to the river and park space that resembles other nicer parts of the river.

To foster relationships between people and the water, and to improve the park experience, we have designed an art fence and mosaic planters with community members. In conjunction with the Shedd Aquarium, we will work toward a healthier, more beautiful park through native plantings.

The afternoon will have many opportunities to engage with the park and river, participate in activities, and join the movement for a safer, healthier South Branch.

This event is free, open to the public and kid-friendly. Seating and snacks will be provided.


The Canalport Riverwalk Park is located at 2900 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60608. The use of public transportation is encouraged where possible. There are two entrances to Canalport Riverwalk Park: one on Damen Ave. and one on Ashland Ave. at 29th St.

Parking on and entering the park from Ashland Ave. is recommended. It is legal to park on either side of Ashland Ave. near the Canalport Riverwalk Park. A pathway to the park runs between QTS Data Center and the river. We will be gathering closer to Ashland Ave. in the circular area with benches.

Description of grounds
Entrance to the park begins at the traffic light at Ashland Ave. and Chicago Sun Times Dr. The pathway is smoothly paved. Within the park, there are one-two places of broken concrete closer to the Damen Ave. side.

We are committed to fostering an environment that is inclusive, safe and accessible to everyone. We do not tolerate any harassment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, body size, appearance, age or national origin. To request special accommodations, submit questions or provide feedback, email

Event partners
* Chicago BIPOC Birders #ChicagoBIPOCBirders
* Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice @chicagoaaej
* Chicago Park District @chicagoparks
* Friends of the Chicago River @friendsofthechicagoriver
* Friends of the Parks @friends_of_the_parks
* LVEJO @lvejo20
* Mobile Street Art Cart @mobilestreetartcart
* Myrna Salgado-Romo @myrnavsr
* Neighbors for Environmental Justice @n4ejchicago
* Pilsen Arts & Community House @pilsenartscommunityhouse
* Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization @pilsen_perro
* Pilsen Neighbors @pilsenneighbors
* Shedd Aquarium @shedd_aquarium
* The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago @mwrd_of_greater_chicago
* Urban Rivers @urbanrivers

Notice of filming and photography
By participating and being present during the event, you give the University of Illinois Chicago and E(art)H Chicago the right to use photographs or video/audio recordings taken of you during the event for educational or promotional purposes and for sharing with external news media. If you do not wish to appear in photographs or be recorded, please avoid this area at this time or contact an event staff member or volunteer.

Neighborhood: Canalport Riverwalk

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(Santiago) X, Nilay Mistry / Chicago Public Art Group

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Canalport Riverwalk

Cynthia Weiss & Delilah Salgado, Chicago Public Art Group; Educational Partners: Citlalli Trujillo & Dr. Rachel Havrelock, UIC Freshwater Lab

ART TYPE: Metal & Mosaic Structure

GRANT AMOUNT: $100,000

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