FREE Creative Conference in Chicago for Artists and Creatives

Gather your artists friends and check out the third annual Lake FX CreativeCon, the Midwest’s largest free conference for emerging artists and creatives, on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.The Midwest’s largest free conference for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs will welcome individuals, businesses, and organizations for keynotes by industry leaders, professional development panels and workshops, networking opportunities, music and film showcases, the Expo resource fair, and a marketplace showcasing Chicago artisans.The keynote address on April 21 at 5 p.m. will be given by Kevin Liles, co-founder of 300 Entertainment and CEO of KWL Management. Liles will share his knowledge and experience as a successful brand expert and music and entertainment executive. In addition to keynote speakers, the event will feature professional development workshops, an interactive resource fair, networking opportunities, auditions in front of leading A&R label executives for selected musicians and much more. A complete schedule will be released in March.


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As CEO of KWL, Liles works with entertainers, athletes and models to develop brands, as well as forge partnerships and cultivate successful careers. In 2014, Liles partnered with his longtime mentor Lyor Cohen and friend Roger Gold to found 300 Entertainment, an entertainment-based content company backed by Google Ventures. 300’s current artist roster includes Fetty Wap, Highly Suspect, Conrad Sewell, Young Thug and Coheed and Cambria. His notable career in the industry also includes serving as CEO of Def Jam Records and executive vice president of Warner Music Group. Beyond his work in the private sector, Liles is a committed philanthropist, community activist and advocate for youth empowerment and education.

Kevin Coval, editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors will interview Liles and lead the question-and-answer session after the keynote address.



Lake FX CreativeCon will present A&R Auditions, offering Chicagoland-based artists and bands the opportunity to showcase their work live in front of major label A&R executives. Both solo artists and bands are invited to apply for free starting on Feb. 16. Details will be available at All artists and bands must submit an application and YouTube video that is no more than two-minutes to be considered. A committee of industry professionals will review all submissions based on performance criteria and pre-select artists/bands for the audition slots. Absolutely no walk-in auditions will be available.


New to Lake FX for 2017 is the ACCESS Lab, an energized resource fair connecting participants with industry leaders and organizations through fun and informative one-on-one and small group activities. Exhibiters will include businesses and industry organizations that provide services, information, space, equipment or other resources for Chicago-based creative artists and entrepreneurs. The ACCESS Lab will take place during Lake FX CreativeCon on April 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Proposals for professional development activities and creative services exhibitors are now being accepted through Feb. 17 at


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Lake FX CreativeCon also offers attendees professional development discussions, panels and workshops—on topics ranging from marketing and engagement strategies to legal, financial and space issues—all presented by industry experts for those working in creative industry fields including music, performing arts, design and visual arts. The full schedule of sessions will be released in March.

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