Facility Rental Policies & Guidelines

Hosting Your Special Event
Your special event requires a special setting. The DuSable Museum of African American History provides an outstanding backdrop for meetings, parties, receptions and many other types of special events. Your Guests can enjoy your event in the beautiful historic surroundings of several galleries available. All DuSable Museum facilities are handicapped accessible.

Museum Mission
The DuSable Museum of African American History is the oldest independent institution of its kind in the country dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. Through exhibitions, archives and programs, DuSable Museum emphasizes experiences of Africans in American and throughout the Diaspora and their contributions to American history and culture.

Facility Rental Policies & Procedures
DuSable Museum of African American History facilities are not available for any of the following:

  • Political meetings or events
  • Religious Services
  • Dance Parties

The Museum prohibits any form of gambling activity, laser shows, fog or smoke machines, live animals, balloons, and glitter.

All events are expected to harmonize with the character and mission of the Museum. Events may not cause any hazard or impose undue hardship to the Museum and its collection, exhibitions, facilities, staff and visitors. Events must be in conformance with the Museum’s established regulations. All costs associated with an event will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.

The event application form must be received within one week of the verbal reservation. After the application has been approved, a non-refundable/non-transferable deposit (25% of the total rental cost) must be received within seven business days. Dates will be released if the time requirement is not met. All monies are due (3) week’s prior to the event. Final payment not received by the due date will be charged an additional $500 late fee.

Please contact the Museum for insurance requirements. The Caterer will provide all personnel, materials,
Linen and supplies required for the preparation of food and beverages. Kitchen and service areas are available to the caterer.

Other Special Needs
The following event needs must be arranged with the Museum special events coordinator prior to the facility rental:

  • Tour Guide & Coat Check Services
  • Valet Parking
  • Museum gift shop availability for event
  • Piano usage
  • Audio Visual usage
  • Electrical, Sound and lighting requirements
  • Use of Museum’s banquet tables and chairs
  • Ice

Fundraising Events
Any client seeking to use the museum facilities for an event with an admission charge or an event involving fundraising activities must obtain prior approval from the museum events coordinator and qualify as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c) (3), or other appropriate sections, of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Conduct of an Event
Client assumes full responsibility for the conduct of all persons in attendance at the event. In addition, client assumes full responsibility for any and all damage done to any part of the museum Premises are reserved for, or under the control of, client or client’s guests, agents, invitees, employees or independent contractors, including, but not limited to caterer, decorator and entertainment. Client agrees to conduct the event in an orderly manner, in full compliance with all applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations established by the museum, including but not limited to, all of the provisions contained in these Event Guidelines and the Facility Rental Agreement.

In the sole judgment of the museum, it is necessary to ensure adequate security measures in light of the size and nature of the event; client is responsible for the added expense of additional security personnel hired by the museum.

The content of all printed materials relating to the event, including invitation copy, programs, promotion materials, press releases, electronic copy and radio advertisements must be submitted to the events coordinator for review and approval before being printed. Any violation can result in $500 fee or cancellation of the event.

Rental Policies

All events must be sufficiently staffed to ensure against damage to facility, property and exhibitions in the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Rental areas must be left in the same condition as found prior to the event. A $500 refundable damage deposit per rental area is required and will only be refunded when facilities are found to be in good condition after use.

All alcoholic beverages served must be through the caterer with proper insurance license.

All rental events must end at 11:00 pm; hours of usage must be strictly observed.

Absolutely no vendors selling or distributing any merchandise.

Memorial Services held at the museum can only display pictures of the decease. No Urns or Coffins will be allowed to be exhibited.

No posters, advertisements or other notices bearing the Museum’s name shall be placed upon the property of the City of Chicago. Such property includes utility poles, traffic signals, and any other such related public property.

All invitations, tickets, promotional and marketing advertisements must be approved by the museum’s public relations office. The museum is not responsible for the reproduction of printed materials. Materials not submitted to the museum will be subject to cancellation of event and a $500 fine.

In the event of cancellation, the facility renter must provide at least 21 days notice prior to the scheduled event to receive a partial refund. All room deposits are forfeited if the event is cancelled or the date is changed. Events canceled on the date of the facility rental shall not receive any refund. All contracts are final and no refunds are issued on equipment or items not used.

The DuSable Museum will not assume or accept any responsibility of damage to or loss of personal items/merchandise by the client, caterer, or Guests at the museum. All items must be removed from the museum on the day of the event. Items remaining will be discarded at the Museum’s discretion.

Valet Services: All valet service companies must be approved by the DuSable Museum and a certificate of insurance of two million dollars must be submitted.

All events held in the museum are required to have special events liability insurance (1,000,000). This insurance must be presented three weeks prior to the event. The insurance carrier will list the Dusable Museum of African American History, City of Chicago, and the Chicago Park District as additional holders on their insurance. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of your event.

Smoking is not allowed in the museum; eating and drinking are also prohibited in specific galleries, and the Illinois Black Legislators’ Auditorium.

Absolutely no items may be affixed to the walls, windows or columns of the galleries.

The rental client shall properly staff all events in the theater. The client shall provide ushers, stage manager, stagehands, concessions and box office personnel.

No museum exhibition will be moved.

All not-for profit organizations must present documentation of their status before the execution of the rental contract. No discounts will be given after the contract has been executed and deposits received.

Clients using the concession stand will be responsible for cleaning of area.

Rental clients for the theater are responsible for the clean up of all dressing room areas, concessions, box office, coatroom, and theater seating areas.

The museum has the right to refuse rental to events, which do not reflect the Mission Statement of the DuSable Museum.

No balloons or glitter are allowed inside the Illinois Black Legislators’ Auditorium. All balloon decorations must be approved by the museum events coordinator. No balloons may be tied to light fixtures or poles. No confetti, rice, birdseed, sand or bubbles are permitted. No nails or drilling may be used for any purpose.

Entertainment and Decorators
Any entertainment and decorators selected by client must be approved by the museum events coordinator prior to the event. Entertainment and decorators must sign and deliver the applicable Certificate of Insurance.

Special Events Coordinator
A Special Events Coordinator will work closely with the client to ensure a smooth and efficient event. The Coordinator will be present on the day of the event to ensure proper setup for the event.

Planning and Setup
In conjunction with the special events coordinator, a layout of the setup of the event for the Museum will be provided prior to the event if necessary. A walk-though by the caterer, event planner, technical director and/or museum special events coordinator must occur no later than two weeks before the event to finalize all arrangements. This walk through will also include the security supervisor.

Shipping Dock
For delivery of materials and/or equipment to the loading dock, a schedule must be established five business days prior to the event. The arrangement must be made with the Museum’s special events coordinator.

Free parking is available adjacent to the museum. Handicapped accessibility is available with advance arrangements. Additional parking is available on Cottage Grove at the University of Chicago parking lot at a reduce rate. (See the museum to obtain validation ticket for parking)

DuSable Museum & The University of Chicago Medical Discount Parking Service
57th & Cottage Grove Entrance

Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
Discount Parking for Visitors
Less than 1 hour :$6.00
1 hour to 3 hours : $8.00
3 hours to 6 hours: $12.00
6 hours to 24 hours: $18.00

Sunday-Saturday-Evening & Weekday Special Events Evening

Flat Rate good for up to 12 hours : $8.00
Get your parking ticket validated here!

For more information about the rental of any of the space facilities of the DuSable Museum of African American History, please call: (773) 420-2750 or email twilliams@dusablemuseum.org. Our 24-hour fax line is available at (773) 947-0677.