The Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago is the cultural office of the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago. Founded in 1985, the Institute is one of five cultural agencies of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the United States. It is located in the heart of Chicago along the Magnificent Mile. The Institute operates as a source of information on Italian life and culture and showcases Italian classical and contemporary heritage with particular reference to art, music, cinema, design, architecture, literature, fashion, to theatre, cuisine, science and technology.
The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago offers the following services to the public:
- Italian language and civilization courses at the ItalCultura school which operates on the premises of the Institute
- two annual sessions of CILS linguistic certification exams of the University for Foreigners of Siena to certify the level of knowledge of Italian as a foreign language
- a library available to the public for consultation and loan of Italian books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and newspapers
- information and documentation on Italy in the cultural field
For musical, artistic, theatrical, cinematographic events and for all larger events, the Institute avails itself of the collaboration of local museum and cultural institutions, such as the Art Institute, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Cinema/Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Chicago, Facets, Fermilab, Field Museum, Gene Siskel Film Center, Goodman Theater, Loyola University Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Science and Industry, Newberry Library, Shakespeare Theater, Smart Museum.
Among the main festivals in which the Institute usually actively participates are the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the European Union Film Festival, Chicago Neighborhoods of the World, Chicago International Puppet Festival, Italian Film Festival USA, International Voices Project, Chicago World Music Festival.
The Institute also participates together with the ICE Office in Chicago and ItalCultura, the body managing the Italian courses at the Institute, in the main conferences on the teaching of foreign languages in the area of expertise.